Protecting Human Rights Programme: Voices from the Grassroots

On Feb 8, speakers at the closing ceremony of the “Protecting Human Rights Programme”, titled “Voices from the Grassroots” addressed the thousands of survivors that are currently victims of child marriage and domestic violence.

The event, jointly organised in Dhaka by Plan International and BNWLA, with support from USAID, featured the State Minister for the Ministry of Women and Children Affairs (MoWCA) Meher Afroze Chumki, who said:

“Child marriage is causing violence on women to increase. We have laws but we need to find out why we are going through these problems. Is it poverty, lack of education, or something else?”

She also urged for cooperation between the government and NGOs, saying that “the government cannot do everything alone”.
In addition, US Ambassador Marcia Bernicat drew attention to the problems within the proposed Child marriage Restraint Act 2016, which would allow child marriage in “special cases.”
“I hope the Government of Bangladesh will work closely with civil society to implement rules that restrict the conditions under which minor girls can be legally married,” she said.
The five –year “Protecting Human Rights Programme” was implemented by Plan International Bangladesh in partnership with BNWLA and 11 other organisations.The programme provided psychological counseling services and legal services to domestic violence survivors. Furthermore, it declared 33 child marriage free unions and prevented over a thousand child marriages across 120 unions and nine upazilas of six districts.

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