22 more sectors to be announced free of child labour
Pounding pressure from the civil society and child right activists is piling up to formulate a new National Plan of Action (NPA) prompted for the elimination of child labour in the country. Additional Secretary of Ministry of Labour has finally confirmed that the government has extended the implementation of the NPA to 2025.
The Additional Secretary Dr Rezaul Haque declared it at a program titled – National Seminar on Elimination of HCL in Bangladesh: Issues and Opportunities – at CIRDAP in the city on Thursday.
Implementation of NPA has been extended to 2025, at meeting that held to review the effectiveness of NPA in 2015, Rezaul Haque said.
A sub-committee was also formed to make necessary changes in the plan, he said.
He, however, said he does not know the current status of the NPA but, “it is ascertained that the NPA that was formulated to be implemented by 2015, would be extended till 2025 and now, no one can say that there is no plan of action in this regard,” he added.
Prof Nazmuzzaman Bhuian of Department of Law under University of Dhaka said it took two years to learn that there is no implementation of NPA right now. He also mentioned that despite pressure from the civil society, the NPA is yet to be formulated.
“Without proper data and a course of action plan, it was not possible to eradicate child labour within the timeframe set by the government earlier,” he added.
Additional Secretary Rezaul said that the government has some weaknesses on its part, the reason why it is lacking in accurate data over the issue.
Two sectors, from the list of 38, where hazardous child labour exists, have already been announced child labour free, he said.
“We have targeted another 22 sectors, and the employers of these sectors in their written consent said that they would not recruit any children in their organizations. This would be announced soon,” he added.
Special guest, Barrister Shameem Haiser Patwary, Member of the PCCR said if not stopped, child labour would hinder the path of achieving the SDGs by 2030 as the children, victims of child labour, would never be competitive for SDGs.
Chief guest Mujibul Haque Chunnu, said it would be shameful on our path if we fail to eradicate child labour within the given time. There is no scope without taking prompt measures including an effective implementation plan.
The Chairperson of BSAF, Mahbubul Haque, Director Abdus Shahid Mahmood, Country Director to Islamic Relief Bangladesh and India, Akmal Ashraf, right activists and child protection experts and several government officials were present at the program.