Street-connect Children in Dhaka and Politics of Violence

Prior to the 10th national election in Bangladesh, in 2013, political atrocity reached its peak with an unprecedented number of deaths and injuries. Bangladesh’s political violence typically reaches its peak during every national election. Moreover, in 2013 due to resistance from the ruling party, instead of partisans’ acts of political violence were mostly outsourced to low income, slum-dwelling people. In accordance with adults, children, for whom the street is a central reference point for living and livelihood, were used as an instrument to carry out political atrocities. Thus, by following a qualitative method using case studies and interviews, this paper explored the consequence of political violence prior to the 10th national election on street-connected children of Dhaka, Bangladesh. Findings show that street connected children got affected by political violence both as victims and perpetrators which stifled their physical and mental integrity. Children were found to be hired, forced, or trapped to take part in political activities. The paper concludes that the relationship between the street-connected children and the adult world along with the wider environment through which they live and pursue their livelihood increased their risk of becoming a victim as well as their “recruitment” as miscreants to instigate violence during hartal (strike)/ blockade.

Authors: Rahman, Rehnuma; Samadder, Zion Rabbi; Ahasan, Abu
Type: Monograph
Year: 2016