Improving Responses to Children in Contact with the Law (IRCCL)

In Bangladesh many children find themselves living and working on the streets. They have been forced onto the streets by family breakdown, abuse, severe poverty and displacement. Some work to support themselves, others to support their families. Their work is exploitative, hazardous and sometimes illegal. For example, 19.1% of Bangladesh’s .60 million street children reported being arrested by the police (ILO, 2003).

The project aims to protect the rights of children during arrest, detention and trial through the establishment of Child Welfare Desks in police stations and providing legal representation. Besides, it works on diverting children away from arrest, detention and imprisonment, where it regards to the best interests of the child, and promotes rehabilitation through formation of Child Welfare Committees and establishing a bail supervision and support scheme. Furthermore, it conducts lobby and advocacy with the government for the reformation of juvenile justice system and the replication of models of good practice throughout the country. The project operates through one 24-hours shelter home located at Dhaka city. The children rescued and referred to the centre are provided safe shelter, psychological support, nutritious food, education & recreational support. It also provides capacity building and vocational training followed by job placement or family re-unification of children.