SANEM proposes establishment of separate department for protection of children
Non-profit research organization South Asian Network on Economic Modeling (SANEM) has made a proposal to the government to establish a ‘Department of Children Affairs’ for administering Child Protection Community Hub (CPCH) project and other children related activities in Bangladesh.
SANEM made this proposal while presenting key findings of a costing exercise and feasibility study of a community-led child protection system, CPCH at Bangladesh Shishu Academy on Sunday.
CPCH is commissioned by UNICEF and the women and children affairs ministry with support from the European Union.
Currently, over 1200 Child Protection Community Hubs (CPCHs) are operating all over Bangladesh with more than 16 million children and caregivers reached by this programmeElisa Calpona, child protection manager in UNICEF Bangladesh
“In February 2021 the MoWCA and UNICEF has embarked on a viable and sustainable and scalable strategy to implement a violence against children and women (VACW) prevention programme directly by MoWCA. Currently, over 1200 Child Protection Community Hubs (CPCHs) are operating all over Bangladesh with more than 16 million children and caregivers reached by this programme” said Elisa Calpona, child protection manager in UNICEF Bangladesh.
Presenting the draft report, SANEM’s research director Sayema Haque Bidisha said violence against women and children is a serious concern for the government as well as development partners.
CPCHs can be a useful tool in reducing violence against children and the government should scale up the project for long-term.
The SANEM study said a project named ‘prevention of harmful practices and violence against children and women through accelerating protection for children under MoWCA’ has targeted to establish 2,100 hubs in upazilas by 2024.
The programme targets to establish 13,327 hubs in all upazilas of the country which will cost Tk 3.98 billion or 8.38 per cent of MoWCA’s budget in 2024 fiscal year.
The SANEM estimates a monthly spending of Tk 21,181 to run each hub.
“However, this will be massive task. To implement the target properly, a dedicated department for children is recommended,” the report adds.
The report concluded the government should seriously consider implementation of CPCHs, and for smooth implementation should establish a ‘Department of Children Affairs’.
Raihanul Hoque, child protection officer and MoWCA’s focal point, UNICEF said the organisation is trying to establish a comprehensive national child protection system up to the village level to stop and respond to harmful practices and violence against children and women.
To make it practical UNICEF along with MoWCA initiated the costing exercise with the support of the research agency SANEM, he added.
APC project’s director SM Latif said the project will end in 2024 but the government should continue it considering its importance.
Speaking as chief guest, MoWCA’s additional secretary Rowshan Ara Begum said it should be ensured that works of different projects do not overlap. She recommended that union parishad chairmen and members can be included in the project.
Bangladesh Shishu Academy’s director general Anjir Liton among other spoke at the event.