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Donation by Sakib Al Hasan (On 27 June at Jamuna Future Park)

MOU for Banking of Street and Working Children's
(On 25 JuneMercantile Bank Ltd)

MOU for Banking of Street and Working Children's
(On 19 June at Pubali Bank)

MOU Sigining Between Aparajeyo-Bangladesh &INCLUDED Bangladesh

19th Founding Anniversary of Aparajeyo-Bangladesh

Community Actions for Child Protection from Violence”

My Caring Family is my First Right.

Children and Youth Congress Event- 2013

Aparajeyo’s Award giving Ceremony 2013 for Journalists.

Invisible Children

 

Street children are among the most physically visible of all children, living and working on the roads and public squares of cities all over Bangladesh. Yet, paradoxically, they are also among the most invisible and, therefore, hardest children to reach with vital services, such as education and health care, and the most difficult to protect. The term ‘street children’ is problematic as it can be employed as a stigmatizing label. Aparajeyo considers that children in a street situation are victims of an intolerable violation of the rights stipulated in the UNCRC, particularly to the rights to a home, identity, protection, food, health, education, and to express oneself. What we are concerned about is not the number of children found in the street but the quality of their life on the street and away from the street. This is, in fact, a question of the interaction between individuals and social groups. Aparajeyo, therefore, prefers to use the expression "children in a street situation" since the problem is not the children themselves but the situation in which he/she finds them. Life on the streets is made up of various constraints affecting the child and of his survival strategies. The question is, therefore, not “how many” but “what”: for whom, since when, where, how and why living on the street is a problem?   One of the greatest problems such children face is their demonization by mainstream society as a threat and a source of criminal behaviour. Yet many children living or working on the streets have embraced the term, considering that it offers them a sense of identity and belonging. The umbrella description is convenient shorthand, but it should not obscure the fact that the many children who live and work on the street do so in multifarious ways and for a range of reasons – and each of them is unique, with their own, often strongly felt, points of view.   The exact number of CSS is impossible to quantify, but the figure almost certainly runs into tens of thousands across Bangladesh. 6 out of 10 urban dwellers are expected to be under 18 years of age in 2005. Indeed, every city in Bangladesh has some CSS, including the capital, industrialized and port cities. A recent BIDS study through GoB estimates that the number of children in a street situation in Bangladesh to be 445,000 of whom 75% are in Dhaka city. Considering the trend in the ever increasing numbers of these children over the past 10 years, it is estimated that by the year 2014 the number of children in a street situation would exceed 930,000. The root cause of children on the street has been associated to acute poverty, separation & remarrying of parents, family conflict, parental death, hunger, illness, physical & sexual abuse etc. Such situations force children to run away from home and come to the major cities with the hope of finding better times and the means to survive. Also several children migrate to the cities with their families but eventually some become detached and/or abandoned due to the nature of earning for their survival and harshness of city life.   Most street children are not orphans. Many are still in contact with their families and work on the streets to augment the household income. Many others have run away from home, often in response to psychological, physical or sexual abuse. The majority are male, as girls seem to endure abusive or exploitative situations at home longer (though once they do leave their home and family, they are generally less likely to return).   Once on the street, children become vulnerable to all forms of exploitation and abuse, and their daily lives are likely to be far removed from the ideal childhood envisioned in the Convention on the Rights of the Child. In some cases, those who are entrusted to protect them become the perpetrators of crimes against them. CSS often find themselves in conflict with the police and other authorities and have been harassed or beaten by them. They have been rounded up, driven outside city limits and left there. Children are also easily lured and involved in anti-social activities such as drug carrying, bomb throwing during political agitation, carrying and using of arms and ammunition etc. Though street children are paid varied amounts of money to carry out such activities but they pay a very heavy price that results in living as fugitives, prison sentences, permanent maiming and even death. In the cities, the children are mostly found near railway stations, launch/boat terminals, bus terminals, busy markets, commercial areas, parks/pavements, big mosques & mazars (shrines) etc. Within these areas, street children earn around Taka 30-40 (0.55 cents) a day and survive through the following occupations:  

Porter Selling flowers, candies, etc.
Rag Picker Shoeshine boys
Restaurant helper Begging
Shop helper Informal sex worker
Vendor Mafia aides (arms, drugs)
Bus/Truck/Tempo Helper Petty theft/pilfering
Newspaper boys Robbery
Pushing carts  

 

 

 

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