Y-Moves Project

Y-Moves Project

Background

The main causes of children be on the streets, working as domestic labor or involve in prostitution is associated to acute poverty, separation and remarriage of parents, family conflict, parental death, hunger, illness, physical and sexual abuse etc. Such situations force the young girls’ 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. These children separated from the families by existing programs tend to be somewhere between the ages of 8 and 18. In reality there are more boys than girls living on the street. Street girls may be less visible, but they are clearly an understudied reality. Many girls are working in the households as domestic labour with severe as street is more better than the house.

Street girls are exposed to violence and sexual abuse by peers and adults, and more likely to be engaged in prostitution. Street work includes odd jobs, petty trading, and services. Because of the lack of protection in these jobs, there is a greater risk of exploitation and of encountering health hazards. 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:

Although underlying and immediate causes of the children phenomenon may differ, the range of problems that children suffer once in the present some similarities across regions: poor education status, low self-esteem, and emotional disorders, violence and exploitation by peers and adults, early and unwanted pregnancies, sexually transmitted diseases and HIV/AIDS, and drug abuse. In some cases, those who are entrusted to protect them become the perpetrators of crimes against them. These children 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. The specific nature of these problems calls for specialized, ad hoc programs. The fact that these problems get worse the longer children have been in the street provides a strong rationale for early interventions.

The problem of the commercial sexual exploitation and abuse of children is growing to enormous proportions around the world. Conservative estimates are that of the 20 billion dollars generated by prostitution worldwide, more than 5 billion annually comes from child sex work. The issue is compounded by the harsh socio-economic realities, which increase children’s vulnerability to sexual exploitation. In South Asia, the problem is widespread, with girls seen as the most vulnerable since their situation is worsened by the gender discrimination against females in society. Although boys are affected, girls are at greater risk because they are discriminated against on the basis of both their gender and socio-economic status – a double discrimination. In Bangladesh, the commercial sexual abuse and exploitation of children continues to be a widespread phenomenon despite the Government of Bangladesh’s (GoB) adherence to the United Nations Child Rights Convention (UNCRC) with the enactment of rigorous domestic laws which are supposed to safeguard children from sexual exploitation. The country is not able to implement all the good intentions undertaken at the international level. There is a severe lack of reliable statistics on the numbers of children involved. However, Aparajeyo-Bangladesh (AB) estimates that there may be up to 29,000 CSEAC in Bangladesh. Other statistics state that:

  • To strengthen Civil Society Organizations on influencing policy through lobby and advocacy to establish rights and justice for girls and young women.
  • To increase awareness and sensitize duty bearers on the rights of Girls and Young Women.
  • To improve legal protection system for Girls and Young Women.
  • To increase capacity of right holders (Girls and Young Women) to protect from gender based violence.