Migration pushes children to live on streets: studyFerdous Ara
Unsafe migration from rural to urban areas forces hundreds of children to live in the streets of the capital, with many of them getting involved in hazardous jobs, organ trading, trafficking, criminal activities or being sexually exploited.
A survey, conducted by Save the Children between July and September, estimates that around 50 per cent of the rural poor children are at risk of migration to urban areas for various factors including natural disaster, break-up of families and lack of access to basic needs.
About 40 per cent of parents in the rural areas lose contact with their children for lack of registration mechanism, said the report.
Twelve-year-old boy Jony, who came to live at Kamalapur railway station, said, ‘My father died when I was nine and I was forced to work in a village tea-stall.’
To escape abuse he faced at home and shop, Jony jumped on a train, bound for Dhaka.
At present he works with other porters at Kamalapur railway station all the day, he said, adding that he does not have any contact with his parents.
Eleven-year-old girl Rani joined four others children addicted to ‘solution’ at Ramna Park.
They said from nearby slums they buy this drug, which is mainly used to mend shoes. ‘After taking it, we feel drowsy
during day time and at night we get busy with clients.’
Most of these children are also forced to step in begging rackets run by criminals, said Dhaka University sociology professor Nehal Karim.
Bangladesh National Women Lawyers’ Association executive director Salma Ali said the government needed to incorporate protection of street children’s rights in the draft Children Act 2011 to ensure their rights in society.
Instead of increasing shelter homes in big cities, a comprehensive registration system can ensure safety and security of the migrated children.
According to Department of Social Services there are more than 6.5 lakh children are living in the streets.
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