Bangladesh to add 6,000 social workers to protect kids

Bangladesh government has announced it will reinforce and expand its child protection services by 200%
Bangladesh to add 6,000 social workers to protect kids


Eighty-nine percent of Bangladeshi children under the age of 15 fall victim to some sort of psychological or physical violence at home on a regular basis, according to a comprehensive national survey. In response, the Bangladesh government has announced it will reinforce and expand its child protection services by 200%, adding a total of 6,000 new social workers.

The announcement was made at the first-ever "National Symposium on Child protection in Bangladesh", organised by UNICEF and the European Union in Dhaka on Monday, Sept 19.

The symposium pooled a group of government professionals, members of the civil society, international partners and experts to discuss the child protection legal framework, social service workforce, rights and needs of children with disabilities and early identification of risks and interventions.

In her opening statement during the conference, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said, “The aim of our government is to build a professional social services workforce that enhances efficient delivery of child protection services such as Child Helpline 1098, Child Protection Allowances, and community-based outreach services involving volunteers, adolescent children, and community people so that no child is left behind.”

In Bangladesh, more than 3 million children are exploited in child labour, among whom 1.3 million are exposed to hazardous forms of child labour. One in five Bangladeshi children drop out of primary school and almost half of the children do not have a birth registration. Over 100,000 children do not have family support and are in institutionalised care. One in every two girls is forced to marry while still a minor and millions of children live on the streets, which deprives them of a normal childhood.

Mr Sheldon Yett, UNICEF representative to Bangladesh said, “Social workers reach deep into communities where children need them the most. I congratulate the Government of Bangladesh for this dramatic increase in the number of social workers to help more children to benefit from critical professional care.”

“Children hold a significant potential to accelerate Bangladesh’s development. Our event today is a unique opportunity towards ensuring children are protected from violence, abuse and exploitation, in particular the most vulnerable children and children with disabilities. The EU remains committed to supporting the Government to strengthen child protection systems in Bangladesh,” said the head of the EU delegation to Bangladesh, Ambassador Charles Whiteley during the symposium.

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