Develop Misplaced Childhood: A Project for Street Child Prostitutes in Dhaka City
INCIDIN Bangladesh is running a project titled Misplaced Childhood: A Project for Street Child Prostitutes in Dhaka City is working with the street child prostitutes since 1999. The beneficiaries of this program are children those who directly engaged in prostitution in Dhaka city. The project is work with 120 girl and 60 boy child prostitutes of Dhaka city on the curative intervention components.
The problem of child prostitution is an integral part of the overall child labor situation as well as internal trafficking of the country at the backdrop of poverty, urbanization, sex-culture and tradition. The problem of street child prostitution is the most prolonged and the most vicious kind of child abuse. Due to this, the child rights (and certainly the human rights) are most crudely violated. Because of this primitive act a child has to suffer immeasurable psychological and physical damage. This has made them extremely vulnerable to health hazards from various diseases including STDs/ AIDS. Indeed the children have been found to suffer from STDs at an alarming magnitude and if not already infected are at high risk of being infected by AIDS virus. These children are also denied from their education.
INCIDIN Bangladesh believes children are the integral part of the society and that’s why development of child right situation directly or indirectly becomes interrelated with other social, political and economic rights situation in the society. From the beginning, INCIDIN Bangladesh has been working with the children to ensure their rights where the rights are violated. It’s to some extent difficult to advance the child right situation too far in isolation or bypassing the human rights situation and women rights situation. Due to this survival pressure street children who are engage in prostitution, has to be “independent” and “tough”. However, under this traumatic existence and the lack of societal support, almost always the potentialities of these children to develop as respected citizens of the country is lost in the darkness of the streets. Our experience of working closely with street children who are engage in prostitution reveals that these children are not just helpless victims they are survivors with a fate of misplaced childhood. INCIDIN Bangladesh is committed to reduce the sexual exploitation of the street children and capable to work with the children those who are engaged in prostitution. The project is committed to ensure the rights of the children and bring positive changes in their lives. It will fulfill the vision set under the sexual abuse, exploitation and trafficking theme.
Lesson learnt from project experience shows that prioritizing the issue of child sexual exploitation could develop child rights situation in the area gradually along with awareness, advocacy and other child focused initiatives in line with CRP principles. Development objectives and immediate objectives of the project are set to cope with the violations of rights according to the CRPL principles.
- Developments objectives/ goals and related indicators – Reduce child sexual abuse, exploitation and trafficking in Bangladesh from a right based approach.
- Immediate objectives/purposes/project goals and related indicators
- Duty bearer have become more responsive to children from abuse, exploitation, and trafficking.
- Children in forced prostitution are receiving services ensured by the CRC.
BENEFICIARIES AND TARGET GROUP
Within the 2006-2007 proposed project 120 girl and 60 boy children below age of 18 years engaged in prostitution in Dhaka city will be the direct beneficiaries of the curative intervention components the project.
Within the project period, misplaced childhood project will target to the pimps, boy friends, and girl friends, clients of the children, Service provides of GO and NGO those who are working with the children on sexually abuse, exploitation and trafficking, Ministry of Women and Children Affairs (Minister, Secretary, Joint Secretary, Director General, APRISE and Capacity Building project), Ministry of Home Affairs (Minister, Secretary and police official at project level), Ministry of Law (Policy level), Ministry of Health (at services level, medical officials) and Ministry of Local Government (Local elected representative at project level)
The strategy to combating child sexual exploitation has different approaches, which are as follows:
The focuses of the project efforts at improving the life standard of the existing street child prostitutes, because at present the children are in crude survival pressure. The project is providing the children engaged in prostitution various facilities like, health care services through regular medical check-up by expertise physician and through drop in center. The project also provides the essential drug assistance to the children. The target group are empowering through the psychological support by regular individual and group Counseling session, motivational training session, recreational visits, peer accompanies and responsible adult guidance.
The project aims contribute to bring out the children from hazardous sexual exploitation and to work for there immediate development alternatives, protection and advocacy issues through:
(1)NFE and healthcare services, (2) advocacy, awareness, linkages and (3) capacity building activities.
Hazardous child sexual exploitation situation keep the children away from sexual exploitation combining with other negative socio-economic and psychological factors. To break this evil chain the project to link up the child sexual exploitation and trafficking lining up the development of Childs personality, talents and mental and physical abilities to there fullest potential and creating options for there spiritual, moral and social development that could learn them awareness, participation, association and mobilization to claim there rights with enhanced capacity with replicable example.
The project aims to develop the capacity its own staff and different organizational staff those who are working with street children. The project has been organizing the divisional and national level training on different issues especially on psychosocial aspects. Also it organizes the different awareness raising training program for the children especially on HIV/AIDS, legal rights, reproductive health, trafficking etc.
Advocacy and networking
The project aims stopping new children from becoming street child prostitutes by preventing the children from turning into street children. In order to do so at the rural base the migration of the children should be curbed by making the rural parents aware of the risks of child trafficking and child sex abuse. To achieve this objective in the rural set-ups the existing network of rural NGOs will be utilized in an advocacy program and the capacity of these allies will be upgraded.
While in the city, the parents of the slums and street need to be made aware of there responsibilities and made able to fulfill those. The family’s awareness on child sex-abuse (both inside and outside the house) will be increased. The employers should also be made aware of there responsibilities so that they do not push the children working at there facilities out on the streets. They should be made aware on the rights and needs of the children so that the children are not exposed to risk of being abused (not just sexual but also mentally or physically). This why the children may be protect from non-commercial abuse (which leads to the acceptance of commercial abuse), risk of falling into the hands of the pimps and/or finding themselves alone in the street. To achieve these objectives in the urban set-ups the existing network of NGOs will be utilized. Thus, the preventing intervention is mainly an advocacy program.
Advocacy initiatives by the project sensitize caregivers, civil society, policy maker, and the national level key-duty bearers. It has been found that the community members (both rural and urban) are either uniformed or misinformed about the issue of child sex-abuse in general and on the issue of the street child prostitution in specific. In fact the issue of boy prostitute, as yet ,is totally UN addressed. These topics are seldom discussed in public although they need not only be made public but also be made an issue of public debate. At present children who become victims as commercial as well as non-commercial sex abuse , are considerate as polluted by the prevailing social values and do not have chaise left but becoming separated from there social human net-work and become extremely vulnerable to prostitution. Thus, parents and public should make aware of the issue of child abuse to enhance safety to the children from the abusers. Along with it to create greater social safety net for the sexually abused children the `Samag` towards the abused children and the legal formwork of the country need to be altered, So that the children are not victimized for the crimes of the abusers. This also calls for advocacy. Thus, another crucial aspect of the project is making public the issue of child sex abuse and the issue of child prostitution (both of girls and of boys) in general.
Research and documentation
The project aims to conduct researchers on child related issues in the project area and develop new intervention strategies biased on the findings for the children those who are engaged in prostitution. The lesson learns and best practices will be documented.
The street children engaged in prostitution have to face the following risk factors and preconditions:
Physical hazard: The children engaged in prostitution are suffering from STDs physical assaulted, torture, About 60% girls and 90% boys are addicted different types of drug or some other intoxicating substances (Drug Abuse and Adjustment: A short study on the Sexual Exploited Children in Dhaka City.1994).
Psychological hazard: Children engaged in prostitution are suffering from psychosomatic disorders and show the tendency of headache, dizziness, back pain, digestion problems. The intense of emotional state is related trauma stemmed from the degree of sexual abuse and exploitation and physical assault and violence. About 57% boys and 62% girls suffer from anger and frustration and low self-esteem (Tendency of psychological Disorders among the street Child prostitutes in Dhaka city, 1994)
Socio-economic hazard: Boys and girls those who are engaged in prostitution rank the police force to be prime source of social insecurity. While the children unanimously voted for local mastan and matabbar. They have not got large assistance from the legal agencies in the street level. They have no sweatiness in the night in the street. They are economically deprived from clients, pimps and other actors.
The above mentioned hazards are minimized by the project by maintaining the following:
- Psychosocial support
- Legal assistance
- Safe night shelter
- Medical assistance
- Referral services
- Networking and advocacy
- Awareness raining activities
The project is providing the various awareness raising program raising program for the children enraged in prostitution that creates control over information/knowledge power on there life threatening issues e.g. HIV/AIDS, STDs , safe sex and trafficking. There will be increased self-protecting effort from the children’s side and they will also take responsibility to pass information to other children.
Through the capacity development interventions the staffs of partners of the SCSD and others organizations both national and divisional level directly or indirectly are working with the children, are provided training to enhance there capacity. In time they will be able to deal efficiently the sexual abused and exploited and trafficked children focusing on there unique psychological needs.
IEC/BCC materials developed by the project are helping to change the attitude towards children those who are sexually abused, exploited and trafficked in the rural and urban areas.
Through networking and advocacy initiatives, the implementation of National plan of Action (NAP) are be scrutinized. The concern ministers of Government officials are pressurize to be accountable for ensuring child rights.
The learned lesson and research findings and good practices are documented and disseminated to the GOs and NGOs to use for future interventions for street child prostitutes. The research finding helps to contribute the policy changes.
Misplaced childhood project is a model program which has been Over/replicated by both GOs and NGOs create an integrated structure of quality care providing services with proper case management system to cater the specialized need of the sexually exploited children.
Though linkage and networking with the GO and various NGOs an integrated care providing structure with appropriate healing environment is ensured. This structure encompass the care facilities like psychosocial support , capacity building support, creation of child friendly environment and child prostitutions etc. and other life skill activities for the children those who are sexually abused and exploited and trafficked.