DHAKA, Sept. 19 (Xinhua) -- The Bangladeshi government will recruit 6,000 new social workers, bringing the workforce from 3,000 to 9,000, to better protect children in communities.
The ground-breaking commitment to children comes after a comprehensive national household survey revealed that 45 million Bangladeshi children under the age of 15 -- a shocking 89 percent -- are regularly subjected to physical and psychological violence at home.
The announcement to strengthen child protection services and increase the number of social workers by 200 percent was made at the first-ever "National Symposium on Child Protection in Bangladesh", which was held Monday in capital Dhaka.
Jointly organized by the UNICEF and the European Union, the symposium was opened by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina virtually.
In a video message, she emphasized the importance of making child protection services available at the community level.
"The aim of our government is to build a professional social services workforce that enhances efficient delivery of child protection services such as Child Helpline 1098, Child Protection Allowances, and community-based outreach services involving volunteers, adolescent children, and community people so that no child is left behind," Hasina was quoted as saying in a statement by UNICEF on Monday.
In Bangladesh, "over three million children are trapped in child labour of which 1.3 million are in hazardous forms of child labour. One in five children do not complete primary school. Nearly half of children do not have a birth registration. Over 100,000 children are in institutional care and lack family support," the statement said.
Sheldon Yett, UNICEF representative to Bangladesh, said "Social workers reach deep into communities where children need them the most. I congratulate the Government of Bangladesh for this dramatic increase in the number of social workers to help more children to benefit from critical professional care."