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Counter Trafficking School Campaign among School Children in Dhaka

Counter Trafficking School Campaign Among School Children in Dhaka started from December 2003 to August 2004 with the financial assistance of the the Autralian High Commission, Dhaka. The objective of the project were to increase the level of awareness on the issue of trafficking among school children, teachers, parents/guardians and police officers in the areas covered by two police stations namely Ramana and Dhanmondi Thanas of Dhaka Metropolitan.

Consultation Meeting for Counter Trafficking Campaign Among the School Children in Dhaka

A half-day Consultation Meeting for Counter Trafficking Campaign Among the School Children in Dhaka was held on 25 January 2004 at Dhaka. The Consultation Meeting was attended by 46 participants comprising of thana education officer, teachers, guardians, members of school managing committee and police officials. In the Inaugural Session Her Excellency Lorraine Barker, High Commissioner, Australian High Commission was present as the Chief Guest and Mr. Shahidul Haque, Regional Representative of IOM as the Special Guest with Dr. Khaleda Salahuddin, Advisor of CWCS in the Chair. The main objective was for sharing views and opinions relating to trafficking and ways to successfully carry out the school campaigns. In the Consultation Meeting, participants shared their views and opinions about the issue of child trafficking and put forward their recommendations to carry out the campaigns program successfully.

 

Orientation Session with Police Personnel on Child Trafficking

Two half-day Orientation Session on Child Trafficking for Police Officials was organized by Centre for Women and Children Studies with the financial assistance of the Australian High Commission at Ramna and Dhanmondi Police Station of Dhaka Metropolitan, on 17 and February 2004. The Orientation Sessions was attended by 47 participants comprising of Sub-Inspectors, Assistant-Sub Inspectors and Constables.

The main objectives of these sessions were to aware the police about the various issues related child trafficking such as definition, causes, mechanisms, consequences, and strategies to combat trafficking. Also the counter trafficking messages of the BCC materials were shared. Police orientation would provide the scope to liaison with the police and also to invite them during the school campaigns so that school authorities as well as school children feel free to approach the police whenever need arises.

 

Counter Trafficking School Campaigns

Centre for Women and Children Studies conducted Counter Trafficking School Campaigns at 20 School of Ramna and Dhanmondi Police stations to aware the school children about the various issues related child trafficking such as definition, causes, mechanisms, consequences, and strategies to combat trafficking. The pictures and messages of the flyer for children were projected onto a large screen and the children were asked to read out the short script so that they could become familiar with the mechanisms of trafficking and what preventive measures can be taken, as well as the relevant section of the national laws and the Article related to trafficking in the International Convention on the Rights of the Child. The flyer depicted a child being taken away by a trafficker whilst in the playground, then showed the positive role played by the police as the children go to report that their friend has been taken. The flyer shows the police official immediately going with the children to rescue the girl and then arrest the trafficker. The children were then asked to make comments on this, ask questions and share any incident of child trafficking that they know of.

Also the counter trafficking messages of the BCC materials were shared and distributed among the school children and teachers. Police Officials from Ramna and Dhanmondi police stations shared their experiences with the students as resource persons. Also T-Shirts were distributed to school children with anti-trafficking messages.

 

Experience Sharing Seminar on Counter Trafficking Campaign

Centre for Women and Children Studies organized a Experience Sharing Seminar on Counter Trafficking Campaign at BIAM Auditorium on 25 July 2004 with the financial assistance of the Australian High Commission. About 73 participants from different professional groups like teachers, guardians, students, NGOs, donor agencies, government officials and journalists were present the seminar.

Her Excellency Lorraine Barker, High Commissioner, The Australian High Commission was present in the Seminar as the Chief Guest and Rina Sen Gupta, National Program Officer of International Organization for Migration was Special Guest with Prof. Latifa Akanda, Advisor of CWCS in the chair. Prof. Ishrat Shamim, President of CWCS shared the experiences of the Counter Trafficking School Campaign project.

 

Lessons Learnt

  • In some of the schools, the Principal/Headmistress took special interest to organize the campaign programs for students. BIAM Laboratory School rented the BIAM Auditorium so that children can feel at ease and give more attention of what is being said on the issue of child trafficking and used video camera. Willes Little Flower Secondary School and Dhanmondi Government Girls’ High School arranged the campaign programs in their hall rooms so that many students can attend.
  • It was very difficult for police officials to attend the school campaign programs due to their busy schedule and an insufficient number of police in the police stations.
  • UCEP Bangladesh had shown their keen interest to organize such an important program in all of their schools and has sought the help of CWCS.
  • Most of the students suggested organizing street drama on the trafficking issue during the campaign program.
  • Most of the teachers suggested every student should be given opportunity in such important program; however, it was not possible to include all students in this activity at this time, due to logistical problems. Therefore it proved difficult to organize the campaign program to include more than a portion of the students from a school.