Access to education for the children of sex workers in Bangladesh: opportunities and challenges

Shohel, M. Mahruf C. (2013). Access to education for the children of sex workers in Bangladesh: opportunities and challenges. Child Studies in Diverse Contexts, 3(1) pp. 13–31.

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Abstract

The children of sex workers in Bangladesh are denied even the most basic human rights. This article is based on recent research focused on the children of sex workers in the context of their everyday lives. The study focused on access to education and how education could be a vehicle for them to break the vicious cycle of exploitation. This was a mixed method interpretative study which employed qualitative and quantitative approaches, but in this paper only qualitative data which was generated through in-depth interviews and focus group discussions is used. Data was collected from sex workers, their children, teachers and NGO workers who participated in the study. Information has been collected for analysing the expectation of the children of sex workers and hope for the future, and the opportunities available to them during their schooling. Thematic analysis technique was used to understand the challenges and barriers faced by the children of sex workers in fulfilling their educational aspirations. The lives of the children of sex workers are marginalised by the mainstream society. Though it is very difficult to break the vicious cycle of exploitation, this research finds that education may be a stepping stone for them to create a better future. However, it is argued that the children of sex workers need income generating vocational and technical education to enable them to earn and support their family. Policy recommendations have been made in order to achieve Education For All (EFA) targets and Millennium Development Goals (MDG), and to provide a second chance for these vulnerable young people to have a better life.

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