THE report titled ' Law caught napping' to mark the World Day Against Child Labour carried by this paper on Thursday has provided quite disturbing insights into how children are being made to work for long hours in hazardous jobs. Employed in informal sectors for making rope, cookware, balloon, and so on, it was found that many of these children were forced to work for 13 hours a day, often physically abused, and all that for a measly daily wage of Tk. 30. This is outrageous.
What have those civil society members or the organisations who are vocal against child labour to say when children are working under the most grueling condition at workplaces not far from the capital city? Oddly enough, all this is happening when this year the World Day Against Child Labour has underscored the role of social protection in keeping children out of child labour.
What are we to say about the government policy framed last year that declares any one below the age of 18 as a child, when our reporter found children aged 12, even 8, working in factories? The question arises as to what the Child Labour Monitoring Information System is really monitoring.
Given our socio-economic reality, complete removal of child labour may be a tall order. But with due application of law, strong monitoring and by launching a social campaign, we can at least keep the underage children from being employed and brutally treated.