Empowering children in Bangladesh


Save the Children works in Bangladesh to protect children from abuse and to build their resilience to natural disasters.

Save the Children began providing humanitarian relief for the poorest communities in rural and suburban areas of Bangladesh in 1986. Twenty-five years later, our approach has shifted to focus on protecting children from sexual abuse and diseases such as HIV and AIDS, and empowering children to become their own advocates.


Why we work in Bangladesh

Today, there are more than 60 million children in Bangladesh. Although there has been a steady decline in poverty in the last decade and significant progress against the Millennium Development goals, half of the child population continues to live below the poverty line.

Poverty in rural areas continues to be higher and more extreme than in urban areas, but the rapid growth of Bangladesh’s capital, Dhaka, has led to the expansion of already sprawling slums. Many children are malnourished, are forced into child labour and are at risk of abuse and exploitation.

The impacts of climate change – regular floods, storms and cyclones – combined with geographic location and socio-economic factors, make Bangladesh continuously vulnerable to disasters. As the negative impacts of climate change increase, Bangladesh’s development and the lives of children – the most vulnerable in disasters – are at further risk. 

Protecting children from abuse

The children of sex workers in Bangladesh are extremely vulnerable to abuse, exploitation and neglect. Our Comprehensive Child Protection for Children of Sex Workers program, funded by the Australian Government, aims to improve the quality and consistency of care and protection for children whose mothers are involved in sex work, and for children who are affected by HIV and AIDS. In 2013 alone, we reached more than 600 children and adults with quality education and protection interventions.

Building resilience to disasters

Children in the poorest communities in Bangladesh are the most vulnerable when disasters strike. We work with children in urban slum communities to increase their understanding of what climate change means in a large city and the actions they can take to help their communities adapt. Learn more about our work in disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation.

Working together to help children in Bangladesh

Working with 100 local partners, Save the Children is one of the largest organisations in Bangladesh. As a global network, Save the Children International has been running child protection programs and empowering disadvantaged groups, including children of sex workers, since the 1970’s. Through our combined efforts in the areas of health, education, livelihoods and children’s rights, we reach an average of 15 million people each year.