Growing Up Safe & Healthy (SAFE) Project

Growing Up Safe and Healthy (SAFE):

Addressing Sexual and Reproductive Rights and Violence against Adolescent Girls and Women in Urban Bangladesh

Summary: The Growing Up Safe and Healthy (SAFE) Project is a multi-sectoral intervention programme being implemented in Dhaka, Bangladesh. It seeks to provide context-specific strategies to build social and health assets of vulnerable adolescents and young women, with the eventual goal of improving their lifelong functional capabilities and well-being. The project is supported by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

 Partners: The SAFE project is being implemented by a consortium of five partners. Marie Stopes, Bangladesh provides sexual and reproductive health awareness education and individual access to health services and Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust (BLAST) provides legal and rights awareness education and legal aid and support services in appropriate cases, both through their one-stop service centers located near slums. Nari Maitree (We Can Campaign) is a community mobilization campaign that is creating an enabling environment for young women to live violence-free lives through information education and communication on the exercise of choice and consent as integral to decision making. In collaboration with the government and these three implementing partners, the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (ICDDR,B) and the Population Council are conducting action research to inform the intervention design and reflect upon the findings generated by the project.

Activities: The SAFE Project works with adolescent girls, young women, and older women and men as well as local community leaders in several urban slums in Dhaka City. It has

  • created neighborhood groups that meet regularly and are involved in educational sessions on legal services, sexual and reproductive health services and rights awareness
  • established legal service clinics within health centers to promote easier access to both services.

Through such access, SAFE aims to improve sexual and reproductive health of women and girls in particular by their rights through

Disseminating messages on preventing violence against women and girls, focusing on the right to bodily integrity and intimate decision-making. Issues of choice and consent are highlighted as essential elements to help women and girls realize their rights to health and freedom from violence.

Providing a comprehensive package of skills and services through one-stop service centers near slums. Here information is offered to women and girls on how to protect themselves against sexual and reproductive health risks and gender-based violence and how to cope with and mitigate their impact. These services seek to implement recent reforms giving all citizens he opportunity to obtain birth registration and national identity cards as critical tools for promoting rights and accessing services.

Increasing access to available remedies directly and through referrals and by implementation of the Domestic Violence (Prevention and Protection) Act 2010, emphasizing education about relevant rules and procedures.

About the Safe Project






Name of Parties: Dr. Shipra Chowdhury & Ain o Salish Kendra (ASK) v Md. Joynal Abedin and others 29 BLD (2009) 183.
Right of free choice of adult men and women to enter into marriages, and the banning of forced marriages in Bangladesh.
Constitution of Bangladesh

Name of Parties
: Abul Hossain v Government of Bangladesh
Duty of Nikah Registrar to ascertain the age of the bride and groom before solemnization of marriage.
Child Marriage Restraint Act 1929

Name of Parties: BLAST and Others vs Bangladesh and Others
Issue: Case No: W.P. No. 10663/2013 [ Prohibition of the “Two Finger Test” ]

Reports and Publications

International Documents


Press Release

Project Staff


BLAST, YMCA Development Center, 1/1 Pioneer Road, Kakrail, Dhaka-1000, Bangladesh
BLAST would like to thank Sara Hossain, Jahangir Alam, Arafat Hosen Khan, Amanda Sen, Rokeya Chowdhury & Kazi Ataul-al Osman for content development
Copyright © 2010, BLAST | Web Design: Siraj / Machizo, Jahangir / BLAST