Too young to bear the burden | The Daily Star
12:01 AM, October 31, 2013 / LAST MODIFIED: 09:50 PM, October 30, 2013

Too young to bear the burden

">Too young to bear the burden Photo: StarAccording to a joint report released by ILO and Unicef in 2006, around 4 lakh children are involved in domestic works in Bangladesh.
Of them, 80 percent are girls and they work up to 16 hours a day. Moreover, 99 percent of domestic helps work seven days in a week.
Yet domestic work is not being recognised as one of the worst forms of child labour in the government's booklet that consists of 38 other risky occupations country's children are involved in.
ILO recognises “hazardous work” as “labour that jeopardises the physical, mental or moral well-being of a child, either because of its nature or because of the conditions in which it is carried out.”
Whilst child labour takes many different forms, International Labour Organisation (ILO) prioritises to eliminate without delay the worst forms of child labour as defined by Article 3 of  its Convention on the Worst Forms of Child Labour No. 182.
Gita Chakraborty, senior deputy director of Child Rights Unit at ASK, said although domestic work is not as risky as those of in chemical factories and tanneries, it should be stopped for the sake of children's safe future.
Chakraborty said ASK has prepared a bill to create a bar for recruiting children below 12-year as domestic helps and placed the bill to the law ministry last year.
After visiting Aduri at Dhaka Medical College Hospital, State Minister for the Ministry of Women and Children Affairs Meher Afroze Chumki said the girl would never have to work as a domestic help again to feed herself and would be rehabilitated in future.
While such words from a policymaker uplift mass conscience and are worth appreciation, works have to be done in larger scale for the betterment of all children including those of domestic workers.

The writer is Staff Correspondent, The Daily Star.

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