Bandhu Social Welfare Society was initially formed as a result of research regarding the sexual and reproductive health needs of MSM in Bangladesh, conducted in Dhaka from October 1996 – March 1997. The findings identified social exclusion, marginalization, and stigmatization of MSM population along with other risky sexual health practices associated with STI and HIV infection. Over the last 15 years, the Bandhu has been working in Bangladesh to address many challenges of sexual minority population in particular MSM and hijra. These challenges ranged from health to human rights, while important challenges in responding to the HIV and AIDS service needs of MSM and hijra population remain fighting stigma and discrimination, and scaling up universal access to HIV and AIDS services. Both of these challenges are further fueled by legal and social barriers. In addition to above, there also a number of other challenges in relation to creating access to livelihood option, education, health and other basic citizen services for MSM and hijra population in Bangladesh.
Bandhu through its substantive work with the sexual minority communities, has witnessed that Sexual minority populations in Bangladesh face myriad of difficulties in accessing citizen services in general, and sexual and reproductive health services in particular. Often time they are discriminated, stigmatized and harassed by the dominant people or individual on the basis of their gender identity, behaviors and sexual practices. All these factors have influenced BSWS to develop its own strategy and approach to address the needs of sexual minority population in Bangladesh, and by doing so, and through its other substantive work, it has become a leading organization to work with and for the sexual minority Populations not only in Bangladesh but also South Asia.
Bandhu is registered with the Social Welfare Ministry of Bangladesh and the NGO Affairs Bureau. The increasing role of Bandhu in addressing human rights and other emergent needs of the sexual minority communities has compelled it to be members of many national, regional and international forum, network and alliance.
Bandhu is now working in more than 21 districts in Bangladesh, providing a range of services to sexual minority populations with an aim to promote sexual and reproductive health services as well as to ensure safe sex practice among the rights holders. Bandhu’ services packages are now delivered in three, out of seven, divisional cites in Bangladesh as well as some southern part of the country………………..Please click here to read Bandhu Profile