Aparajeyo-Bangladesh (AB) is a national child rights organization . it was founded in 1995 through localization of an international NGO. The organization commenced activities in 1976, working with children living in and around the slums of Dhaka city.
Its goal was to reduce their unbearable poverty, distress and vulnerability caused by the harshness of slum life. In 1989, another programme commenced to provide services to children who live on the citys streets or amongst its public buildings. Over the years, aparajeyo has expanded its support to promote and protect the rights of other socially excluded children.
Aparajeyo is a non-government and non-profit organization that was solely founded to provide a range of services to socially excluded children in the urban settings in Bangladesh. Through its programmes and projects, AB provides a range of rights-based services to children through a holistic approach.
AB’s work with children complies with the United Nations Child Rights Convention. AB believes that childhood means much more than the space between birth and the attainment of adulthood, Childhood refers to the state and condition of a child’s life – to the quality of those years. AB recognizes that children are the holders of their own rights. And because these rights are invested in the child’s own person, the child is no longer a passive recipient of charity but an empowered actor in her/his own development. The organization emphasizes the need to respect children’s ‘evolving capacities.’ All programmes are expected to create spaces and promote processes designed to enable and empower children to express their views, to be consulted and to influence decisions in all matters affecting them in accordance with their age and development.
Every child is born with fundamental rights. Each child is unique and has the right to a name and a nationality, the right to grow up in a safe and protective environment, an education, food, recreation & play, the right to health and proper health care.. Each has the right to participate in matters that affect them, and the right to be treated equally. Every child has the right to be protected from all forms of abuse and exploitation.
These rights are among the ones set out in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. Since its adoption in 1989, the Convention has become the most widely accepted human rights accord in history. Its principles guide all that AB does in Bangladesh. We speak out for the rights of every child in villages and border areas where communities are illiterate. We defend child rights in towns and divisional cities. We stand up for them in the capital where policy makers decide on laws, approve budgets and plan for the future of children.
AB champions peace, security and the articles enshrined within the UNCRC to promote and protect the rights of children. We work towards complimenting the Millennium Development Goals. We work for equal rights for girls and women and their participation in community development. We work for the progress promised in the Charter of the United Nations.
We want the money we raise to reach those children in greatest need, who live in unbearable poverty and whose rights are ignored or abused. We believe that all children have a right to education, healthcare, safe shelters, safe drinking water and other essentials of life. We also believe that children have a right to live in peace, free from violence, exploitation and discrimination. As a result we influence people in position of power to change unfair laws and practices.
We ensure that community people are involved in monitoring and developing of our programmes. We consult with community people and local organizations before we develop programmes in order to involve them in managing and reviewing our work. We believe in working with others. We do this through linkages with local communities, involving and influencing locally elected government representatives, working with government ministries and departments, local leaders, NGOs, INGOs etc.
We ensure lasting changes in children’s lives by making a long-term commitment. Our organization has systems in place to learn from our experience and use this to improve the way we work in the future. We ensure that the money we raise reaches children in greatest need. For this reason we make sure that the programmes we implement are cost-effective.