From July to September this year, some 30,313 children were involved in hazardous child labour in eight districts
Children should be engaged in school or play, not hard manual labour.
Bangladesh, unfortunately, is still quite a long way away from eradicating child labour in practice. Indeed, the Covid-19 pandemic threatens to make the situation worse.
According to a survey conducted by 11 affiliate organizations of Manusher Jonno Foundation, from July to September this year, some 30,313 children were involved in hazardous child labour in eight districts of the country, and of this group, 7,800 children started working in jobs more dangerous than their previous jobs. 5,600 children were forced to relocate, while 2,400 had no recourse but to get new jobs at lower wages.
Needless to say, these numbers paint only a small part of the full picture, as they look at only eight districts, and only at jobs which are classified as hazardous. Countless children are engaged in work not deemed dangerous, but such work is exploitative nonetheless.
From a human rights perspective, then, the child labour scenario in Bangladesh is grim and disheartening. No doubt, a coordinated effort between the public and private sectors is needed to make any meaningful progress on the child labour front. Stricter laws are needed, and employers must be held accountable for when caught employing children in work that is unsuitable for them.
Every single day, children, who are the most innocent and helpless segment of the population, are subjected to various kinds of abuse -- physical, sexual, and emotional. The exploitation of children by forcing them into hazardous jobs is a form of abuse, and as such, it is our solemn duty to safeguard our children against these practices.