Actions for Child Protection - Violence Against Children (ACP)


Project Period: 1 April 2014 to 31 January 2017

Working Area: Chittagong, Dhaka, Khulna

Donors: Family Planning Association of Bangladesh (FPAB)

Partners: Aparajeyo Bangladesh, Bangladesh Centre for Communication Programs (BCCP), Japanese Organization for International Cooperation in Family Planning (JOICFP)


Context:

Violence against children takes place in almost every area and sector of the society in Bangladesh. It occurs within the family, in schools and in diverse communities. At home, and at schools, children may face sexual abuse or harassment.  Girls in particular face the threat of child or early marriage. In schools, children may get beaten if they fail to perform or face humiliating and degrading punishments for minor errors or infractions.  Children from lower income backgrounds or from socially excluded communities also face discrimination in access to education. In most cases, children are unable to complain as they are too scared or embarrassed, and even if they do speak out, their opinions carry little weight. Parents may be unaware of their child's rights, and even superstitions can prevent parents from taking action. At community level, the perpetrators themselves maybe young. Lack of positive and respectful community attitudes may be a factor. Authorities may fail to take action as few cases are reported. Community members must play a more active role to prevent violence against children by promoting violence free environment.


Goal/Objectives:

Contribute to eliminating violence against children (VAC) in families, educational institutions, communities, public places, workplaces and in adolescent development centers and orphanages by enabling relevant duty bearers such as NGOs, school teachers, leaders in local governments, religious leaders, police etc. to understand, detect and act to prevent various forms and aspects of violence against children.


Activities:

A four-pronged approach will focus on detecting, preventing and responding to any forms of violence against children and rehabilitating victims of violence. Strengthening societal and behaviour changes to reduce violence against children can be achieved through awareness raising, sensitization, networking and by developing the capacities of teachers, parents, and local government representatives.


  1. Develop comprehensive evidence-based communication tools to empower parents and teachers to detect, prevent and respond to any form of violence against children to help the authorities to understand and respond to undetected violence against children.
  2. Establish 45 community watch groups in the three city corporations to monitor violence against children and gaps between the community and service providers; and to promote changes in social attitudes that currently ignore violence against children and act as a barrier to securing child rights. Each community watch group will include local government representatives such as local chairman, ward commissioner, education officer, counsellor.
  3. Capacity building of stakeholders such as government officials (eg from the Department of Social Welfare, Ministry of Labour and Employment, and Ministry of Women's and Children's Affairs), lawyers, police through trainings on implementation of laws and policies preventing violence against children. This will help clarify their legal obligations, and enable them to take necessary actions against violence that take place against children.
  4. Child victims of violence will be provided immediate care and protection through a comprehensive package, including clinical support, shelter, education, vocational and life skill training as needed.


Expected Results:

  1. A community based system for child protection established through social attitudes and behavioural changes
  2. Increased availability of and access for child victims of violence to shelter, medical, psychological, legal support and vocational training; improved information system in such cases
  3. Strengthening capacity of partners and relevant stakeholders such as Department of Social Affairs, lawyers, police, and Ministry of Labor and Employment.
 

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