What We Do
Recent years BSAF has inclusive action for protecting children from abuse. BSAF undertakes activities in terms of awareness raising activities, advocacy for adopting/ activating laws and policies and service delivery to abuse children through its MNGOs. BSAF has been implementing a three years project (Jan 2016-Dec 2018) titled ‘ Ending Child Labour in Bangladesh’ with the support of Terre des Hommes-Netherlands. A five member consortuim including BSAF is responsible to implement the project.
Child Labour: Implementation of policy and practice:
NCLEP was adopted on 1st March 2010; however its practice is still very limited. Therefore, BSAF organizes advocacy seminar at national level on implementation of National Child Labour Elimination Policy (NCLEP) to stop hazardous child labour and mobilize the stakeholders’ opinion against it. Initiative aims to activate different stakeholders like Govt., ILO, trade union, employers’ federation, lawyers, human rights activists, journalists, working children, civil society, development activists for finalisation of hazardous work list.
Apart from this, advocacy seminar is organised at district level with relevant stakeholders which include people’s representatives, govt. officials, potential NGOs, journalists, employers, lawyers and working children. The participants will be sensitized on adverse effect of hazardous child labour (HCL) and subsequently they will contribute in implementing NCLEP.
Ratification of ILO Convention 138 and recommendation 146
The minimum age of the child labour is crucial in the context of Bangladesh. Govt. has not yet ratified the ILO conventions 138 because of which many employers take the opportunity of this and engage children of minor age in hazardous job. In order to influence the policy makers for the ratification of convention 138, BSAF secretariat organizes seminar on ILO Convention-138 and recommendation 146 at national level with policy makers and relevant stakeholders like govt. officials, ILO, trade union, employers’ federation, human rights activists, academicians, journalists, lawyers, civil society and development activists. The seminar will eventually influence the policy makers for the ratification of ILO convention 138 (Minimum age of child labour).
Rights of the child domestic workers
Child domestic workers are most neglected one in Bangladesh society. They are usually engaged in worst forms of child labour and their rights have been neglected in most cases. Very little work has been done in order to establish the rights of these children so far. To break the silence of the society and draw the attention of policy makers to protect the rights of these children is very essential. BSAF conducted a study on the situation of child domestic worker in the second phase of the project. It reveals from the study that 80% of the child domestic workers are girls and they are very much deprived of their rights and exploited in different forms of abuses & exploitation. The study also reveals that, 17% of the children are sexually abused by their house owners.
Considering the dreadful situation of these children, BSAF organizes advocacy seminar at national level on the rights of the child domestic workers with a view to stop violence against them and highlight the issue as one of the hazardous job for children. This activity aims to sensitize the stakeholders like govt. ILO, trade union, human rights activists, journalists, lawyer, researcher, development activists and make them responsive to the rights of the child domestic workers and influence the policy makers to protect their rights.
Trafficking of children is one of the major social problems in Bangladesh. Trafficked children are usually used for sexual abuse, exploitation, forced labour and collection of human organs for commercial purpose. Integration of rescued children is very difficult and sometime almost impossible. Government does not have systematic procedure to identify trafficking victims and provide them protective services. Bangladesh has not yet formulated law against child trafficking and punishment for traffickers. Considering the increasing rate of trafficking and grave situation of the trafficked children, BSAF organizes advocacy seminar at national level demanding appropriate legal framework against child trafficking with relevant stakeholders like high officials from the government, human rights activist, lawyers, civil society, journalists, development activists etc. The seminar will eventually influence the policy makers in formulating legal framework in combating child trafficking and punishment for the traffickers. Apart from this, advocacy seminar will also be organized at the selected districts with relevant stakeholders including government officials, law enforcement agencies, journalists, human rights activists, lawyers and academicians which will sensitize and make them responsive on the adverse effect of child trafficking.
Protecting Children from sale, prostitution and pornography
BSAF undertakes aadvocacy on Optional Protocol -2 (sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography) to the convention on the rights of the child. Child prostitution is considered as serious violation of child rights and the incidence of child prostitution is increasing day by day for social, economic and other reasons. This problem needs to draw attention of the government and other stakeholders for implementation of optional protocol in order to stop child prostitution. Necessary laws need to be formulated and existing law needs to be reviewed. BSAF has considered the problem as the worst form of child abuse and gross violation of human rights as well.
In order to know the situation of child prostitute, BSAF secretariat conducs study. The study facilitates BSAF as well as other stakeholders to learn about the real situation of the child prostitution in Bangladesh which eventually will make them possible to launch programmes for eliminating the child prostitution. BSAF secretariat also organizes advocacy seminar at national level with a view to sensitize and make responsive the stakeholders like government, human rights activists, lawyers, psychologists, researchers, journalists and development activists against the sale of children and child prostitution.
Action against child abuse and exploitation
Abuse and exploitation of children in Bangladesh is increasing alarmingly. It has been revealed through media that, the incident of child rights violation takes place every now and then at different levels in the country. Children are being abused and exploited but they are not taken care of appropriately neither by the government nor by the others.
In order to learn in-depth about the gravity and nature of child abuse and exploitation, BSAF conduct study on child exploitation. The study facilitates BSAF and others to learn about the factual situation of the child abuse and exploitation in Bangladesh which subsequently make them possible to know the future direction for undertaking of projects/programmes. Besides, BSAF secretariat sorganizes press conference once in every year in Dhaka on the state of child rights violation in the country. Through the press conference media people are sensitized on the child rights violation cases and be responsive to create peoples’ voice against child abuse and exploitation through writing in the daily newspapers.
Alongside, BSAF makes statement in the national newspapers protesting the child abuse and exploitation cases.
Rescue, rehabilitate/reintegrate abused & exploited Children
BSAF organizes rescue, arrange shelter and rehabilitate/reintegrate abused & exploited children through MNGOs. Following the rehabilitation, children are able to get back their normal life and able to get education/skill training like other children in the society. These children will also be escaped from hazardous child labour, trafficking and child prostitution.
Alternative Report to UNCRC
BSAF regularly prepared and submitted Alternative Report to the CRC committee along with the state party report. BSAF organizes sorkshops at divisional level with participation of privileged and underprivileged children, child rights activists, human rights activists, civil society, lawyer, journalists, teachers and development activists with a view to prepare alternative report following the state party report of child rights situation. Workshop also organized at the national level with the same kind of participants as to review the observations & recommendations of the divisional workshops and finalize the alternative report. BSAF sumites the alternative report to the CRC committee of the United Nations at Geneva through which world community is able to know about the situation of the child rights in Bangladesh. BSAF also organizes a seminar at the national level on the concluding remarks of the UN Committee and that will advocate the policy level to comply the recommendations of the UN Committee so as to improve the status of the rights of the children.
Strengthen capacity of BSAF network to influence policy
In order to achieve the target objectives and expected output of the project, it is important to make the BSAF staff as well as the member organizations enable to carry out the activities as in the project in an appropriate manner. Hence effort has been taken to enhance the capacity of the BSAF network with a view to proper implementation of the project. In line with the capacity enhancement of the BSAF network, training is organized for the participants from MNGOs with a view to train them on formulating child protection policy and its application.
Strengthen Children voice to influence policy
Comparing the rights of protection, survival and development, participation rights of children is less recognized in Bangladesh. In recent years govt. has ensure participation rights of children in preparing third national plan of action for children. To raise the voice of children and ensure their participation in planning, decision making and implementation, BSAF undertakes several key activities i.e. observation of child rights week at district and national level, publication of newsletter and developing IEC materials containing message of child rights issues.