Origins of Bandhu
Bandhu Social Welfare Society was formed in 1996 to address concerns of human rights abuse and denial of sexual health rights, and provide a rights-based approach to health and social services for the most stigmatized and vulnerable populations in Bangladesh, MSM in particular kothis/hijras and their partners. Bandhu have been officially registered since 1997 started with a staff of two and a small programme in Central Dhaka was supported by the Royal Norwegian Embassy. Over the years it has emerged as a national community led organization currently providing social and health services to a broad range of ‘Sexual Minority Populations in 21 districts in Bangladesh.
A core objective of Bandhu work with MSM and Hijras/TG is to advocate and provide for an environment where the respect and dignity of all Sexual Minority Populations irrespective of their specific gender and/or sexual identity, or the lack thereof, is assured, along with the creation of a supportive social, policy and legal environment to enable Sexual Minority Populations to more effectively respond to sexual health rights and basic human rights in Bangladesh.
In addition to its programme of services in Bangladesh, Bandhu is a part of number of regional and International initiatives.