A Report on Non Government Organization
Nari Maitree is a non-government development women organization. In 1983 the organization was established by a group of women activist in order to build the capacity of women, children and adolescent for establishing their rights in the society.
NM has special interested to work with the children. At present Nari Maitree runs 17 different projects those are directly or indirectly have some impact on children especially deprived children. As a whole NM intend to work in a holistic approach for the best interest of the children. As children are not apart from the society and family, therefore, NM also works with the family and society to bring positive change in the life of children. From the working experience Nari Maitree felt that most of the disaster situation like flood and other natural calamity, children position is most venerable and their lives are in thereat from the context of physical and mental health development. During these time children are in more vulnerable situation in terms of sexual, physical and mental exploitation and abuse.
According to the National Sample survey of Child Labor by Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (2002-2003), 17.5 per cent of the total child population was child laborers. However, this survey did not include figures from several parts of the informal sector, in which the largest numbers of child laborers are found, e.g. child domestic workers. Among 12.1 million working children (5-12 age group), boys were 8.8 million and 3.3 million were girls. Child laborers of age group 5-17 years are 3.38 million (Boys: 2.58 and girls: .8 million). Only 7.1% of the child labor (5-17) was in the formal sector, the rest of 92.9% were in the informal sector. About 65.4% of working children were employed in the agricultural sector. By residency, number of working children is 20.7 million among them 16.05 are in urban area and 22.0 are in rural area. They work for a minimum of 9 hours to as long as 18 hours a day for very low wages.
Considering the reality and importance, Nari Maitree introduced some activities to address this immerging issue under a program with financial assistance of Danish Embassy since November 1991 to 1995. This program was introduced in some slum areas under the Dhaka City Corporation. Based on the working experience from this project, Nari Matree incepted a program namely “Education and Rights for Working Children” with financial cooperation of Red Barnet, Save the Children Denmark (Now it is Save the Children Sweden-Denmark). The project aimed at education and child rights development program in wards no 25 and 26 of Dhaka City Corporation. The project was continued up to June 1999. This project was expanded since 1999 July to December 2002 under the title of “Intervention towards Child Development”. As a continual process, a gap-bridging project for two years was incepted from January 2003 to December 2004.
1.2 NGO Profile:
To empower the under-privileged people by undertaking intensive and extensive programs in order to bring about changes in the family life style and social system.
Vision of NM:
Our vision is to establish an equitable society.
Objectives of NM:
v To increase education rate among the adolescents
v To aware the adolescent, women and other stakeholder about HIV/AIDS
v To establish human rights and empowering of women, children and adolescents
v To help facilities to the target people to raise their voice for social justice
v To undertake programs on preventive and curative health services
v To facilitate sustainable development
v To ensure male participation in program activities
v To promote volunteerism among the youth
v To enhance knowledge on natural and social disaster management
Policies of NM:
Nari Maitree has developed different types of policies to operate the organizational activities smoothly and properly. The policies are as follows;
v Human Resource Development Policy
v Financial Guideline
v Gender Policy
v Credit manual
Place where we work:
Nari Maitree covered as many as 17 wards of Dhaka Metropolitan City 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 31, 49, 52, 54, 55, 56, 57, 60 and 85 including 12 villages of Demra Thana. Besides, it also covered the 457,948 disadvantaged children, women and adolescents of Mymensingh, Jamalpur, Netrakona, Tangail, Tongi, Kishoreganj, Sherpur, Cox’s Bazar, Comilla, Feni and Chandpur districts
1.3.1 Management Structure:
NM has 39 members General Committee (GC) and eleven members Executive Committee (EC). The GC meets once in a year to approve annual budget and review progress reports while the EC meets once after three months. The EC members take decisions, review the progress, give financial approvals and consider other priority items. The Executive Director is the operative Head of the Organization and is responsible for overall program management. Under the able guidance of the ED, each Program Manager/Coordinator manages his /her program area. Program Managers/Coordinators, Area Coordinators also manage their respective programs outside Dhaka. They all report to the Executive Director.
Nari Maitree has the Management structure as below:
q Executive Committee/ Governing Body
q Advisory Committee
q Professional staff
1.3.2 Total Staff of the Organization
Currently, NM has 359 (2007) staff who are also working in different project areas. Women constitute 70 percent of the current staffs.
1.3.3 Summary of NM Projects/Programs
Nari Maitree has been engaged to fulfill its objectives through the following multi-dimensional programs:
1. ‘Improvement of public awareness for HIV/AIDS and women trafficking’ funded by ADB through Ministry of Women and Child Affairs
2. ‘Mother and child health care and family planning program’
3. ‘Adolescent development program’ under Action Aid
4. ‘HIV/AIDS Prevention Project (HAPP)’ for Street Based Sex workers under UNICEF & NASP
5. ‘Volunteer development program’
7. ‘Better SRH service for urban adolescent and youth (RHIYA)’
8. ‘Child Development Intervention Project’ under Save the Children Sweden-Denmark
9. ‘Capacity Building, Poverty Alleviation and Sustainable Livelihood for Socially Disadvantaged Women and their Children, Dhaka’ financed by UNDP through DSS
10. ‘Capacity Building, Poverty Alleviation and Sustainable Livelihood for Socially Disadvantaged Women and their Children, Mymensingh’ financed by UNDP through DSS
11. ‘Empowering Adolescents to become the agents for Social transformation program, Dewanganj’ financed by UNESCO, Paris
12. ‘Empowering Adolescents to become the agents for Social transformation program, Madhupur/ Tangail’ financed by UNESCO, Dhaka
13. ‘Integrated Education, Health and Capacity Building for Adolescent girls in Bangladesh at Dhalpur’.
14. ‘Urban Primary Health Care project PA-5’ through Dhaka City Corporation funded by ADB.
15. ‘Violence Against Women’ at Dhaka
16. ‘Income Generating Program (IGP)’ at Dhaka funded by NM
17. ‘Training on prevention of HIV/AIDS for workers of Garment Factories’ supported by PHD.
18. ‘Action research with Child sex worker’ funded by UNICEF.
19. ‘Prevention and Protection on HIV/AIDS and STD’ funded by CARE.
20. ‘Creating awareness on HIV/AIDS prevention of urban slum adolescent and youth’ through Dhaka City Corporation funded by UNDP.
21. ‘Comprehensive Reproductive health care center’ funded by UNFPA.
22. ‘Piloting of sex worker manage health care system with in the Brothel’ funded by World Bank.
23. ‘Establishing child Led organization to ensure child participation’ funded by Plan Bangladesh
24. ‘Participation of the urban Poor in Municipal’ funded by Plan Bangladesh
25. ‘CARE income project’ funded by CARE Bangladesh
26. ‘Education for all and capacity building project’ funded by UNESCO
1.3.4 Net Working & Affiliations:
Nari Maitree has spread its multi-dimensional programs at different thanas/wards in 9 districts of the country with different target people. It is making coordination with several organizations working in the same field of activities and collaborating with each other.
In addition to that Nari Maitree is closely associated and linked to different NGO networking organizations & apex bodies as one of the significant members:
¨ STI/AIDS Network of Bangladesh
¨ Voluntary Health Services Society (VHSS),
¨ Coalition for the Urban Poor (CUP),
¨ Credit and development Forum (CDF),
¨ Disadvantaged Adolescents Working NGOs Forum (DAWN),
¨ Action against Trafficking and Sexual Exportation of Children (ATSEC)
¨ Bangladesh Shishu Adhikar (Child Rights) Forum (BSAF)
¨ Girls’ Child Forum
¨ Together we work for working children
¨ International Association of Voluntary Efforts (IAVE)
1.3.5 Financial Management Structure
Nari Maitree is quite aware of updating the Financial Management structure from its inception in 1983. It has transformed all the Accountants of the projects by the skilled personnel after providing training. The financial programs of the projects are guided by the organization’s own Guideline but it also be followed the guidelines of donor agencies on demand. The organization took the initiatives of making advance in consolidating the financial activities of the projects in a monthly finance meeting with all Managers, project coordinators and the accountants.
1.3.6 Audit Management:
Nari Maitree has given special emphasis on the external audit side by side with the internal auditor of the donor agencies, NM’s own initiative and Govt. audit to bring the clarity in the accounts of the projects. The financial management is concentrated with the implementation of the recommendations of the internal auditor, external auditor and Govt. audit.
1.3.7 Current Donor Agencies:
Nari Maitree obtained donations/grants from the following Donor Agencies at home and abroad for implementation of different projects/programs:
v Save the Children Sweden-Denmark
v Action Aid Bangladesh
v Plan Bangladesh
v Concern Worldwide
v UNDP through Social Welfare Department
v Asian Development Bank through City Corporation
v ADB through Ministry of Women and Child Affairs
v OXFAM GB
v USC Canada – Bangladesh
1.3.8 Monitoring and Evaluation:
Nari Maitree conducted the following programs:
· Monthly monitoring and preparation of Database reports
· Project based study
· Project based field visit
· Monitoring by the Donors and internal monitoring and evaluation
· Co-ordination meeting with all section chiefs
· Staff meeting
1.3.9 Physical Resources of NM:
Nari Maitree runs a number of programs in different parts of the country. To ensure effective program implementation and smooth operation, NM has physical and logistical facilities at Head office and field offices including equipment and instruments
Describing of THE Existing (on- going) Project(s)
It is to be mentioned here that the proposed project will be constructed on the past experience of NM in implementing health, nutrition and population based projects. NM has so far implemented different projects of similar nature, which is a major strength of the organization in proposing this project. Of them a total of six (6) projects are currently under implementation and two have been completed recently. The following are the projects:
v Project Title: Intervention towards Child Development
v Name of the Donor Agency: Save the Children Sweden-Denmark
v Duration of the Project: 1998 – On Going
v Project Location: 25,27,28 and 60 no. ward under Dhaka city corporation
v Total Budget: BDT 11,815,784/=
2.0 Summarize of the Project:
The project will cover the targeted child labourers and street children at Goran, (Ward no-25) Ragarbagh (Ward no-28), Bashaboo (Ward no-27) and Lalbagh (Ward no-60) of Dhaka City Corporation. As a preventing aim the proposed new phase will include to motivate the parents, children, guardian, community people and employers to realize their responsibilities and accountability towards reduction of child labour and participation of working children as rights holder to demand their rights. As a curative the project will include basic services like non-formal education, vocational and skill development training, credit support and psychosocial rehabilitation and life skills. Throughout the next 3 years, 36 children will be mainstreaming from NFE to formal school. 150 children will receive vocational training including computer operating, sign board writing, mobile servicing, tailoring, beauty parlor, block batik, embroidery, electric and electronic, provide credit support to 135 children and 150 children will get job placement and self employment opportunities.
Finally Nari Maitree together with other Save Children Sweden-Denmark’s partners who work with child labourers problems will establish an active implementing sub-network for combating child labour. Nari Maitree prefers the other partners in the formal and informal network and consultants contribute to solve common identified problems and develop needed tools, materials and methods.
Regarding sustainability through the awareness raising activities on child rights issue children, parents and community people have been disseminated within the next generation. After phase out of the project Child forum will be community based children organization and community based resource centers will also be established, which will be run by children and local community people in the project areas. These resource centers will be consist of a library, indoor-game material, child rights related books and information, cultural and recreational materials. Moreover, children who will over the age of 18 years we will linkage them with local “youth club”. In future they will be able to continue the children organizational activities from their own views and capacities. Participation of community people is another dimension, which have been worked for the sustainability of the project. Finally, CMC (Center Management Committee) has been formed by the project which consists of local government, local elite people, teachers, employers, parents’ etc. People of different classes and levels have been included in the CMC to get the necessary support and feedback from the local community people. Gradually, it is expected that CMC help to resolve different problems of children and have taken different activities to establish the child right after phase out of the project.
The project is based upon the assumption that the political environment will remain stable. It is also assumed that is will be possible to establish contracts to employers among the middle class without major obstacles.
Total budget for this project is Tk. 11,815,784/= for the period 2008-2010.
2.1 JUSTIFICATION OF THE PROJECT:
The project has been developed following a series of consultation through FGD, workshop, formal and informal meeting or discussion with the participation of children, parents, employers, community people and project staff. In deed, Nari Maitree aims to involve community people in the project design to make the sense of sustainability real. Eventually all the lessons learnt has been incorporated in the new proposed project.
Project Document was prepared through stakeholder analysis. During the stakeholder analysis beneficiaries, caregivers, duty bearers, support groups as well as the opponents groups are considered. Their problems, their interest and stakes, their potentials as well their linkage are considered in the present undesirable situation.
During the development the project document Logical Framework Analysis (LFA) is followed which was practiced through a workshop in presence of all thematic partners. Team has identified core problem through analyzing the cause effect in the context of project learning and experience. On the basis of the problem, the development and immediate objectives, outputs and the project matrix have been reformulated in the light of GIM dimensions and CRP approaches.
Recently a base survey and situation analysis has been conducted at Nari Maitree project areas by INCIDIN Bangladesh. Number of focus group discussions was held during the survey and situation analysis. Reflections from the focus group discussion were also analyzed and learning was considered for PD development.
Lesson Learn from previous Phases:
In Nari Maitree working areas, most of the families live in the slums and living below the poverty line in Dhaka City. Generally people migrated from rural areas due to river erosion that makes them land less, and other natural calamities bring them in the slum areas. These areas are densely populated, characterized by huge scarcity of water, sanitation, medical facilities and other facilities of urban life. The poor parents could not provide nutrition, clothing and education, health care, recreational facilities. Due to this situation children are growing up without enjoying their minimum rights. Generally they involved in hazardous work. Without any exception, the working environment of these children is hazardous also.
Child Forum was developed to ensure children participation in different level, make the children voice stronger on CRC in local, national level, develop their leadership capacity through create a child friendly space. By this time they have achieved, confident to interact with each other, create a good position & acceptance in their family & community, children are able to improvised drama, capable to write newsletter, some children are involved in family decision-making & solving problem, children are involved in raising awareness family, community & national level. Through strong participation of different activities children are more disciplined, organized, socialized. They have strong contribution to, reduced early marriage, physical & humiliating punishment, working time in their community.
Through the consultation with disadvantaged children it is found that the stakeholders are aware about the child rights, employer become sensitize on child labour issues. In community level people are encouraged for birth registration, increasing knowledge of child rights and understand bad consequences of child labour. This result came out through massive initiative have been taken during the last phases on code of conduct and PHP.
From the consultation of the center management committee members it is found that they are very much interested to organize meeting with community people to sensitize the child rights issues to the community which will ultimate reduce the child labour as per their opinion.
From our consultation meeting with children and parents of our project areas it reveals that still now many children are deprived from their basic rights. It is found that most of the working children are Muslims and very few are Hindus. Most of the working children families are consisted of 5-6 members. Parents of working children are engaged in small traders, small factory workers, garments workers, drivers, vendors, baggier, day labor and rickshaw puller. Most of the parents are illiterate. So, parents are not aware about the importance of education of their children. Children do not get any participation scope in their family. Moreover children face physical and mental violence from the family member.
The recommendations from midterm evaluation are as follows:
The project should extend NFE centers in other localities including more children.
The existing non-formal education curriculum should include lessons /training on life skill education for the children/adolescents for more clear conception.
More parents/guardians meetings should be organized and CMC meetings should be held at the Project areas to make community involvement in the program.
Limited stipends could be granted for the interested and meritorious children/ adolescents so that they could participate at the computer education from the distant places of their home
Existing networks and coalitions should be strengthened to advocate for rights of working children at the national level
Necessary steps to recruit quality/appropriate resource persons for conducting different trade based training for the children/ adolescents of the center
The project should closely develop linkage with the cal
organizations/companies for employing the adolescents who have received skill training.
Recommendation from Project Base line and situation analysis 2007 are as follows:
Micro finance assistance to parents
Rehabilitation services for potential child laborer with no of parents/ caregivers:
For child workers code of conduct should be introduced to bind the employers with responsibility of child’s well being.
Raising awareness of the household members on equal rights of the girls especially in terms of access to protection and development resources (such as health, education etc.).
The culture of early marriage has to be challenged not only at family level but also at broader community level. In this regard a comprehensive awareness campaign has to be carried out.
The family heads and the employers of the marginalized children (both working and non-working children) need to be sensitized on the advantages and rights of the children in participating in decision making process with respect to work major decisions concerning their wellbeing (e.g. health, education, work, leisure and marriage etc.).
A campaign against stigmatization of the child survivors of sexual violence needs to be carried out at family, school and community level.
Initiation of community-based advocacy program is needed to create a collective space for the realization of provisional rights of the children
The access of the working children in health services needs to be expanded both in terms of knowledge and health support services
2.2 Relationship to other SCSD projects
The current 4th phase of the project is a part of Save the Children Sweden-Denmark’s Child Labour theme programme. Save the Children Sweden-Denmark has gradually built up its partnership cooperation with this group of like minded local NGOs. Central in the screening for partners has been shared visions, willingness to work with a right based approach and willingness not only to implement their own project but also contribute to the implementation of a coherent program. So every project of these organizations is a part of the theme.
The current 4th phase of the project is developed within the framework of Save the Children Sweden Denmark program. The framework of the SCSD program started to work in relation to cross cutting issues like: Physical and humiliation Punishment (PhP), Child Sexual Abuse Exploitation and Trafficking (CSAET), CRP, Media-communication, and Emergency. Project will maintain relation with the CRP thematic group for capacity building on human resource development, researching on child rights issues, Documentation and child rights policy. Through the relation with the media-communication of SCSD, project will create space for children participation in media. Besides, the accountability, non discrimination, child participation in development activities, awareness development on HIV/AIDs, gender development, and empowerment and trafficking issues are considered as cross cutting issues. Considering the country strategy of SCSD above mentioned interventions were incorporated in this project.
CC Project is one of the rural based child led organization. Nari Maitree has aim to acquire knowledge from the experiences of CC Project. In this regard Nari Maitree maintain network with this project. In future Nari Maitree will utilize related experience in this project which will improve this project activity also. On the other hand Nari Maitree has good practice in relation with children organization which will be introduced and incorporated in the CC project also.
Together with working Children (TWC) is one of the Child labor base forums. Nari Maitree is one of the members of this forum. Nari Maitree is working with this forum for local and national level advocacy work very actively and cordially. Nari Maitree believes that joint forces are needed to strengthen any initiative, especially National level advocacy work.
2.3 Relation to Nari Maitree’s Organizational Strategy:
This project objective fully coincides with the vision and mission of Nari Maitree. Moreover Nari Maitree has special competence to address the problems of child labor in the working areas. Nari Maitree has a long attachment to work on child rights issue especially on child labour issue that gives a wider insight to the staff working with the organization. This organizational learning through experiences to work on Child Labour issues strengthens the competence level of Nari Maitree as a whole. Nari Maitree intervention rescued the child labor from hazardous work and provided them with skill training and credit to select their own trade to be self-employed. Besides these, Nari Maitree has taken awareness program for the parents and the employers about danger of hazardous job performed by the children.
Competency of Nari Maitree to deal with Children issue:
Based on the working experience from July 1999 Nari Maitree started another project titled “Intervention towards Child Development” with the financial and technical support from save the children Denmark. Till now Nari Maitree is working with Save the Children Sweden- Denmark with very good relation and cooperation. As a result NM has working since long towards the change of the child labourer lives. According to our last few years experience many of the parents become aware to support their children in pursuing their studies. The children being aware of their rights and oriented towards learning while in NM’s schools have been pursuing their education. As a part of project achievement Child labourers are facing lesser instance of physical punishment and verbal abuse both by employers and parents. The children face less exploitation as the working hours in factory have reduced with out any reduction in their wage. Discrimination against girl children with respect to education and participation have reduced a lot which is manifested in their enrollment and continuation in schools and involvement in the cultural activities and other recreational & mobilizing activities organized to mobilize community’s opinion in favour of child rights.
2.4 Nari Maitree Project at a glance in child sector:
|Name of the projects||Project Areas/Ward||Funding sources||Core objectives||Major beneficiaries|
|Adolescent Development Project||Word no-27
|To increase health & nutrition status
To aware about their raise voice
|1500 targeted Adolescent|
|Capacity Building Property Alleviation of Disadvantage Women & Their Children BGD/97/029||Ward no –85
|UNDP||To create alternative job
To empower & aware women
To increase their economic status
|2000 sex worker & their children|
|Creating Awareness on HIV/AIDS Among Urban Slum Adolescent & Youth of Dhaka City||Ward No:
25,26,27,28 and 31
|UNDP||Increase awareness on HIV/AIDS among adolescent||3360 Adolescent & youth|
|Adolescent Health & Education Project||UNSCO
|To develop capacity & health of Adolescent||1200 Adolescent|
With Child Sex Worker in Dhaka
|Ward no-31 Dhaka||UNICEF||To change their life style
To aware on health & nutrition issues
|75 Child sex worker|
|Improving quality of life of Child domestic workers||Dhaka||ILO-IPEC||To reduce worst form of Child labour for domestic child workers||1000 Child domestic workers|
|Urban primary Health Care||Dhaka||ADB through DCC||To improve health status of urban population||400000 population in five zone of DCC|
Nari Maitree is one of the community trusted organization. Nari Maitree works with local government as well as community people. In community and national level organizational value of Nari Maitree is very high. In the non-formal education sector Nari Maitree use CRC based curriculum, flexibility in program designing, maintain child friendly environment. In health side Nari Maitree provide health service through referral service and through linkage.
The capacity building is needed both for organizational & program level. Capacity building is necessary for facilitation area so that most of the staff and trainer team of child forum could conduct training as well as they know how to facilitation the children organization. Moreover, basic and refresher training on CRP & CRC should be continued. The capacity building on the following issues is needed for the project staff & beneficiaries: First Aid Training, Leadership training, communication skills, Monitoring and Supervision training is an essential part to proper implementation of the program or project objective, Training on accountability. Another capacity building area is Record keeping, reporting and documentation for making accurate planning. Advocacy training is also very much necessary for field staffs. Capacity building is also needed for children, community people and others duty bears like school teacher, religious leaders, and ward commissioner for improving their contribution in the project.
Local resources and knowledge
Executive Director of Nari Maitree is a member of the local government school committee, Bangladesh Shishu Adhiker Forum (BSAF), ATSEC Bangladesh Chapter, Voluntary Health Services Society (VHSS), Coalition for the urban poor (CUP). She is well experienced in education and project management and she has good relations with the education resource person of the country. She has received different development related training both for overseas and national label training.
Vice president of Nari Maitree is an assistant headmistress of the local high school. The Executive Director (ED), as operative head of the organization is responsible for the overall management of organization as well as programs. Under the guidance of ED, each program Manager/Coordinator manages implement her/his program as per agreement between NM and donors. Area Coordinators and Program Coordinators also manage their respective programs in the local offices outside Dhaka. The ED also acts as the member secretary of the Executive Committee. Currently Nari Maitree has 246 total staff. Besides, 56 Volunteer Staff (48 TBA and 8 peer educators) work in different projects.
NM has skill staff-members that are volunteer-minded. When there is insufficient fund they can with small salary. Even thought they could work without salary for month after month.
It is mentionable that NM has 13 projects funded by different donors. Among them two projects (Women Development Programme and Income Generation Programme) have been running without donors ie those projects have been going on from the NM’s own fund. In every project there are credit programme. It is also notable that the Women Development Programme is based on Credit.
Nari Maitree is registered with the Department of Women Affairs, Directorate of Family Planning and NGO Affairs’ Bureau. The details of the legal status of Nari
Maitree are given below
|Registration Authority||Registration Number||Date & Year|
|Department of Women Affairs||MWA-299/84||15 October, 1984|
|Directorate of Family Planning||No.43||17 April, 1986|
|NGO Affairs Bureau||FDR 326||19 November, 1989|
NM is a member of the NGO apex bodies like the Association of Development Agencies in Bangladesh (ADAB), Voluntary Health Services Society (VHSS), and Bangladesh Shishu Adhikar (Child Rights) Forum (BSAF), Coalition for Urban Poor (CUP).
Staff recruiting policy
There is staff recruitment committee in Nari Maitree. Staff recruiting policy is maintains through the gender policy. Gender policy has been address gender sensitiveness among the staff. During the recruiting of staff NM maintain non-discrimination process.
3. PROJECT LEVEL
3.1 Child rights context at National Level:
Child labor is considered to be one of the most important child rights violations in Bangladesh. Large numbers of children are contributing directly to their household economy and work in hazardous environment. Children work full-time as well as part-time; they are engaged in wage employment as well as in non-income generating activities. Child laborers face several problems. They are deprived of their childhood and they often work very long hours under hazardous working conditions, which represent a threat towards their physical health and psychological-social development. Many child laborers are also exposed to different forms of abuse, including sexual abuse, which represent not only a physical but also a mental health hazards. The vast majority of the child laborers are denied their rights to education. They are also more prone to be trafficked especially the working children on streets. Child labourers are mostly live in the slums or street and other peripheral area.
Children, adolescents of urban slums and streets are marginalized group who are most vulnerable groups in this scenario. Problems of security and violence are predominant and most importantly violence against children, child abuse, trafficking, drug use & selling, the rising number of street children and their associated vulnerability have put forward a major development challenge to the urban society. The whole environment is not protecting child rights & not supporting in creating enabling environment for their normal growth. This situation is crippling our next generation.
Within the urban slum context children are exposed to a series of risks and vulnerabilities that affect their interests and their rights for survival, development, protection and participation. Their risk and vulnerabilities increase due to discriminations regarding income, age, gender, and ethnicity; decisions and life strategies adopted by individuals and households that could harm children’s interests when family’s interests are considered as more important; due to inadequate government policy, lack of meaningful coordination among the development actors in urban contexts that generate child labourer.
445,226 street based child workers are engaged in different kind of jobs in six divisions of Bangladesh. Out of them 334807 street workers are alone in Dhaka cities; of which 54% illiterate, 44% can read and sign only and 1.1% attend NGOs school according to Baseline survey (DSS and UNDP).Street children working time is not fixed it varies from early morning to even midnight. Street based child workers are currently involved mainly day labourer, shop keeper, vendor, restaurant helper and vagrants (Tokai)
Child labourers have little participation in decision making process either in family or community level. Children are not allowed to raise their voice by their parents and are taught to be quiet. Street and domestic children have less access as they are struggling to make a livelihood. Govt. pays little attention to poor underprivileged children’s participation.
3.2 Child rights context in Dhaka City:
Dhaka, the capital city of Bangladesh, has one of the fastest urbanization rates in the world. Now, it is the 11th most populous city in the world. Slum is one of the major problems that are occupying 30% land of the city. There are about 3,000 slums and squatters settlements which houses about 1.3 million poor people.
In the city, there are children and families who live and work in the streets in an unhealthy, unsafe and unprotected environment. During day time they do odd jobs or collect garbage for their livelihood and in the night they sleep in street/path. They are vulnerable to violence as they grow up without adult care or guidance. Harassment by police, mastans, security guards and elders and abused by interest groups are part of their everyday life. Children engaged in domestic work are abused and tortured frequently. Around 334807 children (ARISE Report) are street children.
In Dhaka City there are children who live in slum and street in an unhealthy, un-safe and unprotected environment. Child labor constitutes about 12% of the total labor force in the country. According to the National plan of Action for children in 1997-2002 adopted by MOWCA the number of children working in urban areas was 2-4 million which has probably increased to 3 million now. Around 1.1 million children live in the Metropolitan Cities. Many of them are living in slum areas under the most unhygienic conditions, are engaged in hazardous jobs, working on an average 48 hours per week and earning less than 1500 taka in a month. In practice child labor laws in Bangladesh do not protect working children. Employers prefer children as they are cheap, productive and obedient. Children working in the industrial sector have no contract of employment and so it is difficult to stands up for themselves and fight for their rights.
3.3 Child rights context in Project level:
The proposed area for the project is Goran, Bashaboo, Razarbagh and Lalbagh. These are located at the east and south part of Dhaka City.A common scenario in the project area is, like other areas of Dhaka that small portions of population control the big percentage of asset. The economic gap between rich and poor within these areas is widening at an increasing rate and poverty has afflicted in the city. Poor people are not uniform. Poverty has different dimension as well as absolute and relative poverty. It is still in project area the highest number of people living in poverty.
According to the situation analysis conducted in 2002, the population of the four areas (Goran- Ward 25, Bashaboo- Ward 27, Rajarbagh- Ward 28, Lalbagh- Ward 60) where Nari Maitree has been working was 571000 in 2001. The said area is comparatively poorer and underdeveloped. The proposed area is densely populated and everyday in migration is taking place, as this is a growing new township with lots of small and medium size factories are developing. During our situation analysis it came out that approximately 4800 children live at Shobuzbagh Khilgoan and Lalbagh Thana and out of which 3300 are engaged in hazardous child labour.
Shobuzbagh and Khilgoan Thanaarea started getting inhabited especially in the 1960s. At that time, as a result of increased access to economic activities of the East Pakistanis following the Indo-Pak independence in 1947, people of even relatively lower economic echelons started settling here in order to make a more prosperous urban living. There are two adjacent natural lakes that are prone to over flooding even early in the rainy season. Most roads get inundated in floodwater, especially in the rainy season. This area has not been blessed with any flood protection initiative as those in the western side of the city. In the aftermath of flood and other natural disasters, there is outbreak of different diseases like diarrhea, scabies, malaria, and dengue. As a result, life becomes difficult for people. Those who are involved in different small business cannot make any profit. Their very existence is jeopardized due to such natural disasters.
The flow of in migration is higher in this area because of the mentioned reasons. The employers get Child Labour from mentioned areas. As a result of increasing poverty and growing population, there is a huge demand for child labour from different Khilgoan, Shobujbagh and lalbagh Thana.
From the working areas it has been seen that children are mostly involved as Garments employee (21.1%), handicrafts labourer (karchupi/jori/embroidery/small cottage) (19.9%), domestic labourer (14.8%), low salaried government/non-government employee (10.5%), small business (8.6%), low income work (8.2%), day labour (6.6%), unskilled labour (4.7%), Assistance Wielding/automobile (4.7%), others (Soil digging, Beggar, Carpenter, Mason, Hawker, Sales man, Shoe making, Office assistance, Butcher ‘s shop) (4.8%) etc.
3.4 Findings from base line and situation analysis:
From the situation analysis (under the title of Base line and situation analysis for child labour projects of Nari Maitree Project area, conducted by INCIDIN Bangladesh) it is found that significant number children engaged in work in some earlier occasions i.e. 10.3% boy and 9.6%girl. Girl children are more vulnerable to that of the boy children almost fifty percent children working against their will. It is also found that in all respects work hours per day of the studied children reflects severe rights violation of the working children. Regarding holidays, children are worked seven days in a week. Significant number children mentioned that their employers behaved rudely. Regarding freedom to leave employment, a significant number of children (20% boy children and 25.7% girl) denied of this participation rights by their employer. It also revels that a significant number of under non-working children showed their ignorance of the marriage age. Regarding right to play and recreation a number of children expresses that they have no chance or time to play. Another instance is that a significant number of children can play after launch time that means after providing their labor at the first half of the day. In considering all it is found that children are far behind to that of the level standardized in CRC.
The baseline study concluded that the vulnerability of the children into child labour is proportional to the size of the family of the children. Also children from the broken family who are living at female headed households are more vulnerable for being economically active than the male headed households. Adolescent age (15-17 years) is the most vulnerable period for potential child labour irrespective of gender. More than half (53.7%) of the children are in between 10 to 14 years. That means more than half of the children are in their post puberty.
Child labour Characteristics: Handicraft works controls the invisible child labour market at the working areas of Nari Maitree. The average work hour of the child labourers is 9.5 hours per day. The mean working days for the children, according to the WRC stand 6 days. It can be pointed that almost every household have 0.79 (working children / Household) working children. More than half of all child labourers (52.2%) are working 7 days per week, and the other nearer to half (40.0%) work with a leave of one holiday round the week (6 days). Only small percentages of child labours (6.9%) are working 4 – 5 days per week. Working children bear or contribute 20% to 50% of the monthly household expenditure of the family. Almost one-third of the working children do not have any scope to enjoy themselves with recreational activities.
Decision making regarding well-being of the children: More male household heads (90.1%) within their household take decision on behalf of their family members on what they can do or not. About children’s education male household head is the major decision maker.
Educational status of the working children: The educational status of the working children depicts an alarming situation. Non-working children are currently attending school 7.3 times more than working children. Presently, only a little number of working children have access to mainstream education. Economic vulnerability as the most common reason for being dropped out from the school. Children consider NGO school as a ray of hope for the enjoyment of their participation rights regarding scope of association, participation and access to information.
Knowledge base on the child rights: More than half of the household heads (66.0%) heard about child rights. Among the HH heads neighbor is the second main source of dissemination of information on Child Rights, after mass media. Most of the HH heads firmly hold education as an important element for the well being of the children. More than three quarter of HH heads believe child abuse as a punishable act.
4. PROBLEM ANALYSIS/CAUSALITY ANALYSIS
4.1 Causes of the child rights Violation:
One of major cause is inadequate income of the families forced the children to hazardous work which lead the prevalence of Child Labour in the country. About 55 million people live below the poverty line in Bangladesh because most of the poor households have large family size moreover their job opportunity is very much limited in their locality. Beside this, income is very poor from the existing job. In the context of Bangladesh, most of the family are male dominated, female member are not allowed to go out side work for income. So children of the family become bound to involve in hazardous work for survive.
Lack of job opportunity at rural level a bulk proportion of unskilled children migrated to suburbs area of city. As they are very much unskilled, they have no bargaining capacity for benefits. It is one of the great opportunities for small scale informal factory owner. So, unskilled migrated children are high demanded to them.
The children of Bangladesh are in a vulnerable position, trapped in their current situation by an interlinking network of forces, including poverty, vulnerability, lack of access to basic services, broken family, inadequate knowledge of parents and employers about hazardous child labor, lack of employment opportunities, limited mobility, lack of awareness on issues affecting their health, increased rural-urban migration, life choices and self-development, and an inability to exercise their basic rights. As a result Children as well as their parents are not aware about the child rights also. They do not aware and do not know the bad consequences of child labor so, they are engaged the children in work.
Child marriage in these areas is quite prevalent because of socio-economic reasons. Such as men demanding smaller dowries for younger brides, or the social perception of girls as being a financial burden on parents, parental anxiety regarding their children’s social security, the maintenance of social prestige, and local customs and traditions. In traditional communities such as these, there is invariably a large age gap between women and their husbands, usually between 7-9 years, but for adolescent females whose marriages were arranged when they are between the ages of 12 to 14, the difference can be up to 18 years. Adolescent females in these circumstances have no access to information relating to the procedures for marriage registration, legal rights of women regarding dowry, early marriage, polygamy and divorce. Lack of adequate legal awareness among adolescent females makes them unable and sometimes unwilling to play a more proactive role in exercising their rights.
The target children live in communities where there is little or no awareness of issues relating to gender relations or equality, and females are not offered the opportunities or life choices afforded to males. Children from these poor communities have little opportunity to receive formal education, and subsequently their prospects of finding work and improving their socio-economic situation in the future are limited. Neither male nor female adolescents have many opportunities in relation to skill development or employment, and many out-of-school children/adolescents are unemployed, involved in unpaid work, or engaged in unskilled labor under poor conditions, for minimum wages. Many gave to work to support them or contribute to the family income.
The target community people are not aware about the consequences of hazardous child labor. They don’t even bother the ultimate future of their children rather think about the immediate benefits. So they send their children to work. Early involvement of children in work leads to serious health and developmental consequences. Working children suffer significant growth deficits as compared to school children. They row up sorter and lighter, and their boy size continues to be smaller even in adulthood. Many of them work under condition that leaves them alarmingly vulnerable to chemical and biological hazards. Child workers tend to develop muscular, chest and abdominal pain, headaches, dizziness, respiratory infections, diarrhea and worm infection. Poor working conditions make tem more susceptible than their adult colleagues do to infectious disease, injuries and other workplace-related ailments. Many even experience amputations or loss of body parts. Moreover, children in certain occupations experience particular types of abuse. Child domestic workers are often found to be victims of verbal and sexual abuse, beating or punishment by starvation. Children, engaged in scavenging, rag-picking or marginal economic activities in the streets, are exposed to drugs, violence, and criminal activities, physical and sexual abuse in many parts of the country.
Other forms of child rights violation also occurs in the project areas of Nari Maitree and those violations should be stopped as well. But the above-mentioned violations are more serious. So, the organization gives priority to stop these child rights violations at first.
In order to protect the children from these violation the project has aimed to work on specific article 32andwill focus on CRC principles and some relevant articles are;
a) Right to education, article #28
b) Right to Nutrition and Health, article #24
c) Right to express those views in all matter affecting the child, article # 12
d) Right to freedom of expression, article # 13
e) Right to Right to Recreation leisure, and cultural activities, article # 31
f) Right to protection from economic exploitation and from performing any work that is likely to be hazardous or to interfere with the child’s education, or to be harmful to the child’s health or physical, mental, spiritual, moral or social development, article #32;
g) Right to protection from physical or mental violence, article #19;
h) Right to protection from all forms of discrimination, irrespective of the child’s or his or her parent’s or legal guardian’s race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national, ethnic, property, disability, birth and other status, article #2.
i) Right to survival and development of the child, Article # 6
4.3 Local Level duty bearer:
District Administration/Courts: District Administration/Courts play very important role in enforcing the existing laws regarding child rights other rights. Usually these institutions are more busy with other things and reluctant to preserve the rights and privileges of the poorest section of the population. Sometimes few unscrupulous officials favors the affluent section depriving the rights of the poorest section of the population especially women and children.
Ward Commissioners: Ward Commissioners possess much influence over its population as they are more closed to people. Though local bodies’ track record in implementing development programs/projects is not so encouraging, their influence over the population has to be addressed carefully. Experience shows that the local bodies support ensures smooth implementation program /project. And if motivated in the right manner, they have come forward with extensive cooperation with other organizations.
Thana Education Officer (TEO): Thana Education Officer (TEO) plays a very important role in educating the children in his/her locality. Thana education offices have the latest information about the education status of the respective Thanas. TEO possess the responsibility for the extension education for the hard to reach children. Non-governmental organizations and civil society organizations in cases come forward regarding each other’s interest.
The elected representatives: The elected representatives of the working areas have important role in the community to protect the rights of the children. As elected representative they have certainly an edge over others towards any intervention at the community level. Many a time the elected representatives have come forward with support and other practical suggestions.
School organizers: Organizers in Bangladesh society are very much respected by the community. Therefore they can play an effective role in motivating the parents and guardians towards enforcing child rights and a better living condition for the children in the community.
Civil Society: All in contemporary Bangladesh now recognizes an ever-increasing role of the civil society at the local level in the field of social development. The civil society has so far responded well to the felt needs of the society. There is hardly any sector left that the civil society did not intervene. So, the problems in the society have to be addressed by the civil society.
Networks of the like-minded organizations have been playing very important role in the development sector. Such networks ensure no duplication of works, avoid rivalry between organizations of sharing of the same target group, developing common agenda for actions, and sharing of new ideas and information regarding the development potentials both in the community and national level.
Bangladesh Shishu Adhiker Forum (BSAF), an apex body of 270 non government, local and national organizations, has been working for promotion and protection of child rights since 1990.The enhancement of government structure has been matched in the NGO sector through the various member organizations of BSAF. Besides, there are other groups namely Breaking the Silence, “Shangjog”, BNWLA, ACD working to combat sexual abuse of children particularly on girls children. Red Barnet Partner Coordination Body (RBPCB), Action Against Child Trafficking and Sexual Abuse of Children (ATSEC) and “Traffic Watch Bangladesh” also undertake advocacy and lobbying programs for prevention of children from abuse and neglect.
4.5 National Level Duty bearers:
Government Agency: Bangladesh one of the first 20 countries to both signs and ratifies the convention. The National Children Policy, drawn up in the context of CRC, WSC Declaration. Bangladesh commitment to realizing the World Summit goals and the rights enshrined in the Convention has ushered in a new era for children. The overall responsibility for the fulfillment of children’s rights in relation to the convention on the Rights of the child is with the sate and its agencies and departments including the government. By signing and ratifying the co