2007 - The UNDP and USAID supported Access to Information (A2I) program was launched at the Prime Minister’s office in Bangladesh, an indication of the government’s determination to embrace ICT as a powerful means to effect the nation’s socio-economic transformation. The global A2I program supports national efforts that foster access to information for all people. In Bangladesh, A2I works with policymakers on ICT development initiatives and assists with the implementation of the Digital Bangladesh strategy and assisted in developing numerous other ICT related documents, such as the National ICT Policy, the ICT Act 2010, National Telecom Policy 2010 and more.
2008 - The Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission has reached an agreement with country’s telecoms to provide free Internet access and facilities to schools for a three to six month period. After the initial free period, the education institutions were able to receive Internet and the hardware at a reduced price.
The same year, with the financial and development support from the World Bank, the Ministry of Education of Bangladesh implemented the Secondary Education Quality and Access Enhancement Project (SEQAEP) to improve quality of education and monitor learning outcomes, and increase access and equity in all the districts. As of 2016, the project has supported about 4 million students in grades 6-10 in about 10,000 secondary schools from 215 sub-district in the country.
In 2008, Grameenphone, one of the country’s mobile operators, in partnership with CARE, launched Information Boats (Tothyo Tori) that travel up and down a part of north-eastern Bangladesh on a fixed schedule. The boats are sent to remote areas where citizens can board to get online, learn about computers, and get access to educational materials for children.
2009 - The National ICT Policy was implemented to develop skilled human resources and support the national goal of becoming a middle-income country within ten years and join the ranks of the developed countries of the world within thirty years. The objective in the education and research sector is to use ICTs to expand the reach and quality of education to even the most rural parts of the country, and to ensure computer literacy at all levels of education. ICT courses will be incorporated in secondary education and TVET programs, whilst the use of ICT will be increased in all educational levels, including Early Childhood Education and lifelong learning. The Action Plan calls for regular reviews of the ICT literacy curriculum at secondary level based on the needs of a cost-effective knowledge society, whilst ensuring that computer labs in all secondary and model primary schools are equipped with Internet access and appropriate technical support, with a view to equip half of all primary schools with electricity with such labs in the long term. The policy envisages universal access to ICT by 2014, alongside an extended Internet backbone infrastructure to all district headquarters. Internet services will be developed and made available to all parts of the country by 2015, while educational institutions are to receive an ICT infrastructure that will support the integration of ICT into the curriculum.
The same year, A2I published the Strategic Priorities of Digital Bangladesh (SPDB) report, which presents an analysis of the current situation in the People’s Republic and points out required interventions for each sector in terms of ICT-led development. For the education sector, it identifies the following ten strategic priorities: teacher-led multimedia content development for use in the classroom; interesting and interactive learning environment through multimedia classrooms with Internet connection in every primary and secondary school; incentives for teachers based on performance innovation; ICT literacy for students in tertiary education; accelerating the Bangladesh Research and Education Network (BdREN); all education services to be made available online or through mobile platforms by 2012; monitoring at field level; education TV or web TV; modernizing Bangladesh Open University; public-private partnerships to efficiently develop the above priorities.
In addition, the National Broadband Policy 2009 build up a people- centered, development oriented information society, where everyone would be able to access, utilize, and share information and knowledge easily and efficiently. It may be realized by harnessing the potential of ICT human through broadening infrastructure, developing access network, enhancing human resource and facilitating local content development. The vision also target broadband services for competitive market based economy for ensuring people’s access to information through affordable, highly advanced and secured broadband services.
Furthermore, the Grameenphone and Microsoft initiative has been launched to bridge the digital divide between rural and urban areas in Bangladesh. Microsoft’s Digital Literacy Curriculum is a well-established program and the project in Bangladesh aims to target rural students, unemployed youth and women in particular. More than 500 Computer Information Centers (CICs) provide access to the curriculum, as well as through the information boat project and other educational institutions. Grameenphone’s CICs were established with the support of the GSM Association in 2006 and provide high-speed Internet access, for a small fee, in areas where it would otherwise be unavailable.
2010 - The new National Education Policy 2010 emphasizes the use of ICT to improve educational quality, based on different available and efficient delivery options within Bangladesh. The plan focuses on establishing an integrated school system under a framework that unifies public, NGO and private providers, improving quality through reduced class size, improved teaching practices, and a focus on ICT literacy, decentralizing primary education administration and management, and engaging in partnerships with NGOs and the private sector.
Computer education has been an elective subject at secondary level since 1996. As of mid 2010, 9,000 schools (out of 18,770) and 3,500 (out of 9,736) madrasas (institutions focused teaching Islamic theology and religious law) continued to offer this course. The government has also taken several initiatives to modernize and update the curriculum, and the revised computer/ICT curriculum was introduced in the 2009/10 school year.
In response to the National Education Policy 2010, the Directorate of Primary Education (DPE), with assistance from Save the Children Bangladesh, initiated an ‘ICT in Education’ pilot project in 18 government primary schools in Meherpur district. The objective was to explore the observable changes in the quality of teaching and learning, resulting from the use of technology in the classroom and to supplement the Primary Education Development Plan (PEDP). Since the project demonstrated potential for a wider implementation and impact than was originally envisioned, the Ministry of Primary and Mass Education (MoPME) has expanded and incorporated most of the ICT infused interventions of the pilot project into the government primary school system
2011 - The World Bank launched the Third Primary Education Development Program in Bangladesh, which will be implemented through 2017. The program focuses on the improvement of the quality of the learning environment and the measurement of student learning, access and reduced social disparities, and program planning and management, and strengthening institutions.Use ICT more extensively to support broader coverage of in-service training and other development initiatives across the primary education sector.
2012 - The same year, the Government adopted the Bangladesh’s Vision 2021, where one of the eight goals focuses on the development of a skilled and creative workforce. This includes, among other objectives, universal access to education for all, a decentralized education system and computer literacy for all. The government envisages utilizing ICT to improve the quality and reach of education services. To begin with, all tertiary education institutions will receive broadband Internet access, with other types of institutions being equipped gradually at a highly subsidized price. A special effort will be made to provide computer education to deprived and rural areas.
2015 - The National Academy for Educational Management (NAEM) launched Development and Practices of Digital content in the Secondary level Institutions of Bangladesh project to ensure vibrant and effective teaching learning environment to build the student as a future global citizen. The project focuses on helping the students to reach a better understanding of the topic in a systematic way, making the learning more interesting and enjoyable for students, motivate students to be more self-managed learner, and to be more creative and innovative in teaching.
2016 - Microsoft Bangladesh and the Ministry of Primary and Mass Education signed a Memorandum of Understanding to work on improving skills and employability through the use technology. The agreement was made under the Partners in Learning program, a global initiative that has been implemented in Bangladesh 2004. Microsoft and the Ministry will begin number of initiatives, including Microsoft Shape the Future, ICT Policy workshops for education, and Microsoft Innovative Educators.
INTERPOL is the world’s largest international police organization, with 190 member countries. Its mission is to enable police forces to collaborate globally to fight crime in the Internet age. Three areas of focus are crimes against children (with a focus on internet crimes and travelling sex offenders), cybercrime and human trafficking.
Terre des Hommes Netherlands
This NGO focuses on stopping child sexual exploitation, child labor, child abuse and child trafficking in Asia, East Africa and Europe.
Safer Internet for School Students (2016)Telenor Group
This study used samples of children in Thailand, Malaysia and Bangladesh to help understand the online behavior of students and children's experiences with online victimization.
Child Abuse and the Recent Trends in Bangladesh: A Critical Analysis from Islamic and Bangladesh Laws (2015)Mohammad Saiful Islam
This article discusses Islamic guidelines against the abuse and exploitation of child and highlights about child abuse, exploitation, child labor, and buying or selling children for purpose of prostitutions.
WSIS 10 Year Country Report by The People's Republic of Bangladesh (2014)WSIS
Report on the status of implementation of ICT into the society of Bangladesh
The Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children in South Asia (2014)ECPAT
Developments, progress, challenges and recommended strategies for civil society in India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka
Small World, Big Responsibility: The UK’s role in the global trade in children (2012)Erika Hall, Phillippa Lei
This report preset information on the different forms of child exploitation. Its purpose is to raise awareness to this global issue.
ICT in Eduation in Bangladesh (2010)InfoDev
Status of the implementation of ICT into Bangladesh education sector.
Meta-survey on the Use of Technologies in Education in Asia and the Pacific (2003)Glen Farrell, Cédric Wachholz
This study identifies and analyses the different practices in the use of ICTs in education in Asia and the Pacific. it discusses countries’ policies, challenges and successful ICT integration in the region.
This section contains details of the country’s laws as they relate to sexual offenses, children and the use of the Internet in the commission of criminal activity. Where possible, sentence details have been given, including whether an increased custodial penalty is imposed where the victim is a child.
The age of consent for sexual activity in Bangladesh is fourteen. The legal age of consent for marriage is eighteen for women and 21 for men. There is no specific law banning forced marriage; however, legally, both parties have to consent to marriage. This can be given by the legal guardians or parents. However, marrying or minors is a criminal offense under Section 6 of the Child Marriage Restraint Act. The age of simple majority is eighteen for both males and females.
- Section 292, Penal Code. Sale, etc., of Obscene Books, etc. States that anyone who sells, lets to hire, distributes, publicly exhibits or in any manner circulates, or for purposes of sale, hire, distribution, public exhibition or circulation, makes, produces or has in his possession any obscene book, pamphlet, paper, drawing, painting, representation or figure or any other obscene object whatsoever, will be liable to imprisonment with or without hard labor for up to three months, a fine or both. The same penalty applies to anyone who imports, exports or conveys any obscene object for any of the aforementioned purposes, or knowing or having reason to believe that such object will be sold, let to hire, distributed or publicly exhibited or in any manner circulated; anyone who takes part in or receives profits from, any business in the course of which he knows or has reason to believe that any such obscene objects are, for any of the purposes aforesaid, made, produced, purchased, kept, imported, exported, conveyed, publicly exhibited or in any manner put into circulation. The same applies to anyone who advertises or makes known by any means whatsoever that any person he engaged or is ready to engage in any act which is an offense under this section, or that any such obscene object can be procured from or through any person, or offers or attempts to do any act which is an offense under this section.
- Section 293, Penal Code. Sale, etc., of Obscene Objects to Young Person. Defines the offense of selling, letting to hire, distributing, exhibiting or circulating to a person under the age of 20 any obscene objects as referred to in Section 292, or offering or attempting to do so. The offense is punishable by imprisonment with or without hard labor for up to six months, a fine or by both.
- Section 354, Penal Code. Assault or Criminal Force to Woman with Intent to Outrage her Modesty. States that it is a criminal offense to assault any woman with intent to outrage her modesty. The penalty for this offense is imprisonment with or without hard labor for up to two years, a fine or both. Section 364A, Penal Code. Kidnapping or Abducting a Person under the Age of Ten. This section states that anyone who kidnaps or abducts a person under the age of ten in order to subject the victim to the lust of others, grievous hurt or slavery, or with the intent to murder the victim, will be liable to the death penalty, imprisonment for life or imprisonment with hard labor for between seven to fourteen years.
- Section 366A, Penal Code. Procuration of a Minor Girl. This section states that anyone who, by any means whatsoever, induces a minor girl under the age of eighteen years to go from any place or to do any act with intent that the victim may be, or knowing that it is likely that she will be, forced or seduced to illicit intercourse with another person, will be liable to imprisonment for up to ten years in addition to a fine.
- Section 366B, Penal Code. Importing of Girl from Abroad. Imposes a penalty of imprisonment for up to ten years in addition to a fine for anyone who imports into Bangladesh any girl under the age of 21 with intent that she may be, or knowing that she is likely to be, forced or seduced to illicit intercourse with another person.
- Section 372, Penal Code. Selling Minor for Purposes of Prostitution, etc. States that it is an offense to sell, let to hire or otherwise dispose of a person under the age of eighteen years with intent that such person shall at any age be employed or used for the purpose of prostitution or for any unlawful and immoral purpose, or knowing it to be likely that such person will at any age be employed or used for any such purpose. The offense is punishable with imprisonment with or without hard labor for up to ten years, in addition to a fine.
- Section 373, Penal Code. Buying Minor for Purposes of Prostitution, etc. Defines the offense of buying, hiring or otherwise obtaining possession of a person under the age of eighteen with intent that such person shall at any time be employed or used for the purpose of prostitution, illicit intercourse or for any unlawful and immoral purpose. The offense is punishable by imprisonment for up to ten years, in addition to a fine.
- Section 375, Penal Code. Rape. This section states that a man is guilty of rape if he has sexual intercourse with a woman against her will; without her consent; with her consent if this has been obtained by threatening her with death or hurt; with her consent if this was given by impersonating her husband; with or without her consent if she is under fourteen years of age.
- Section 376, Penal Code. Punishment for Rape. Imposes a penalty of life imprisonment or imprisonment with or without hard labor for up to ten years in addition to a fine for anyone guilty of rape. Where the offender raped his own wife who is not under twelve years of age he will be liable to imprisonment with or without hard labor for up to two years, or to a fine, or both.
- Section 377, Penal Code. Unnatural Offenses. States that anyone who voluntarily has anal sexual intercourse with any man, woman or animal will be liable to life imprisonment, or with imprisonment with or without hard labor for up to ten years, plus a fine.
- Section 9, Suppression of Immoral Traffic Act. Procuration. This section states that anyone who induces a female to go from any place with intent that she may, for the purposes of prostitution, become the inmate of, or frequent a brothel, is guilty of an offense and liable to imprisonment with or without hard labor for up to three years, or with fine of up to 1,000 Taka, or both. If the offender is male he will also be liable to whipping.
- Section 10, Suppression of Immoral Traffic Act. Punishment for Importing a Female for Prostitution. Imposes a penalty of imprisonment with or without hard labor for up to three years, a fine of up to 1,000 Taka, or both, for anyone who brings or attempts to bring into Bangladesh any woman or girl with a view to her becoming a prostitute. If the offender is a male, he will also be liable to whipping.
- Section 11, Suppression of Immoral Traffic Act. Punishment for Detention as Prostitute or in Brothels, etc. Defines the offense of detaining a female under the age of eighteen years against her will in any house, room or place in which prostitution takes place, or any female in or upon any premises with intent that she may have sexual intercourse with any man other than her lawful husband, whether with any particular man or generally. The penalty for the above is imprisonment for up to three years, a fine of 1,000 Taka or both.
- ICT Act of 2009 contains provisions that define and stipulate cyber crimes such as unauthorized access to computer systems or data, malicious system damage, misuse of electronic systems or encryption, malicious code, unauthorized interception, electronic fraud and forgery. Of special interest is Section 57, which states that anyone who uses the Internet or any other electronic format to deliberately publish or broadcast false or obscene information or material that is likely to offend public morals or damage a person’s honor or reputation is liable to imprisonment for up to ten years.
- Pornography Control Act 2012. Prevent depreciation of the social and moral values with special focus on the women and children. The definition of pornography includes production and dissemination of video documentary, audio-visual materials, graphics, books, periodicals, sculpture, cartoon, leaflet and imaginary statue using uncivil dialogue and picture, body movement, naked dance, etc. which may create sexual appeal. The Act strongly prohibits production, preservation, marketing, supply, buying and selling and dissemination of all forms of pornographic items. If any person gets involved in producing pornography or force men, women and children to participate in pornography production or record naked still and video picture with or without the consent of the participants he/she will be considered as guilty and will be given punishment for seven years rigorous imprisonment and a fine of taka two hundred thousand. The Act has the provision to give punishment to the persons using the Internet, a website or any other electronic device to disseminate pornography. The punishment in this case will be five years rigorous imprisonment and two hundred thousand taka fine. Besides, the Act has also the provision for giving exemplary punishment to the persons using children for the production and dissemination of pornographic materials. The punishment for such offence will be ten years rigorous imprisonment and up to five hundred thousand taka fine.
Actions of the Convention on the Rights of the Child: Bangladesh has acceded, with no declarations or reservations to articles 16, 17(e) and 34 (c), to the Convention on the Rights of the Child and to articles 2 and 3, to the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography.
2007 - The government established the angladesh Computer Security Incident Response (BD-CSIRT) to suppress internet based crimes. It also provides computer emergency response services to members and the wider computer network community.
2010 - Aparajeyo-Bangladesh established a Child Helpline “1098” that provides social support services to children. The Helpline operates by educating children about its use through outreach and awareness-raising activities. The Social Center in Dhaka addresses protective, social, educational and recreational needs of the rescued children through the creation of a child-friendly and supportive environment.
2012 - The Government of Bangladesh enacted the Pornography Control Act 2012 to prevent depreciation of the social and moral values with special focus on the women and children. The Act strongly prohibits production, preservation, marketing, supply, buying and selling and dissemination of all forms of pornographic items.
Regulations such as the Censorship Act 1963, the Information Communication Technology Act, and the Online Child Protection Policy proved laws and guidelines in relation to censorship on publications and dissemination of harmful information and materials.