Collective efforts of all are essential to eradicate child labour from the country, as only government’s effort is not enough for this, said speakers at a discussion yesterday.
Though the number of child labourers has reduced over the last decade, still a huge number of children are working in informal sectors, they said at the discussion held at Cirdap.
Bangladesh Shishu Adhikar Forum (BSAF) organised the discussion on “challenges of implementation of ILO Convention 182 in Bangladesh” with assistance of Terre des hommes Netherlands and Global March Against Child Labour.
Over the last ten years, the number of child labourers in the country has decreased by 1.68 million (from 7.9 million to 3.45 million), said AKM Masud Ali, executive director of INCIDIN Bangladesh, quoting BBS data in his keynote presentation.
However, over the same period, the number of child labourers in hazardous sectors in the country has decreased by only 10,000 (from 1.29 million it fell to 1.28 million), he said, adding that progress is slowest in this sector.
Masud said a large number of child labourers are still working in informal sectors, but there is no scope for monitoring it.
“We have to identify the worst forms of child labour, and work to eradicate it on a priority basis,” said chairperson of parliamentary caucus on child rights affairs Shamsul Haque Tuku.
He said not only government, but also stakeholders will have to take responsibility for this together.
“Child labour in rural areas has decreased, and even the number of child house helps is also reduced; it has happened as disadvantaged people are enjoying allowances from the government under social safety net projects,” said Md Fazle Rabbi Miah, deputy speaker of the parliament. He said the government gives importance to opinion of NGOs, and took effective steps in this regard.
“Total eradication of child labour is not possible, and we have to progress step by step,” he said.
The discussion was chaired by Md Mahbubul Haque, chairperson in charge of BSAF.
Abdus Sahid Mahmood, director of Shishu Adhikar Forum; country director of ILO country office for Bangladesh Tuomo Poutiainen, and country director of Terre des hommes Netherlands Mahmudul Kabir, also spoke.