Working with disadvantaged children and young people
Empowerment of Children Victims of Sexual Abuse and Exploitation
Person of Contact:
Ms. Wahida Banu
1.1 The Organisation
Mission and vision of the organisation
Mission Statement: Support the most vulnerable children who are socially and economically disadvantaged, in Bangladesh. Provide a range of rights-based services designed to improve their quality of life. These services are principally, protection, rescue, education, healthcare, skills training, socio-economic development and participation. They are provided in ways that reinforce the culture, faith and value of the children and are also offered fairly, relevantly and without discrimination. Philosophy: To provide assistance to children in distress and to ensure that everything possible is done to safeguard for them a fair and secure life. The children of today are the future and it is our responsibility to invest in them. AB is free from political, religious and ethnic bias.
1.2 The Project
Start date of project
1 February 2013
End date of project
31 January 2015
Direct: Girl Child Sex Workers, hard-to-reach girl sex workers Indirect: Community members from diverse backgrounds and professions; government ministries and departments, police, media, employers, State Remand Homes, Correctional Facilities, NGOs, INGOs; people from criminal gangs and the sex industry.
Number of individuals reached
Direct: 500 children; Indirect: 100,000 people
This project aims to rehabilite sexually abused and exploited girls with priority for protection services and particular efforts made to disengage them from prostitution. The main objectives are (1) Create safety nets and support that meet children’s basic needs in non-institutional settings, (2) rebuilding self confidence of sexually abused children to enable them to make informed decisions about their lives & better their own circumstances, (3) sensitise communities & institutions to the needs & rights of sexually abused children. AB will undertake a range of activities to meet main objectives:
Create safety nets and support that meet children’s basic needs in non-institutional settings: (a) family and social reintegration (b) protection from physical, sexual and emotional abuse through 2 child friendly spaces (c) provision of basic healthcare, counselling and education to meet needs and instil a feeling of ownership and belonging, ensuring that children do not become ‘institutionalised’.
Rebuilding self-confidence of sexually abused children to enable them to make informed decisions about their lives and better their own circumstances: (a) peer support and mentoring, (b) active and meaningful participation via Joint Management Councils (JMCs), (c) marketable vocational and skills training to allow these children to leave prostitution permanently, (d) assistance in finding secure employment as real alternatives to sex work, (e) children to be involved in design, planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation at every stage of the project.
Sensitise communities/institutions to the needs and rights of sexually abused children: (a) mass awareness raising activities via community/media sensitisation programmes, (b) community awareness about sexual abuse and exploitation to reduce the incidence of discrimination, stigma and alienation, (c) training for law enforcement agencies and government bodies, (d) involving children in cultural programmes (dance, re-enactment dramas, reciting their own poetry, songs).
75% children will make real choices about their future, demonstrating to themselves and their peers that they can work to end their social exclusion and marginalization. (2) 75% children will develop positive self esteem to take control of their lives and to regain pride and status in the community.(3) 60% children will completely give up sex work and be placed in alternative employment through jobs or self-employment, (4) 75% children will be more literate and numerate. (5) A Joint Management Committee of project staff and children will monitor work at the 2 Child Friendly Spaces for decision making and be nutured through a process from powerlessness to empowerment. (6) 5 children will establish a peer supporters programme in the shelter. (7) 75% children will demonstrate a better understanding of their health and how it can be best looked after. (8) There will be a marked reduction in unwanted pregnancy and STIs. (9) 40% outreach CVSAE will be more aware of their rights to protect themselves from abusers and exploiters and practice safe sex. (10) A community education programme will result in greater understanding and tolerance of the issues affecting CVSAE.
What makes your organisation and project unique?
In Bangladesh, commercial sexual abuse & exploitation of children is a widespread phenomenon despite adherence to the United Nations Child Rights Convention, and rigorous domestic laws to safeguard children. No reliable statistics exist on the number of children who become victims of prostitution but it is estimated that in Dhaka city child victims to range from 10,000 to 29,000. Aparajeyo-Bangladesh (AB) emerged in 1995 as an independent national child-rights organisation. AB is dedicated to improving the lives and defending the rights of socially excluded children and youth. We support over 135,000 children and youth annually. We work to develop replicable models of good practice. We have strong partnerships with UN Agencies, International Partners, NGOs, CBOs and Government of Bangladesh for increasing the impact of our work, stronger advocacy and influencing policy. AB represents International Forums such as ECPAT International, Child Helpline International, Global March Against Child Labour to advocate on children’s issues at the international level. We represent the National Task Force in Bangladesh. AB has an impressive track record in promoting child and youth participation in the fight against these issues. Gender considerations are factored into our programmes of work, reflecting a commitment to empowerment, equality and gender equity. We have a child protection and child participation policy. Participatory monitoring and evaluation is included.
This project is unique as girls will be able to make real choices about their future, demonstrating to themselves and their peers that they can work to end their social exclusion and marginalisation. They develop confidence in their capacity to take control of their lives, and to regain pride and lost dream in themselves and status in the community. They will take responsibility for decision making and will be nurtured through a process from powerlessness to empowerment. They will engage & work with communities, institutions, professionals etc who will regard them as citizens, and they will learn to value their potential & talent. They will also have witnessed a programme of community proactive and responses, and learn to put their experiences into a context of discrimination, thus freeing themselves from blame and shame. This project will continue to build on the genuine modes of partnerships and participation with communities and local institutions as full actors in the project development rather than just as participants in a project that is planned outside their sphere of influence.