September 20, 2022
DHAKA – Bangladesh is going to increase the number of social workers by 200 percent, recruiting 6,000 more people hence growing the workforce from 3,000 to 9,000.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, in a video message, made the commitment to children after a comprehensive national household survey revealed that 45 million Bangladeshi children under the age of 15 – 89 percent – are regularly subjected to physical and psychological violence at home.
The announcement was made at the first-ever “National Symposium on Child Protection in Bangladesh”, jointly organised by Unicef and the European Union, held at the InterContinental Hotel in Dhaka.
“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,” said the prime minister.
In Bangladesh, over 30 lakh children are trapped in child labour of which 1.3 million are engaged in hazardous forms of child labour. One in every five children do not complete primary school. Nearly half of all children do not have a birth registration.
Over 1 lakh children are in institutional care and lack family support. One in every two girls, is made to marry while still a child. Untold millions of children live on streets.
“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,” said Sheldon Yett, UNICEF Representative to Bangladesh.
“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.
Fazilatun Nessa Indira, state minister for Women and Children Affairs, Zahid Maleque, minister of Health and Family Welfare, Nuruzzaman Ahmed, minister of Social Welfare attended the programme, among others were present at the programme.