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Larger proportions of adults engaged in learning and school readiness activities with children in urban areas (56.4 percent) than in rural areas (44.3 percent). There is a positive correlation between educational levels of parents and care provided to children.

C.  Parental responsibilities

180.Under the ECD project, parents were supported in their child-rearing responsibilities through different mechanisms such as orientation of field level health workers, teachers and NGOs. Mass media communication activities enhanced caregivers’ knowledge and skills to enable them to support the optimal development of the children. A similar new project with an added focus on institutional learning opportunities has recently been launched.

181.Early marriage takes place mostly due to irresponsible behaviour of parents. The Government has launched a campaign to stop early marriage. The interventions include advocacy, campaign and publicity through electronic and print media. For example, Ministry of Information has produced and telecasted 20 short dramas on early marriage. A number of NGOs are also working against early marriage and dowry.

182.The Government has taken an initiative with technical and financial support from UNICEF for capacity building of Government and relevant NGO officials on reintegration methodologies and proactive social work. This aims at family and community based social support mechanisms with a view to strengthening social work system. Besides, capacity development of staff on child-friendly behaviour is under way to improve situation in child development centres and vagrant homes.

D.  Separation from parents

183.As per Population Census, 2001, about one-tenth of the households in Bangladesh are headed by women. This is because of death of father, divorce and separation or abandonment by their fathers. As has been found from MICS 2006, about 6 percent of the children have either one or both parents dead. This forces children to land in an orphanage, safe custody, in a relative’s house, Government or NGO homes, school hostels, or if from a poor family, often on a street or in the worst case in a brothel. These children are forced to take up work for their own survival and their families. As per Children’s Opinion Poll, 2005, 12.7 percent were working children. Of them, 23 percent worked as an urban worker (construction, transport, paper collector etc.) followed by street vendor (22 percent), rural agricultural worker (19 percent), domestic helper (8 percent) and hotel-boy (6 percent). More than half of the working-children surveyed were working for at least one year. About one-thirds of these children did not have the opportunity to visit their parents as per their need or desire.

E.  Family reunification

184.The Government has repatriated more than 200 children who were formerly involved in camel racing in UAE with support from UNICEF and some NGOs, and reintegrated them. UNICEF Bangladesh provided technical, advisory and financial support to this process. This is one of the major achievements of the State Party during 2005. The Government, NGOs and

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