Street children in Bangladesh are vulnerable to different forms of exploitation and frequently find themselves the victims of sexual abuse and at risk of HIV/AIDS infection, physical torture, and trafficking. Extensive criminal networks make substantial profits by engaging children in commercial sex work, smuggling, stealing, begging, and the distribution of drugs and weapons. Protection of Children at Risk (PCAR) project commenced in 2008 aims to have a positive, empowering psycho-social impact on street children by developing their active participation, learning and advocacy in combating social exclusion and stigmatization.
The project ensures social protection, development and rehabilitation of vulnerable street children through the services such as safe shelter, nutritious food, psychosocial interventions, preventive & curative treatment, non-formal & formal education, skills & vocational training, job placement and social reintegration, and family re-union of children by providing financial/employment support to the families. Children’s active participation in decision making ensures transparency and accountability of the project management for their overall development. Furthermore, it promotes peer education which creates opportunity for the outreach street children to have fair understanding about their rights, identify the vulnerabilities on the street and can protect them accordingly. Besides, involvement of a large number of communities with the project ensures social protection shield and long-term social re-integration for the street children. The project operates its activities through 6 DICs (3 for boys & 3 for girls), 3 emergency night shelter homes and 25 open air street schools in three divisional cities of Bangladesh.