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Speakers: Protect child workers, implement laws

  • Published at 09:15 pm December 17th, 2018
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Speakers at an event, titled 'Situation of Child Domestic Worker and Human Rights: Protection, Challenges and Way Forward,' organized by Bangladesh Shishu Adhikar Forum (BSAF) at the Daily Star Centre on Monday, December 17, 2018 Dhaka Tribune

Rights Activist Sultana Kamal reiterated the need for laws to implemented

In Bangladesh, there is no legal provision to protect the rights of Child Domestic Workers (CDWs) as the Domestic Workers Protection and Welfare Policy 2015 is yet to be enacted into law. 

“Child domestic work is not considered a hazardous job and domestic child laborers are excluded from theLabour Act 2006 (amended in 2013)” said child protection specialist Sharfuddin Khan during his keynote presentation on the issue at a discussion yesterday. 

He was speaking at “Situation of Child Domestic Worker and Human Rights: Protection, Challenges and Way Forward,” organized by Bangladesh Shishu Adhikar Forum (BSAF) at the Daily Star Centre where BSAF made a number of recommendations to address the issue.

Rights Activist Sultana Kamal reiterated the need for laws to implemented. “In our country, cases of children barely go to trial because of the lack of a strong legal framework on the issue. 

“Why doesn’t the government implement the child rights policies to protect the human rights of children?” 

BSAF Chairperson Dr Khawja Shamsul Huda said child domestic workers are treated as untouchables. 

“They lead an inhumane life and this affects their mental and physical health. They are unable to realize their human rights and their moral and social development suffers,” he said. 

In light of this, BSAF at the program recommended some solutions to end child labor in domestic work. They include: incorporating child domestic work in the list of hazardous work for children, promoting the ratification and implementation of the International Labor Organization (ILO) child labor Convention No 138 for minimum age to enter work, and Convention No 189 concerning decent work for domestic workers,   formalizing the employment relationship in domestic work through written contracts, setting a clear minimum age for domestic workers not lower than that established for workers generally, taking legislative and policy action to end child labor, and to protect young workers in domestic work.

Mahmudul Kabir, country director of Terre des Hommes Netherlands said: “Even though our country is moving forward, child domestic workers are still being abused with their fundamental rights being violated.”

Abdus Shahid Mahmood, director of BSAF, Tomoko Uchiyama, country director of Shapla Neer Bangladesh, Inspector General of Department of Inspection for Factories and Establishments (DIFE), DR Mustafizur Rahman, and Good Neighbors Bangladesh country director Mainuddin Mainul  also spoke at the program, among others. 

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