Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust (BLAST)

Request for Proposal (RFP)

Conducting Research on Legal and Policy Framework to initiate the process of drafting law to Protect the Children from Physical and Humiliating Punishment (PHP) in all settings   

1. Background

Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust (BLAST) is implementing a project titled “Legal Reform for Ending Corporal Punishment” with support from Save the Children since 2012. The main objective of the project is to (i) advocate for enacting a law on banning Physical and Humiliating Punishment (PHP) in all settings (ii) promote Positive Discipline in Everyday Parenting (PDEP) in order to reduce PHP by parents/caregivers and (iii) reduce Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) in project locations. The project aims to achieve the above objectives by strengthening the capacity of CSOs and empowering children and individuals.

2. Context

There are around 64 million children under 18 years of age (UNICEF 2014) in Bangladesh. Gender discrimination, sexual harassment, child marriage, Physical and Humiliating Punishment (PHP) are some of the major challenges faced by children, especially girls. PHP is a common and socially justified and tolerated form of violence against children in Bangladesh. According to the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey of 2012-2013 (report published by UNICEF and Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics in March 2015), 82.3 percent children (1-14 years) face psychological aggression or physical punishment. In most cases, children are punished by parents, teachers, employers and caregivers in the name of ‘discipline’. Furthermore, media reports suggest that children face extreme cases of corporal punishment in educational institutes (schools and madrasas). Large number of the child population are facing everyday violence in their own home, at educational institutions and workplaces. There is overwhelming evidence that corporal punishment causes direct physical harm to children and impacts negatively affect in the short and long-term of their mental and physical and cognitive development.

In recent years, Bangladesh Government has taken some positive steps against corporal punishment. The Supreme Court of Bangladesh declared corporal punishment in educational institutions-to be “illegal and unconstitutional”. In compliance with this ruling, the Government of Bangladesh issued a Circular prohibiting corporal punishment in educational institutions in 2011, and the new guidelines prohibited both physical and psychological punishments. Bangladesh Government has also undertaken a series of initiatives to develop a national agenda to address violence against children with an emphasis on addressing PHP, which includes the National Children Policy and enacting of the Children Act 2013. Furthermore, some provisions have also been proposed in the draft Education Act 2016 to prohibit PHP in schools. But there is no comprehensive law banning PHP in all settings.

Again, in Bangladesh, most of the incidents of sexual abuse happen at home, family and community, and girls (between the ages of 13-18 years) are the victims of sexual abuse. Children are exposed to sexual harassment at home, school, community and workplace. Several laws including the Suppression of Violence against Women and Children 2000 Act (Amended in 2003), Child Marriage Restraint Act 2017 are in force to address sexual violence against girl child. However, media reports and our programmatic experiences suggest these violence are happening widely and regularly in the country.

In this backdrop, BLAST is going to conduct a research on Legal and Policy Framework to initiate the process of drafting law to Protect the Children from Physical and Humiliating Punishment (PHP) in all settings.    

3. Objectives of the Research  

To review and analyse relevant domestic laws including High Court Judgment on PHP issues for the purposes mention below:

  • To identify the loopholes of both substantive and procedural laws/policies and to explore the gaps in practice that might be potential reason for poor protection of children from PHP in all settings.
  • To analyse the international standard of protection of the children from PHP in all settings;
  • To set recommendations for legal and policy change to strengthen the protection of children from PHP in all settings.

4. Scope of work:

  • Review existing laws and policies, project related documents and any other background documents;
  • Develop proposal and inception note for the research. This will include a timeline, methodology and work plan. The inception note should include details on methodology with data analysis plan and data collection tools;
  • Hold meetings with working group of experts
  • GAP analysis on related laws, policies and building issues, consolidate learning and experience to prepare a draft law for sharing and comment;
  • Participate in consultation meetings on the research with the Project Team;
  • Develop a draft report;
  •  Draft report submit (after incorporating feedback from the Project Team) to the Project Team;
  • Arrange a debriefing session for the Project Team;
  • Generate a final report (after incorporating feedback from the Project Team) against the research objectives.

5. Deliverables

  • Inception report with action plan for data collection
  • Draft Report
  • Final report including draft law, policies and building issues, consolidate learning and experience to prepare a draft law

6. Timeline:
            20 working days after inception period (from the date of signing agreement)

7. Payment Schedule

10% on submission of inception report and detail work plan;
30% on submission and acceptance of detailed research plan and data collection tools;
50% after satisfactory delivery of the final report.
VAT and Income Tax will be deducted at source from the total contracted amount as per applicable Government rules.

8. Expected competencies of consultant/agency

It is expected that the competency of the contracted agency/consultant will include:

  • At least 7 years of experience in research and evaluation especially in the area of children rights and corporal punishment.
  • Sound knowledge on children’ laws.
  • Experience in working with law and policy development will be an advantage. 
  • Strong analytical and legal drafting skills.

9. Submission of Proposal

Consultant/agency is requested to submit a detailed proposal outlining:
a) Agency profile/CVs   
b) Experience in similar   assignments
c) Workplan and timeframe
d) Financial proposal (including VAT Registration Number)

10. Criteria for consultant/agency selection:

1 Conceptual framework/Understanding the tasks
2 Relevant academic qualifications and past relevant experience
3 Detailed methodology including data management and analysis
4 Detailed and practical work plan with timeline
5 Financial proposal

11. Disclaimer

BLAST reserves the right to accept or reject any or all proposals without assigning any reason whatsoever. It can also reserve the right to terminate the contract if it is not satisfied with the performance, such as quality and progress of the work. In case of termination payment will not be made. Copyright of the Research Report will remain with the BLAST. 

12. How to Apply

  • Consultant/agency that meet the requirements outlined above is invited to submit detail technical proposals including financial plan with a cover letter to BLAST.
  • Apply under the subject line of Conducting Research on Legal and Policy Framework to protect Children from Physical and Humiliating Punishment (PHP) in all settings   with your name and contact details (including email address).
  • Deadline: 6 September 2018 , 5:00pm
  • Submit to