In October 2017, Manusher Jonno Foundation (MJF) was awarded a five-year Project titled ‘Excluded Peoples’ Rights in Bangladesh’ (EPR) by UKaid through Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO). EPR Project is promoting rights and ensure entitlements, and dignity of 1.63 million people. Through five programmatic interventions across various locations of Bangladesh, the EPR is reaching out to the most marginalised and excluded people, such as persons with disabilities, sex workers, Dalit, ethnic minorities, char people, garment and migrant workers and working children in hazardous labour. Acting as catalyst, MJF is committed to empowering the voices of these excluded communities to claims to their entitlements and rights.
The Goal of EPR Project is: “Poor, marginalised and vulnerable people enjoy a better quality of life in an environment of democratic freedom and security.”
EPR Project’s five major thematic areas are:
1. Tackling Marginalisation & Discrimination (including rights of ethnic people, rights of landless (khas land, rights of person with disabilities, rights of fisher folk, rights of Dalit and other disadvantaged groups.
2. Security and Rights of Women and Girls
3. Decent & Safe Work (which covers migration, garment workers’ rights and protection of working children)
4. Youth & Social Cohesion and
5. Strengthening Public Institutions
Two cross-cutting issues i.e. Persons with disabilities and Women economic empowerment integrated with all the other programmatic areas.
1. Thematic Area: Tackling Discrimination and Marginalization (TMD)
Tackling Marginalisation and Discrimination (TMD) programme aims to create an environment and space for targeted marginalised communities to empower and to enhance their capabilities and improve their lives and livelihoods. The core purpose of the programme is to ensure full realisation of rights and entitlements of the marginalised and excluded populations as equal citizens of the State.
TMD focuses more on acting as an overarching programme to contribute to other themes in promoting rights and entitlements of the marginalised communities. In addition to that, TMD will give emphasis to wider platforms for advocacy and demand-led market-oriented economic opportunity creation. Moreover, this programme will integrate women’s economic empowerment and disability issues across all projects under this theme.
TMD programme will address four specific types of marginalised and excluded populations. They are landless, fisher-folk, Dalit and disable people. TMD programme intends to ensure that marginalised and excluded people including women and girls have received public services, resources and facilities (e.g. health, education, safety-net, agricultural extension, income generating activities (IGA), land, water-bodies and legal service); have advanced their social status; and have achieved better livelihood options. The programme also wants to see that pro-poor laws and policies have been revised, drafted, enacted and facilitated to be implemented. Land and disability related issues are given currency for policy advocacy.
From 2019-2023 TMD will contribute to achieving the following:
- 72,300 poor and marginalised men and women will benefited from social safety-nets.
- 124,300 marginalised men and women will get access to basic health service.
- 11,000 acres of Khasland and water-bodies will be distributed to 34,000 poor and vulnerable men and women.
- 26,200 minority people will benefit from the support for agriculture service.
- 25,850 women from various minority groups have increase opportunities for skills and income generation activities (including job opportunities, self-employment and entrepreneurship).
- 7,400 men from various minority groups have increase opportunities for skills and income generation activities (including job opportunities, self-employment and entrepreneurship).
- 5,700 men and women will have representation on different government and non-government committees.
Goal: Rights, entitlements and dignity of marginalised and excluded people enhanced.
- Marginalised and excluded people received public services, resources and facilities (e.g. health, education, safety-net, agricultural extension, IGA, land, water-bodies and legal service).
- Marginalised and excluded people including women and girls’ social status advanced.
- Marginalised and excluded women and men have better livelihoods/income options.
- Pro-poor laws and policies revised, drafted, enacted and facilitated to be implemented.
- Institution development, capacity building and leadership promotion.
- Capacity building of CSOs/NGOs/CBOs.
- Sensitisation of service providers and policy-makers.
- Alliance, network and linkage building.
Gender & VAW
- Community awareness and mobilisation, movement creation.
- Capacity development on women/human rights and VAW for community and PNGOs.
- Legal aid support to victims of violence against marginalised people including violence against women.
- Skills development trainings and linkage with trade and job markets.
- Linkage with financial institutions for credit facilities.
- Monitor and strengthen service providing institutions by applying social accountability tools.
- Advocacy and lobbying for law and policy implementation.
Khulna, Satkhira, Noakhali, Lakshmipur, Pabna, Jeshore, Rangpur, Nilphamri, Shariatpur, Sunamganj, Gopalganj, Bagerhat, Dhaka, Chattagram, Sylhet, Gazipur, Manikanjaj, Barishal, Narayanganj, Narshindi, Dinajpur, Chuadanga and Cox’s Bazar.
Beneficiaries: 30,859 Landless people; 23,975 Dalit people; 51,830 Fisher-folk; 31,190 Disabled people = 133,975 Total marginalised and excluded population.
- Palli Chetana
- Nijera Kori
- Mukti Foundation
- Landless Development Organization (LDO)
- Sundarban Adibasi Munda Sangstha (SAMS)
- Debi Chowdhurani Palli Unnayan Kendra (DCPUK)
- Ulashi Sangha
- Shariatpur Development Society (SDS)
- Sancred Welfare Foundation
- Center for Natural Resource Studies (CNRS)
- Community Development Center (CODEC)
- Ambala Foundation
- Badabon Sangho
- Access Bangladesh Foundation
- Center for the Rehabilitation of the Paralyzed (CRP)
- Center for Disability in Development (CDD)
- Center for Services and Information on Disability (CSID)
- Disabled rehabilitation and Research Association (DRRA)
- Prattasha Shamazik Unnayan Sangstha (PSUS)
- Bangladesh Visually Impaired Peoples Society (VIPS)
- Social Assistance and Rehabilitation for the Physically Vulnerable (SARPV)
2. Thematic Area: Security and Rights of Women and Girls (SRWG)
SRWG programme approaches include:
Social Mobilisation: Organise local women and help them develop organisational and leadership skills in order to raise their voice collectively and help women to amplify their voices from local to national level.
Promoting women’s leadership: One of the important approaches is to foster leadership amongst women and ensure that more women are placed in leadership and decision-making positions at the community level.
Skills development: MJF’s partners will link disadvantaged women and girls with government skill training and microfinance institutions for income generation, self-employment and job placement for women and girls.
Advocacy: There are several laws and policies that perpetuates discrimination towards women and girls. In addition, some essential laws to be enacted to protect women and girls. We will select advocacy issues through a process of consultation with women’s rights organizations.
Strengthening and ensuring public service provisions: Women and girls victims of violence will be linked with relevant institutions and department for accessing different services like legal aid, health care, shelter, and counselling services. Linkage with the Government’s legal aid and NGO legal aid service providers will be expedited to ensure access to justice for victims. Cases on VAW will be monitored during trial procedures.
Lobbying and Campaigns: Campaigns to promote a positive image of women, to raise their status in society and family, to change attitude of society towards women from negative to a positive one. Equality through Dignity which aimed to raising status of women will be continued. The goal of this campaign is to reduce violence and discrimination against women by raising their status in the family and society.
Goals and objectives
Enhanced rights of women and girls to economic, social, political and legal rights in a secure and safe environment.
Major interventions of the programme are-
- Group and committee formation at village, union and upazilla level
- Capacity building of CSOs/NGOs/CBOs/Groups/Committee.
- Building women’s confidence and leadership to respond VAWG
- Community mobilization, movement facilitation
- Build up linkage between service providing institutions and survivors
- Sensitizing service providing institutions through meeting, dialogue, seminar, workshop
16 partner organizations and 10 sub partner organizations are working at 23 districts, 55 Upazilla, 138 Union and 1069 Village. Working districts are mentioned below:
Nilphamari, Barguna, Patuakhali, Kushtia, Dinajpur, Habiganj, Jashore, Narail, Moulvibazar, Kishoreganj, Netrakona, Mymensingh, Jamalpur, Sherpur, Kurigram, Gaibandha, Joypurhat, Jhenaidah, Sirajganj, Sreemongol, Panchagarh, Thakurgaon and Dhaka
One lac twenty seven thousand (127,000) women, men, youth, adolescent boys and girls are direct beneficiaries of SRWG programme which gives priority to VAWG victim, survivor, vulnerable and disable women and girls.
16 partner organizations are implementing the SRWG programme at village level to National level. Partner organizations are
- Jago Nari
- Udayankur Seba Sangstha (USS)
- Anirban Samaj Unnayon Sangstha (ASUS)
- Mukti Nari-O- Shishu Unnayan Sangstha (MNSUS)
- Society for UDDOG
- Habiganj Unnayan Sangstha
- Banchte Shekha (BS)
- Breaking the Silence (BTS)
- People’s Oriented Programme Implementation (POPI)
- Sabalamby Unnayan Samity (SUS)
- Mahideb Jubo Somaj Kallayan Somity (MJSKS)
- Polli Sree
- SKS Foundation
- Acid Survivors Foundation (ASF)
- Madaripur Legal Aid Association
3. Thematic Area: Decent and Safe Work (Working Children)
Protection of Working Children (PWC) theme under Decent and Safe Work programme under EPR project aims to prevent working children from all kind of exploitations and discriminations. The theme targets vulnerable children involved in harmful labour intensive activities in government identified hazardous 38 sectors. MJF intervention through partners will protect children from going into hazardous work and withdrawal and enrol them formal/non formal education. The overall intervention includes vital pathways for the identification, investigation and treatment of multiple forms of abuses and adversities in a child’s life. Two kind of actions will be undertaken: One is to create awareness of children’s rights as outlined in the UNCRC and to create conducive environment in which these rights can be exercised. The focus of the program will revolve around children, child groups, duty-bearers responsible for providing basic services to working children. The programme thus has a strong advocacy aim with substantial involvement of the stakeholders, community, parents, including factory owners, government service staffs, elected-bodies, and the media. The second course of activity focuses on child development and child participation. Strategies are to provisioning of vulnerable and marginalized children with expanded capabilities.
Goal: Ensure rights of the working children to enjoy better quality of life.
Following are some explicit strategies and innovations to bring positive changes:
- Job placement through alternative skill development; linking vulnerable children with education & health services; gender responsive programme; community engagement for awareness and sensitization; remediation plan for withdrawal of child labourers and enrolment in formal/non-formal school; providing essential services for prevention; recovery and reintegration including basic health and education; raising awareness among working children about their rights; sensitization of factory owners about rights of the working children.
- Bringing policy makers, partners, community and children under one umbrella for the betterment of children (Policy advocacy with ‘Multi-stakeholders’ i.e. Health, MoWCA and Education dept., etc., Social support group development).
- Promote conducive environment through enhancing cooperation and collaboration with private sector actors (Provision of safe water and sanitation in work place, Introduce code of conduct for employers, awareness for Child labour withdrawal, using evidence as a driver of change (Survey, Monitoring, Evaluation, Research, success case documentation etc.)
- Children are withdrawn from hazardous works.
- Withdrawn children are enrolled in formal/non-formal education.
- Employers, government and non-government actors are responsive to the rights of working children.
- Economic vulnerability of the working children is reduced.
- Working children are organized to demand their rights and participating in decision making process.
- Employers are sensitized towards rights of the working children.
- Capacity development of potential family members.
- Issue based advocacy initiated with government, employers and other duty bearers for policy influence.
- Basic services (i.e. Health, education, water & sanitation) are ensured.
- Job replacement from hazardous to non-hazardous sectors is ensured for the hazardous working children.
- Child group formation and provide training on different skills, human rights and life skills.
- Social support group development with child, parents and local leaders.
- Meeting/workshop/orientation with the employers and their association and involve them in improvement of the working environment.
- Remediation plan for withdrawal of child labourers to enrol in formal/non formal school.
- Strengthening family support by providing skill training, IGA assistance (if applicable).
- Code of conduct, safety measures, working hour, employment in non-hazardous activity ensured for conducive working environment creation.
- Social movement by involving different stakeholders to prevent child abuse, violence and exploitations.
- Linkage with safety net programme to the family.
- Create access of the children (Based on their skill and interest) to vocational institutions irrespective of their gender identity.
- Provision of basic services through creation of services and referral to the local service providers.
- Link the children with disabilities with social support programme.
Mohammadpur, Sutrapur, Sabujbagh, Hazaribagh, Kamrangir Char, Lalbagh, Uttara, Mirpur, Keraniganj and Savar in Dhaka district and Dhaka City Corporation; Gazipur Sadar and Tongi in Gazipur district; Khulna City Corporation; Barishal Sadar (Kotwali); Bhola Sadar; Patuakhali Sadar; Kumilla Sadar South and Kumilla Sadar (Kotwali)
Protection of Working Children programme works with Hazardous Child Labour, Potential Child Labour, their family members and employers. The programme aims for 44,000 Child Labour withdrawn from hazardous works.
- Ain o Salish Kendra (ASK)
- Association of Voluntary Actions for Society (AVAS)
- Christian Service Society(CSS)
- Community participation and development (CPD)
- DRISTI (A Voluntary Social Welfare Organization)
- Nabolok Parishad ( Nabolok)
- Nari Maitree (NM)
- Srizony Bangladesh
- Village Education Resource Center (VERC)
4. Thematic Area: Youth and Social Cohesion
Goals and objectives:
Goal: Young people have opportunities to become active citizens and agents of progressive change.
- Young people are developed as leaders and engaged in community level voluntary activities.
- Evidence base is built to understand and address drivers of extremism and radicalization.
- Increased opportunities for young people to develop their skills and income-generation activities.
Several strategies are adopted to attain the goal and objectives of the theme which are:
- Promotion of youth leadership through life skill education
- Formation of youth groups and promotion of active citizenship
- Engagement of multilevel stakeholders
- Strengthening of youth forums, platforms and networks
- Policy advocacy and campaign
- Promotion of voluntarism and youth leadership
- Involvement in social action to encourage active citizenship
- Training on gender, respect for diversity, peace and harmony
- Creation of vocational skills development and income opportunities
- Establishment of market linkage through youth fair, skill matching etc.
- Establishment of youth-based platform for participation and advocacy
- Awareness campaign against violent extremism and all forms of violence
- Involvement of youth in cultural events and sports
- Capacity development on ICT Youth dialogue with duty bearers and relevant social actors
- Promotion and facilitation of youth-led voluntary initiatives
Youth and Social Cohesion theme is being implemented in five city corporations and nine districts covering 22 upazilas.
Dhaka North City Corporation, Dhaka South City Corporation, Chattagram City Corporation, Mymensingh City Corporation & Khulna City Corporation
Districts and Upazilas:
Bagerhat: Bagerhat Sadar
Rangpur: Rangpur Sadar, Mithapukur & Pirgonj
Thakurgaon: Sadar, Pirgonj, Baliadangi, Haripur & Ranisankail
Sylhet: Sylhet Sadar, Biswanath, South Surma & Osmani Nagar
Gaibandha: Gaibandha Sadar, Palashbari & Saghata
Sherpur: Sherpur Sadar
Dinajpur: Dinajpur Sadar & Chirirbandar
Satkhira: Shyamnagar & Kaligonj
A total of 88,000 youth (mostly from poor and marginalized section) are the beneficiaries of this programme. The target population are the youth between ages of 15-30 years. Gender ratio of the programme participants is deliberately maintained to reduce gender disparity and to ensure girls and women’s engagement in the programme.
Till date the number of implementing partners is 13. These are as follows:
- Badhon Manob Unnayan Sangstha (BMUS)
- Bandhu Social Welfare Society
- Bangladesh Association for Social Advancement (BASA)
- Bangladesh Youth Leadership Center (BYLC)
- Bangla-German Sampreeti (BGS)
- Eco Social Development Organization (ESDO)
- Friends In Village Development Bangladesh (FIVDB)
- Gana Unnayan Kendra (GUK)
- Institute for Environment and Development (IED)
- Jhanjira Samaj Kallyan Sangstha (JSKS)
- Local Environment Development and Agricultural Research Society (LEDARS)
- Voluntary Association for Family Welfare and Social Development (VAFWSD)
Goal: Readymade garment (RMG) and migrant workers have improved socio-economic conditions in the environment of decent work.
Objective: Reducing vulnerability and protecting rights of workers
MJF on the ‘Decent and Safe Work’ theme works on ensuring legal rights; workplace safety issues of workers; social dialogue with employers; legal migration; reduce migration cost; violence free female migration etc. Workers’-rights-focused intervention will deal on the following issues:
- Employment relations;
- Occupational safety and health;
- Welfare and social protection of returnee migrants and left behind family members;
- Labour relations and social dialogue with Trade Union leaders; and
- Strong relationship with GOB officials to intervene if and when cases of exploitation and violence are reported.
- Potential migrant workers safely migrated
- Returnee migrants successfully reintegrated in the society
- RMG workers received legitimate wage and financial benefits
- RMG workers enjoyed improve working condition
- Existing laws and policies adopted/revised to strengthen workers’ rights
In terms of institutional strength, the decent work programme works with two tiers of partnership. One group of partners are those who are organizationally strong, retain communication and network with the workers’ organisations/trade unions and specialized on advocacy. Partners of the other group are small but locally-based and directly linked with beneficiaries, but need more capacity-building support. Major interventions are:
- People living in vulnerable geographical locations, urban slums, climate vulnerable areas and migrant prone areas
- Addressing the legislation implementation gap through training for legal and relevant government sector actors;
- Addressing the risks of exploitation linked to RMG and migration;
Dhaka: Dhaka North City Corporetion, SAVAR, Dhamrai, Nawabganj, Keraniganj and Dohar
Manikgong: Harirampur, Saturia, Shibaloy, Ghior, Manikgong Sadar
Kumilla: Kumilla Sadar, Dawdkandi, Muradnagar
Faridpur: Faridpur sadar, Sadarpur, Modhukhali
Mymensingh: Bhaluka, Fulbaria, Gaffargaon, Trishal
Beneficiaries: 20004 (Migration), 68000 (RMG) 51 Garments Factory
- 68,000 female garment workers will benefit from minimum wage and other legal entitlements by ensuring decent work conditions in their work place.
- 12,500 potential female migrants will migrate safely to their destination countries for work and 16,500 returnee migrants will be supported with skills training and employment opportunities to reintegrate into the local formal economy.
- Refugee and Migratory Movements Research Unit (RMMRU)
- Karmojibi Nari
- Bangladesh Institute of Labour Studies (BILS)
- Occupational Safety Health and Environment Foundation (OSHE)
- Safety and Rights Society (SRS)
5. Thematic Area: Strengthening Public Institutions (SPI)
Goals and objectives: Poor, marginalised and vulnerable people enjoy better quality of life in a well-governed institutional environment.
- Public service delivery institutions are more transparent and accountable to the people, and responsive to the needs of people especially the poor, marginalized and socially excluded sections;
- Voice of the citizens who represents the poor, marginalised and socially excluded sections is heard and their participation is ensured in public decision making process;
- Poor marginalised and vulnerable citizen are more able to access material resources, services and opportunities.
Institutions and services to work with: Local Governance, Social security Programs, Primary Healthcare Institutions, Primary education, Agricultural services, Skills development and economic enhancement.
Interventions: Participatory planning, Social accountability, Empowerment & Citizenry building, Community monitoring, Capacity building of institutions, Policy dialogue, Advocacy.
Geographical coverage: 15 Districts
Satkhira, Panchagarh, Netrakona, Bhola, Cox’s Bazar, Tangail, Khulna, Bogra, Lakshmipur, Barguna, Sherpur, Rangpur, Lalmonirhat, Barishal, Magura
Beneficiaries: 315,000 excluded poor-marginalised people.
Implementing partners: 16 Partners
- Agrogoti Sangstha (AS)
- Campaign for Popular Education (CAMPE)
- Coastal Association for Social Transformation (COAST Trust)
- Democracy Watch
- Khulna Mukti Seba Sangstha (KMSS)
- Management and Resources Development Initiative (MRDI)
- Light House
- NGO Forum for Public Health
- Noakhali Rural Development Society (NRDS)
- Nazrul Smriti Sangsad (NSS)
- PRIP Trust
- Ramnathpur Bahumukhi Nabayan Sangstha (RBNS)
- RDRS Bangladesh
- WAVE Foundation