Tuesday, 24 May, 2022
E-paper

9 in 10 kids face abuse at home: UNICEF

Call to invest in social service workforce

  • Diplomatic Correspondent
  • 30 March, 2022 12:00 AM
  • Print news
9 in 10 kids face abuse at home: UNICEF
Representative Image by UNICEF

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.

Millions of children are living on the street, are out of school or trapped in hazardous child labour. To identify these children and to protect them from harm and abuse, a well-planned, trained and supported social service workforce is critical, said the UNICEF in Dhaka on Tuesday.

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.