Bangladesh Shishu Adhikar Forum (BSAF) is an apex body of development organizations working for child rights in Bangladesh. Initially the number of member NGOs of the forum was 18 which rises to 267 at present. 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.
Bangladesh Shishu Adhikar Forum advocates a Child-Friendly world. It works as a networking entity. It 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 to take child rights programs to scale. It provides collective leadership in program matters to member organizations but does not engage itself in service delivery. It works with lawmakers and decision-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 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 awareness for creating and community empowerment activities at their respective levels.
Established in 1990, following ratification of CRC by Bangladesh, Bangladesh Shishu Adhikar Forum has been engaged in networking and social mobilization and established linkages with relevant government organizations, UN agencies, inter-governmental and other national and international organizations to promote and protect the rights of children.
Aim of BSAF
Aim of BSAF is the substantive enforcement of the UNCRC with the aim of enhancing children's overall development
VISION, GOAL AND OBJECTIVES
Vision: To establish a healthy, child-rights enriched society, free of abuse, exploitation and discrimination for the disadvantaged children of Bangladesh.
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 Child Rights
· To assist in the formation of Legal framework for the protection of child rights
· To increase the access to fundamental rights
· To protect children from Worst forms of Child Labour (WFCL)
· To implement children policy
ADVOCACY ISSUES OF BSAF :
NATIONAL LEVEL PLATFORM TO RAISE VOICE ON CHILD RIGHTS
BSAF is a national level platform of NGOs working on the areas of establishing child rights in the country. BSAF is active member of several committees with regard to child rights issue at the ministry level and at abroad as well. It raises its voice for the establishment of child rights in accordance with the UNCRC at all levels of the society. BSAF ensures participation and contribution of children at the grass root level in preparing alternative report on child rights situation in Bangladesh and send the same to UN from its very inception.
BSAF works in the every aspect of child rights especially in the field of advocacy for promoting the rights of the children in Bangladesh. Currently BSAF has member NGOs in 56 Districts. All of these MNGOs has specific activities for protecting and promotion of the rights of the children. Besides, BSAF also has some activities at the district and upazila level implemented by its MNGOs.
BSAF is registered under Foreign Donation (Voluntary Activities) Regulation Ordinance 1978 (amended in 1982) with NGO Affairs Bureau, under the Prime Minister's Office and the registration number is 724, dated 4th July 1993 and renewed on 14th August 2008.
MAJOR FUNDER AND PROJECTS
Since 2005, Terre des Hommes - Netherlands remains the key funding agency of BSAF. BSAF implemented two phases of a project on Promotion of UNCRC in Bangladesh with the support of TDH-NL. During the period, major focus was given on promotion of UNCRC and some other related areas like awareness and advocacy on child trafficking, drug abuse, elimination of worst forms of child labour, ECD, child abuse and child exploitation, rehabilitation of abused children, awareness on UNCRC and capacity building of MNGOs for influencing policies. Since 2011, TDH-NL supports BSAF another project titled "Advocacy for the Elimination of Hazardous Child Labour in Bangladesh" with emphasis on protection rights of children which includes advocacy on elimination of hazardous child labour, child trafficking, domestic violence against children, child abuse & exploitation, rehabilitation of abused & exploited children, capacity building of BSAF secretariat and MNGOs. The duration of the project is July 2011- June 2014.
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 267 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
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 Documentation, one assistant program officer-Research Infprmation and Documentation, one Accounts and Admin Officer, One Driver, one Messanger and two Support Service staff. The core staff members at the administration have been reduced during the last two years since phasing out of some projects. As a result the post of Assiatant Program Officer is lying vacant and BSAF has been exploring support from various development partners to strengthen the secretariat.