Violent disciplining, sexual abuse, child labour, child marriage and psychological punishment remain widespread in Bangladesh, putting millions of children at risk of harm every day.
Nine in ten children – accounting for 45 million boys and girls – below the age of 14 are subjected to violent disciplining in their homes regularly. More than half of girls -- 51 percent -- are married before reaching their eighteenth birthday.
To adequately respond to the needs of vulnerable children, over 100,000 social workers are needed, but currently there are only 3,000 social workers in Bangladesh.
“The Government of Bangladesh, under the dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, has been implementing social safety nets focused on vulnerable people. The Ministry of Social Welfare is distributing different types of allowances for the old age people, widow, destitute and deserted women, and persons with disabilities under social safety nets programmes,” said Minister for Social Welfare Nuruzzaman Ahmed.
“We also provide shelter for the orphans and vulnerable children in our Shishu Nibas and shelter centres. UNICEF has been providing their support to ensure the safety, security and rights of every child in the country. I hope social workers around the country will work for the betterment of the lives of common people.”
Already, dedicated social workers under the DSS, supported by UNICEF and the European Union (EU), are protecting children in urban and rural communities. These social workers reached over 200,000 children in 2021, providing them with psychosocial support, case management follow-up, and referral services.