COVID-19: statement from the Director-General Read now

Promoting the rights of street children

  • Amount funded: £150,000
  • Year: 2019
  • Duration: 36 months
  • Locations: Bangladesh
Issue

Street children live in poverty, lack access to basic services such as healthcare and education, and are unable to claim rights that they are entitled to.

Project partners
Consortium for Street Children
Dhaka Ahsiana Mission
Grambangla Unnayan Committee
Local Education and Economic Development Organisation
View more detail
How we are helping

Supporting our partners to provide street children with a platform to express their views and ensure government programmes are more inclusive of their needs.

About the project

It is estimated that there are 1.5 million street children in Bangladesh. Despite the efforts of the Government of Bangladesh and development partners to support this demographic, significant challenges remain. Street children live in poverty, lack access to basic services such as healthcare and education, and are unable to claim rights that they are entitled to.

The Consortium for Street Children (CSC) are going to work with three partner organisations in Bangladesh (Dhaka Ahsiana Mission; Local Education and Economic Development Organisation; and Grambangla Unnayan Committee), in order to collaborate and engage with the Government of Bangladesh to help provide street children with a voice. By ensuring that these less-heard voices are amplified and taken into account, it is hoped that around 200 street children will be able to access basic services and lead safe, fulfilling childhoods. This will be achieved by:

  • publishing and disseminating an assessment of law, policies, and practices on street children’s rights with proposed recommendations
  • developing an action plan and advocacy strategy based on assessment and inputs from street children
  • training street children on their rights and advocacy skills
  • establishing and strengthening a local street child taskforce in Barisal, and a national street child taskforce in Dhaka to facilitate dialogue with local and national government
  • training government officials, police officers, community leaders, and a CSO network (Street Child Activist Network) on street children’s rights, public speaking, and advocacy
  • facilitating direct engagement between street children and local and national government so they can have a say in policies that directly affect them
  • conducting a public awareness campaign in collaboration with street children and the Street Child Activist Network.

As a result of the project, street children will be more aware of their rights and have improved capacity to advocate their needs and priorities directly to local and national-level decision makers; civil society organisations will be better equipped to effectively support street children, advocate and influence policy; and government officials and the general public will be more aware of street children’s rights. In order to help ensure that project benefits are sustained beyond the grant period, the project plans to strengthen the capacity of an existing network – the Street Child Activity Network. If successful, the project’s innovative approach using street child taskforces has the potential to be replicated in other countries.

Project Partners
Consortium for Street Children

The Consortium for Street Children (CSC) is a UK-based charity working to end discrimination faced by street children around the world. Its network is made up of over 100 NGOs, advocates, researchers and on-the-ground practitioners across 135 countries, working with and for street children. CSC has experience in influencing change at government-level to make street children’s voices heard. It has implemented projects funded by the UK Department for International Development and Red Nose Day USA, among others.

Dhaka Ahsiana Mission

Dhaka Ahsiana Mission (DAM) implements community-led projects providing education and vocational training, access to water and sanitation, and teaches people about their rights. DAM focuses on the rights of street and working children and women. DAM founded and chairs the Street Child Activist Network (SCAN) and has established centres for street children.

Grambangla Unnayan Committee

The Grambangla Unnayan Committee (GUC) works with children involved in child labour, especially street-based waste pickers and children who have been exploited by sex traffickers. It has significant experience advocating for the rights of the most vulnerable children and communities, and has expertise and capacity in conducting legal and policy analysis, research, and evaluation.

Local Education and Economic Development Organisation

The Local Education and Economic Development Organisation (LEEDO) is a not-for-profit, voluntary based organisation founded in 2000. LEEDO offers direct services to an increasing number of street children. LEEDO has a street outreach team and a permanent home for children. It collaborates with police, businessman, public transport officials, and community members to raise public awareness and keep children safe on the street.

Commonwealth Foundation logo

We support people's participation in democracy and development by providing grants, platforms, and expertise.

Governance Areas
Social inclusion