Photo: Bashir Ahmed Sujan

Liberation and Empowerment: Attaining Dignity and Rights for sex workers and their children in Bangladesh

It is estimated that between 60,000 to 100,000 people are involved in sex work in Bangladesh. Sex Workers and their children are living in a situation of exclusion where they are denied of even the most basic human rights such as health and education. They are victims of power structures that leave them exposed to inhumane conditions like the obligation of using steroids, lack of access to water and sanitation, property rights, legal protection, extortion, trafficking and violence. Children of Sex Workers are living in an unsafe environment and are potential victims of the dangerous racket of sex trade.

LEADR project aims to promote human rights and dignity of the Sex Workers and their children by raising awareness and providing assistance in the brothels of Faridpur, Daulatdia and Tangail. Trough several interventions the project will inform and train both the rights holders and the duty bearers in basic human rights concepts, especially those related to the access to health and education.

This will be accomplished through Self Help Groups formed within the brothels, conferences, seminars, workshops and national level sharing meetings. A knowledge platform will also be created to investigate the real situation of Sex Workers, with quantitative and qualitative data in order to provide accurate information on the current situation. Other major goals will be to warrantee the access of Sex Workers’ children to the mainstream education system by enrolling them in public schools and constructing a Child Development Centre called Shapla Kuri to offer the children a safe and secure place to live.

Focus of the project:

> Women Empowerment

> Child protection and inclusion in the mainstream education

> Awareness campaign


> Dity brothel and C&B Ghat brothel in Faridpur district

> Tangail brothel in Tangail district

> Daulatdia brothel Rajbari district

Funded by AECID (Agencia Española de Cooperación Internacional y Desarrollo) for 15 months, the project targeted 800 people (600 female, 100 male and 100 children) directly and 1500 as indirect rights holders.

Please click the link bellow to discover the life of the children born in this confined and segregated place and also to explore hope. Hope for change, hope for improvement.


While we are making efforts to bring in more children to Shapla Kuri, we are also urging the Government to take bold steps. Find bellow online coverage of such petition announced during the National Level Sharing Meeting on Education Rights of Children of Sex Workers:


In order to create a knowledge platform on Human Trafficking, Sex Workers and their Children, we also held an International Conference along with our local partner, the University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh (ULAB/CSD). Please find here an article on the conference:


More on the conference at http://bit.ly/WhdepY

If you wish to make a donation to support our work, please contact Jesmin.Banu@actionaid.org