BANGLADESH: NUS Programme to Combat Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation (18 May 2005)

Summary: Nari Unnayan Shakti came into being in 1992
with a specific strategy to strengthen and
mainstream women's development issues at
the policy level and to reduce violence against
women at the roots level. At present NUS is
serving more 50000 disadvantaged families
through 115 Centers in 9 districts in
Bangladesh.

Services for the sexually abused/exploited trafficked victims

Presently NUS is running 2 shelter homes for the trafficked and sexually
abused/exploited children. They are supported by DSS, UNDP, ILO and
MOWCA. Since 1994, NUS has rescued 129 girls from traffickers and sex
traders/madams/pimps and rehabilitated as well as reintegrated them in
the community. The main activities under the project are rescue, health
care, trauma reduction and behaviour change counseling, legal aid,
vocational training (tailoring, garments training, embroidery, salesgirl
training, computer operating) formal and non formal education. The homes
provide boarding facilities, crèche, focus group discussions and recreational
facilities. NUS carries out mass awareness campaigns for prevention and
policy advocacy for mainstreaming the issue.

In the year 2000 NUS started a Capacity Building Project for Street Based
Commercial Sex Workers (CSWs) and their 70 children of Badda, Gulshan,
Uttara, Cantonment and Kafrul thana areas of Dhaka City for social
rehabilitation Department of Social Services. To date NUS has trained 450
BCSWs for alternative income generation, non-formal education and
counseling. They are also provided with seed money to start new
professions. The Drop in Centre is available to them during the day for
resting, bathing and cooking.

Since August 2004, NUS has been running programmes for the Street
Based Sex Workers, most of them trafficked victims. At present NUS is
running three Drop in Centres in Chitagong and Borishal City to prevent
HIV/AIDS (promotion and distribution of condoms, treatment of sexual
transmitted diseases). They are supported by UNICEF and the National
AIDS/STD Project.

In 1995 NUS started HIV/AIDS a Prevention Programme through setting up
brothel based Drop in Centres in Kandupatti Brothel, English Road, Dhaka
with the support of CIDA and provided services for two years. It was found
that, 40% of Commercial Sex Workers were adolescent girls sold/trafficked
to brothel sex traders.

NUS trained 330 children in Chitagong and 280 children in Dhaka city on
sexual abuse/exploitation prevention. Trainers were experts on child to
child approaches and were supported by the Ministry of Labour and
Employment, USAID and FCHD. The children were also provided with non-
formal education, vocational training and life skill education for developing
them as self esteemed and self reliant citizens.

NUS has performed 296 cultural shows and 36 Orientation Workshops to
create awareness on trafficking and AIDS prevention issues among 50,000
people in Dhaka, Chittagong, Kustia supported by FCHD, VHSS, BRAC, GK,
UNICEF, and CIDA .

A total 400 community women in 32 slums of Dhaka City were trained as
Peer Educator for AIDS, Trafficking and sexual Abuse prevention and since
1995 they are working in the community and referring the victims to NUS'
shelter homes. The programme was supported by DFID.

Trafficking and sex abuse/exploitation issues were included in a seven day
gender training in 20 batches funded by CIDA as well as in a day long
training in 40 batches funded by UNICEF during 1993 to 1997 in Dhaka
City.

Research and Case Study

NUS developed case studies of the non-commercial sexually abused girls in
the slums, middle class and upper class residents of Dhaka City and village
settings. Cases were included in the study of "Breaking the Silence" a
movement for sex abuse prevention.

In the year 1994 NUS collected oral testimonies of the brothel children of
Kandupatti, Old Dhaka City. The oral testimony was collected for the Forum
for Culture and Human Development. The collected case studies were used
for 5th Five Year Plan for MOWCA funded by UNICEF.

In 1997 NUS conducted a study titled "Psychological and social status of
the brothel children" supported by SCF-UK. Children present life in the
brothel as bleak, disgusting, harmful and with a dark future. Most of the
children are molested by their mothers' clients.

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