Alarming rise in hazardous child labour
Rights activists yesterday expressed grave concern over the rising trend in hazardous child labour.
In recent years, child labour has remained almost static, but involvement of children in hazardous jobs -- like in transport and workshops -- has increased remarkably, they said at a press conference.
Bangladesh Shishu Adhikar Forum (BSAF), a platform of child rights organisations, held the conference at Dhaka Reporters' Unity on the occasion of the World Day Against Child Labour (today).
Speaking at the programme, activists called upon the government to make a national workplan for eliminating all kinds of child labour by 2025 and to amend the country's labour law, particularly defining the light works that are allowed for children under 12.
They demanded to identify domestic help as a hazardous child labour and to formulate a separate act based on the Domestic Workers Protection and Welfare Policy 2015.
Experts also suggested involving parents into income generating activities, allocating more budget for children and using it properly, and doing a survey on child domestic workers.
National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) Chairman Kazi Reazul Hoque said, “It seems like we are moving in the opposite direction [in eliminating child labour] as hazardous child labour is rising.”
If it continues, the number of hazardous child labour will be double in 2025, he observed. He also suggested conducting a periodic review to assess the progress of activities against child labour.
“The ministries need to take proper plans for spending budget for children. Otherwise, accountability will not be ensured and the efforts for the betterment of children will not progress,” said the NHRC Chairman.
BSAF Director Abdus Shahid Mahmood said domestic child workers are usually involved in unsafe work, like using sharp knives and carrying heavy objects, so identifying it as hazardous child labour is a must.
BSAF Chairperson Emranul Huq Chowdhury also spoke at the press conference.