RDRS’s Social Empowerment Programme support its programme participants by strengthening RDRS’s unique CBOs, making these organisations increasingly autonomous, empowering them to advocate for their rightful access and that of the poor people in their communities to safety net provisions and basic services.
RDRS continues its work empowering marginalised people and ensuring their participation through Union Federations and CBOs by creating enabling environment in the social setting and power structure. Creating access to health, legal aid, case management, social security programmes is continued as priority sector. The protection programmes are focused on women, child protection & empowerment. RDRS contributes towards quality enhancement of primary education systems, community-based ECD, and support in capacity development of teachers. Protection and legal service programmes are developed and implemented in a survivor centric principle.
Transformation of Life for the Gender Based Violence Affected Girls Project
RDRS Bangladesh is implementing Transformation of Life for the Gender Based Violence Affected Girls (TLGBVAG) project in Rangpur district including Rangpur City Corporation. The project is being implemented with the support of Cordaid and Kerk in Actie. The primary programme participants of the project are the women and girls affected by gender-based violence and at risk, and members of the adolescent centres. The secondary programme participants are marriage registrar, Union Federation (CBO), Union Parishad, youth forum, Child Marriage Prevention Committee (CMPC) members, officials of the relevant departments of government/non-government organisations, and community people. The project covers 47,260 programme participants. The TLGBVAG project is designed in line with SDG – 1, 5 and 16 (No Poverty, Gender Equality; and Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions).
The goal of the project is contributing to improve the socio-economic condition of the violence-affected youths, especially women and girls in Rangpur district. The objects are
1. Enhanced living condition, better life experience and security of life for the GBV affected women & girls.
2. Reduced incidence of GBV and child marriage at household and community level.
The major activities under the project are skills development training; providing business start-up support to the trained survivors; job placement and job market linkage; organizing ToT on life skill and psychosocial counselling for all project staff and the survivors; orientation for adolescent /youth forum members on life skill, child marriage, GBV and safeguarding; orientation for CBO/Union Federation and community leaders on positive gender norms, preventing child marriage and reducing GBV; develop IEC/BCC materials on GBV and Child Rights etc.
Combating Early Marriage in Bangladesh
RDRS Bangladesh is implementing Combating Early Marriage in Bangladesh project in Rangpur, Dinajpur, Thakurgaon, Panchagarh and Lalmonirhat districts. The project is being implemented in partnership with Plan International Bangladesh. The target community of the project is district CMPC members with 334 programme participants of the project areas. The Combating Early Marriage in Bangladesh project is designed in line with SDG -5 (Gender Equality).
The Government of Bangladesh has set a goal of eliminating child marriage by 2041 from the country in line with target 5.3 of SDG. To achieve this goal, GoB has set two intermediate targets for 2021 which will contribute to the 2041 goal. The first one is to reduce the existing child marriage prevalence rate for girls under 18 by a third and, the second is to bring down the existing prevalence rate for child marriage of girls below age 15 to zero. In this context, RDRS Bangladesh has initiated this project to address the Vision 2041 of the government and the targets of SDG - 5.
The goal of the project is to combat CEFM (Child Early and Force Marriage) and reduce the vulnerability of adolescents, particularly girls in Rangpur division of Bangladesh. The objectives of the project are:
- Increased agency of adolescents, especially girls to protect themselves from harmful gender norms and practices, including CEFM, and to access economic empowerment opportunities;
- Increased community acceptance of norms that value the girl child and actions that support girls and boys to delay marriage;
- Increased responsiveness of duty bearers at national, District, and sub-District levels to prevent and respond to child rights violations, particularly CEFM, among vulnerable girls.
The main activities of the project are training for ToT of Master Trainers for National Resource Pool consisting of trainers from DWA training cell - on CMRA 2017, GE, child rights and protection, roles and responsibilities training package at District Level; Obtaining endorsement of District and administrations to hold orientation sessions for CMPC members; Conducting orientation training sessions of district level CMPC members on CMRA -ACT-2017, CMRA-Rule-2018, Child Rights and Gender; Day observance (16 Days Activism, International Women’s Day, National Child Marriage Prevention Day, and National Girl Child Day); Orientation to adolescent on CMRA -ACT-2017, CMRA-Rule-2018, Child Rights and Gender.
The key highlights of the project are – District child marriage prevention committee reformed in Rangpur, Lalmonirhat, Dinajpur and Panchagarh districts as per CMRA-Rule-2018; Upazila child marriage prevention committee is in function; District action plan is prepared on the basis of NPA.
Fight Slavery and Trafficking in Persons (FSTIP)
RDRS Bangladesh is implementing Fight Slavery and Trafficking in Persons (FSTIP) project in Rangpur, Lalmonirhat, Gaibandha, Joypurhat and Sirajganj districts for the period of 1 April 2022 to 31 March 2026. The project is being implemented in partnership with Winrock International, funded by USAID. The direct programme participants of the project are the poor women and men of northern Bangladesh with special focus with special focus on expectant migrants, young people, at-risk trafficking and CM survivors, single mother, ethnic minorities, and trafficked survivors. The indirect programme participants are the religious leaders, federation leaders, Union Parishad, youth forum, officials of the relevant departments of government/non-government and recruiting agencies who will support the interventions in all aspects of the project. The FSTIP project is designed in line with SDG – 1, 5 and 16 (No Poverty; Gender Equality; and Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions).
The five districts under this project (Lalmonirhat, Ragpur, Gaibandha, Joypurhat and Sirajganj) are the border area and underdeveloped. Because of this, these areas are at high-risk for human trafficking. A large number of people especially women and young people are being trafficked through this route every year. Poor economic conditions, unemployment, lack of awareness, child marriage, and dowry are some main reasons that make especially women and girls vulnerable to trafficking. This project is being implemented to be one of the best options to prevent trafficking in these areas.
The goal of the project is to reduce slavery and trafficking through prevention, protection and establishing access to referral services. The objectives of the project are:
- Systems, capacity, and sustainability of justice actors and institutions enhanced;
- Human rights violations are prevented, and public awareness of trafficking and its dangers is enhanced;
- Protection of trafficking survivors increased.
The main activities of the project are to activate and strengthen CTCs, CMPCs and GBV committees; expand and train peer leader networks on TIP, CM, safe migration, and modern technology; identify and support to TIP & CM at-risk by trained peer leaders; TIP & CM message will broadcast through community radios & other media; create safe space where adolescent girls can discuss sensitive issues and solution can be proposed to address CM; organise day observance events related to human trafficking at the local level; training to marriage registrars on Child Marriage Restraint Act 2017; identify and support returnee migrants due to Covid-19 pandemic; raising awareness on Covid-19, TIP, CM & Safe migration among the community people; TIP & CM survivors received referral & direct protection assistant (eg. counseling support, vocational training, livelihood reintegration support); workshop for develop and revitalized 5 referral directories; provide protection assistance to the survivors of CM through referral; support FSTIP to secure additional funding and in-kind support contribution to survivors with service and shelter home; support the processing of a maximum of 200 complains at BMET from TIP survivors.
The key highlights of the project are survivor-centric protection assistance to TIP and CM survivors; activation and functioning of community-based TIP and CM prevention, and mass awareness.
Promoting Peace and Justice (PPJ)
RDRS Bangladesh is implementing Promoting Peace and Justice (PPJ) project Nilphamari, Lalmonirhat, and Panchagarh districts. The project is being implemented in partnership with Democracy International, funded by USAID. The direct programme participants of the project are the community people including persons with disability who are survivors of trafficking, child marriage and gender-based violence. The project also covers other stakeholders such as Legal Aid Committee Members, Panel Lawyers, Judicial Officers, Court Staff, Local Government Representatives, and students. The PPJ project is designed in line with SDG – 5 and 16 (Gender Equality; and Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions).
The goal of the PPJ project is to activate and support Legal Aid Committees at district, Upazilla and Union Parishad levels and increase the visibility, public awareness and community acceptance of government legal aid services and use of the formal justice system to resolve disputes and protect legal rights. The objectives of the project are:
- To increase the level of activation and coordination of the District, Upazilla and Union Parishad Legal Aid Committee;
- To increase awareness on legal rights and responsibilities of mass people and acceptance of the use of formal justice system among communities.
The main activities of the PPJ project are formation of Upazila and Union Parishad Legal Aid Committee; public awareness raising; campaign; National Legal Aid Day observation etc.