Understanding the Scope of Social Protection Measures as Means to Improve Child Well-Being: A Comparison between Document and Reality With special focus on Mymensingh and Netrokona Districts

By adopting the Child Rights Convention (CRC) as their basic policy framework, Save the Children Sweden-Denmark is committed to child rights programming (CRP) which prioritizes the best interests of children, works towards the elimination of discrimination and upholds agreed international norms and standards in relation to children's rights to provision, protection and participation, and above all addresses the root causes of the right violations. Save the Children Sweden – Denmark (SCSD) is working in Bangladesh since several decades and has been implementing many programmes relating to both urban and rural aspects of child labour. However, after several years of working with this issue, the organisation has increasingly come to recognise that reduction in hazardous child labour requires a holistic approach and careful consideration of the root causes of this phenomena.

The Child Labour thematic programme aims to contribute Save the Children Sweden Denmark’s strategy to address root causes of child rights violation with the vision to build a society where an increasing number of girls and boys enjoy childhood and in which their rights are promoted and protected from all sorts of violations. SCSD bases all programming work on the principles of children’s rights. This means using the principles of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) to assess, plan, develop, manage, implement, monitor, review and evaluate programmes and projects. This ensures a clear focus on children as rights holders on their roles as social actors and on holding duty bearers accountable.

Child Labour Thematic programme is half way into implementing the phase IV through 10 implementing partners. From 2008 Save the Children Finland has been supporting a project at source area of child labour. The objective of this project is to reduce rural- urban migration of children for hazardous work in selected Union Parishads of Mymensingh and Netrokona districts in Bangladesh. This will be achieved by enhancing the capacity among children and a range of duty-bearers to deal with child rights violations that perpetuate hazardous child labour, and simultaneously work on improvement in livelihoods and education.

While Save the Children generally supports implementation of activities that aim to improve different dimensions of childhood poverty, there is a growing consensus that development prospects of very poor and vulnerable children can only improve once programmes focus more rigorously on protecting children and their care-givers from circumstances that render them deprived of essential childhood development opportunities. Different social protection measures, depending on their design, have been shown to be greatly beneficial to children with positive impacts on nutrition, health, education, protection, and even livelihoods.

Based on this premise, Save the Children Finland decided to develop Child Sensitive Social Protection (CSSP) as a thematic area. There is a plan to introduce a pilot project in Sindupalchowk based on CSSP principles as well as to work at national and policy level to advocate for child sensitivity in Nepal’s emerging social protection strategy. Save the Children Sweden Denmark and Save the Children Finland jointly decided that social protection intervention will be developed under the child labour thematic program. Considering the above situation SCSD has decided to initiate the study “Understanding the scope of social protection measures as a means to improve child well being”.

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