|Bangladesh Shishu Adhikar Forum (BSAF) is a national network of Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) actively engaged in child rights work. It was formed and launched in 1990, following the ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) by Bangladesh in the same year. The World Declaration on the Survival, Protection, Development and Participation and the Plan of Action for its implementation as adopted by the World Summit on Children in September 1990 and subsequent Declarations provided the framework for its operational objectives, which seek to ensure services and rights to children as provided in the CRC. BSAF started its journey in 1990 with eighteen member NGOs which has been increased to 269 member NGOs at present.
BSAF advocates for a Child-Friendly world. It works as a networking entity and brings together and assists child rights organizations to pursue common goals. It helps synthesize the viewpoints of member organizations and works to mobilize material and human resources for promoting child rights programs. It provides collective leadership in program matters to member organizations. It works with law and policy makers to bring positive changes in national laws and policies relating to children. It runs a vigorous campaign at macro level to make the civil society and policy makers aware of the provisions of CRC and plays a proactive role in promoting and upholding these rights. It also provides guidelines and assistance to member organizations to carry out advocacies for promoting child rights and influencing the policies of the Government.
BSAF’s mandate is to complement and supplement the government’s effort to promote and protect the rights of the child. It has been engaged in networking and establishing linkage with relevant government organizations, trade unions, media, UN agencies, inter-governmental and other national and international organizations for promoting and protecting the rights of children. Its representative and national status gives it a greater reach to draw attention to issues concerning the rights and well-being of children at national, regional and international levels.
BSAF has a resource centre which preserves information and collates database on child rights, publishes state of child rights in Bangladesh and submits alternative reports to the UN committee on CRC about the progress of child rights situation in Bangladesh.
Vision and Mission statement:
To establish a healthy, child-rights enriched society, free of abuse, exploitation and discrimination for the disadvantaged children of Bangladesh.
The mission of Bangladesh Shishu Adhikar Forum is to:
· Include organizations working with children in Bangladesh into the Bangladesh Shishu Adhikar Forum network
· Stop child abuse and exploitation
· Stop child labor
· Stop child trafficking
· Education for all without discrimination
· Eliminate gender discrimination
· Provide adequate recreational facilities to children
· Participation of children of the development process
· Improve social security
· Create pollution free environment
· Create and expand superstition-free environment for the children with disability (physically and mentally handicapped)
Goal and objective:
Goal: The goal of Bangladesh Shishu Adhikar Forum is to promote the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
- To play an effective role for the purpose of implementing the CRC
- To create mass awareness on Children Rights
- To assist in the formation of legal framework for the protection of children rights
- To increase the access to fundamental rights
- To protect children from all forms of deprivation
- To implement children policy, children act and national child labour elimination policy
· Advocacy and lobbying with Government on the implementation of CRC
· Monitor the child rights situation in the country and furnish alternative report to UN
· Networking / Campaigning and Awareness raising with relevant stakeholders on CRC
· Rapid situation assessments (RSA), research and study on child rights
· Capacity Building of Member NGOs
· Information dissemination and publications on child rights
· Media advocacy
· Promote the rights of the child within the contexts of the UN convention
· Influence public opinion on CRC
· Provide a channel of communication and facilitate the sharing of information
· Coordination with member NGOs and other concerned stakeholders
· Seek new ways for establishing the rights of the child
· Provide technical supports and services to the MNGOs.
Strategy on key issues:
Considering the current situation relating to Child Rights and the efforts made by various organizations both national, international and the government, Bangladesh Shishu Adhikar Forum (BSAF), as a national network for child rights proposes the following key areas to work with during next ten years:
- Elimination of Child Labor
- Reduction of Child Trafficking
- Reduction of Child Marriage
- Reduction of domestic violence, child abuse and sexual exploitation of children
- Ensure Child Participation
- Education for all children
- Protect Vulnerability of Children from HIV/AIDS
- Protection of street children
- Enhance Capacity Building of BSAF
- Establish a toll free child helpline to protect children in need.
Stakeholders of BSAF:
- Member NGOs, NGOs and INGOs
- Children and Parents
- Private Entrepreneurs including Employers
- Trade Union Federation
- Community Based Organizations
- Other Network Organizations
- Law enforcement agencies
- Ministries and Parliamentary Standing Committees (Women and Children Affairs; Home Affairs; Labor and Employment; Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs; Social Welfare)
- Local Government
- Policy Makers and Government Officials
- Professional Groups (Elites, Academicians, Journalists, Media, Civil Society, Human Rights Activists, Religious Leaders, Development Activists etc.).
Linkage and Liaison:
As an umbrella organization, BSAF has greater reach and therefore, draws attention to issues, nationally, regionally and internationally. It maintains links and Network among different NGOs and other organizations to share experiences coordinate joint actions to mobilize resources. The forum has linked different national and international concerns, UNCRC, NGO committee, CRIN, Child Worker in Asia (CWA) & Street Children Consortium (UK) and important committees with the concerned ministries and autonomous bodies i.e. Ministry of Women and Children Affairs (MoWCA); Ministry of Labor and Employment (MoLE); Ministry of Information; Ministry of Law, Justice & Parliamentary Affairs; Ministry of Social Welfare and Cabinet Division under the Prime Minister’s Office and National Human Rights Commission etc.
membership with various government committees & OTHERS:
- Member of the Inter Ministerial Committee on CRC under MoWCA
- Member of the National Plan of Action- NPA under MoLE
- Member of the National Plan of Action- NPA under MoWCA
- Member of National Task Force for Children in Jail (Cabinet Division)
- Member of child rights monitoring committee (MoWCA)
- Member of the Optional Protocol of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse
- Member of the Joint Child Labor Working Group (ILO-IPEC)
- Member of the Advisory Committee of National Human Rights Commission
- Member of the Child Rights Thematic Committee of National Human Rights Commission
- Member of the UNNGO Committee in Geneva
- Member of the Global March against Child Labor
- Member of the CRIN-UK
- Member of the Child Worker in Asia, Thailand
- Member of the Street Children Consortium, UK
BSAF is basically a membership organization and the members contribute yearly subscriptions. The members also contribute financially for the implementation of various activities on child rights issues. Besides, from the very inception, BSAF has been active in implementing projects with the support of various development partners which includes:
Advocacy for promotion of rights of the children is a regular activity of BSAF. In this regard every year BSAF organized much short term project relating to children’s affairs with support of other donors. In the reporting period, BSAF observed World Day against Child Labor 2014 with the support of ILO, Manusher Jonno Foundation, Save the Children and Ministry of Labor and Employment. In previous, BSAF implemented its activities with support of many other funders like Save the Children- UK, UNICEF, OXFAM, Save the Children- Australia, Save the Children- Sweden Denmark, Plan Bangladesh, Action Aid UK, Norwegian Embassy, Bangladesh Freedom Foundation (BFF), Global March Against Child Labor, DANIDA.
Membership Process of BSAF:
Any Bangladeshi non-governmental organization [NGO] working on child rights issue and having registration with the govt. is eligible to be a member of general body of BSAF. The general members are entitled to vote and be eligible to contest for any post of the Executive Board. The BSAF is initiated to conduct Organizational Development Assessment where it will also streamlined the membership process to make it update and to fulfill the present demand.
There are 269 NGO’s in its general membership, while membership generation is a continuous process.
Governance of BSAF
Bangladesh Shishu Adhikar Forum has a General Body (GB), an Executive Board and a Secretariat to carry out its mandate and activities. Presently there are 269 NGOs who are members of the General Body. The General Body meets at least once a year to review the activities of the past year and approve plans and budget for the coming year with important events. An eleven member Executive Board is elected in the Annual General Meeting for a period of two years. The Director of BSAF is the Ex-officio Member Secretary of the Executive Board [EB]. The EB formulates its policies, approves action plans, mobilizes resource and reviews the overall activities of BSAF. The EB is accountable to General Body.
The following are the current EB members of BSAF who are child rights activist
||Dr. Khawja Shamsul Huda
||United Development Initiatives for Programmed Actions (UDDIPAN), Dhaka
||Mr. Mahbubul Huq
||Villege Integrated Development Association (VIDA), Dhaka
||Ms. Shahin Akther Doly
||Nari Maitree, Dhaka
||Aftabur Rahman Jafree
||Mr. Binoy Krishna Mallick
||Rights Jessore, Jessore
||Mr. K.M Enayet Hossain
||Society Development Agency (SDA), Patuakhali
||Jamil H. Chowdhury
||Action for Social Development (ASD), Dhaka
||Aminul Islam Bakul
||Action In Development, Jheneidah
||Ladies Organization for Social Welfare, Rajshashi
||Nabi Newaj Md. Mujibuddowla Sarker Kanak
||Sushamaj Foundation, Jessore
||Somita Begum Meera
||Reliant Women Development Organization (RWDO), Sylhet
||Mr. Abdus Shahid Mahmood
||Bangladesh Shishu Adhikar Forum (BSAF)
BSAF Secretariat and Management Operation:
BSAF secretariat is based in Dhaka and operated in a rented house. The secretariat is headed by a Director who is the Chief Executive of the organization and assisted by some core staff members. The cost of the core staff members of the secretariat is usually shared by various development partners. The staff members are recruited for the projects supported by the development partners. They are also involved in implementing activities of BSAF supported by other stakeholders and development partners. Currently there are 9 staff members at BSAF secretariat. Besides the Director, there is one Programme Officer- Advocacy and Networking, one Programme Officer- Research, Information and Communication, one assistant program officer-Research Information and Documentation, one Accounts and Admin Officer, One Driver, one Messenger and two Support Service staff.
||Abdus Shahid Mahmood
||September 2005 (As Coordinator)
February 2014 (As Director)
|Program Officer-Advocacy and Networking
|Program Officer-Research, Information and Documentation
|Accounts and Admin Officer
||Md. Abdul Hakim
|Assistant Program Officer
||Since November 2017