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ILO: All quarters must work together to eradicate child labour

  • Published at 09:54 pm June 12th, 2019
Girl carrying out her study at a construction site Mehedi Hasan/Dhaka Tribune

Bangladesh's government has pledged to eradicate child labour by 2025

The International Labour Organization (ILO) has urged Bangladesh to ensure access to social protection programs and quality education for decent work and effective elimination of child labour.

ILO's Bangladesh Country Director Tuomo Poutiainen made the call in a press release issued on Wednesday marking World Day Against Child Labour 2019.

“Bangladesh is progressing well in its journey to become a middle-income country and major efforts have been made to address child labour.

"We cannot achieve decent work for all without the elimination of child labour. It is important for us to continue providing basic education, and skills training to the youth. We also need to provide the youth with safer jobs,” he said.

"The ILO’s experience in tackling child labour has shown us that a combination of legislative regulations, a progressive labour market, youth employment policies, access to social protection programs, and quality education: these all are required for the effective elimination of child labour," he added.

Meanwhile, Bangladesh's government pledged to eradicate child labour from the country by 2025.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina issued a statement on Wednesday reiterating her government's commitment to eradicate all forms of child labour by 2025. 

The premier said: “Bangladesh formulated a National Child Labour Elimination Policy in 2010.

"It also developed a national work plan and formed committees to monitor child labour at the national, divisional, district, and sub-district levels.”

According to the National Child Labour Survey 2013, there are around 1.7 million child labourers in Bangladesh of whom around 1.28 million are trapped in hazardous work.

The ILO continues to advocate the Bangladeshi government to ratify the C 138 Minimum Age Convention which concerns the minimum age for admission to employment.

Meanwhile, ILO Director-General Guy Ryder urged the government, workers, and employers to work together to end child labour.

"World Day against Child Labour gives us an opportunity to take stock, define goals and recommit to action. Our reflection this year – the ILO’s Centenary – is particularly significant because the ILO has been working for the abolition of child labour since its earliest days," said Ryder. 

"In 100 years, we have made substantial progress, not least because of intense advocacy and national mobilization backed by legislative and practical action. Between 2000 and 2016 alone, there was a 38 per cent decrease in child labour globally," he added.

“We need to urgently accelerate the pace of progress. But to do this - and also meet Target 8.7 of the Sustainable Development Goals, which calls for the end of child labour by 2025 – more coherent action is required, ensuring the availability of quality education, social protection for all, and decent work for parents,” he suggested.