Child labour continues unabated

It is time to address the problem with redesigned policy interventions

Published : 07 Jun 2023 07:31 PM

It is disconcerting to note that despite having a ban, child labour still goes unabated in the country. According to a recent report from by the International Labour Organization (ILO), approximately 4.9 million children in Bangladesh aged between 5 and 17 are currently involved in child labour. However, despite the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) stipulation on ending child labour within 2025, Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) does not have any updated data on child labour even after seven years of the formation of the global goals.

Child labour is not only a cause but also a consequence of social inequities reinforced by discrimination. Child labour reinforces cycles of poverty and undermines national economies. Children who are trapped in child labour are deprived of their childhood, health and education.

Children who are

trapped in child labour

 are deprived of their

childhood, health 

and education

We live in such a hierarchical social structure where families from middle class to rich class employ children as their domestic workers. Being deprived of their basic rights such children are compelled to work as domestic helps at urban households.

Poverty, lack of social security and mass-consciousness, lawlessness, wrong implementation of laws and child right acts are the main reasons pushing millions of our children to give labour to earn their livelihood and help their family. On top of that, in Bangladesh we don’t have any comprehensive public arrangement to address child labour. Also, a lack of sufficient support services for children prevents full implementation of existing government laws and policies.

It is time to address the issue of hazardous child labour with redesigned policy interventions. We hope that the government will look forward to strictly implementing existing laws and provisions to put the opportunist employer who engage children to avail benefit of cheap labour behind the bar. 

Besides implementing laws and provisions and making policies and ensuring proper implementation of them, what is further needed is to add-up a layer of consciousness among mass people about child labour.