The urban population of Bangladesh is around 50 million today and is estimated to reach 80 million by 2025. As accelerated and sustained migration continues, the issues associated with it do too.
"We have a large population of children moving to cities with their parents, but we also have many children – especially boys – that move by themselves looking for economic opportunities. What we see is that more boys than girls are dropping out of school, and this is attributed to migration for work," says Mark who is our Bangladesh Country Director.
"Bangladesh is a vibrant economy. Dhaka and other urban centres are providing a lot of opportunity, so as a result large numbers of people move to the cities, including children," Mark says.
The I Play, I Learn and I'm Safe project is an opportunity for Save the Children to test approaches and strategies to combat the situation in terms of children on the move.
An important part of the project is to give migrating children access to knowledge: To know that they can get health service, schooling and access to a place to play.
"There are things that we can do to prevent migration. The best things we are doing is to make sure that families and children are aware of the issues of migration; we are linking up families to government social safety net programmes to help them stay in their communities. But we have to acknowledge that migration does occur. So, what we are trying to do in this project is to try to make sure that migration – when it happens – is safe."
"It is a start," Mark says. "If it is successful, it can serve as a model for similar programmes throughout the country."
"We are very pleased and proud to be associated with IKEA and I hope they are very pleased and proud to be associated with Save the Children."
Mark added: "The good thing with this project is that it demonstrates IKEA Foundation's concern for the wellbeing of children. It really allows us to recognise and demonstrate how companies can play an active role in terms of promoting child rights. I think it's a win-win situation and I can't think of a better brand to be associated with than IKEA."