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Dhaka Tribune

There is no place for child labour in Smart Bangladesh

Child labour robs children of their fundamental rights to education, health, and a dignified childhood

Update : 30 Dec 2023, 02:40 AM

It is a matter of great concern that, despite consensus that child labour is an issue we must eliminate, the latest National Child Labour Survey (NCLS) tells us that over the decade or so span from 2013 to 2022, there has been an increase in child labour, from 1.70 million in 1.78 million.

This retrograde practice of exploiting the nation's children not only tarnishes Bangladesh's international image but also undermines our intentions of establishing sustainable development. Child labour robs children of their fundamental rights to education, health, and a dignified childhood. The future architects of our nation are forced into a cycle of perpetual poverty, and if we care about the future health of our nation, this simply cannot perpetuate. 

Education is the bedrock of any developed society, and denying children access to it perpetuates a cycle of ignorance and poverty. By eradicating child labour, Bangladesh can redirect its youth towards classrooms instead of factories, streets, and sweatshops. For a nation with big ambitions over the next two decades, fostering a generation equipped with the knowledge and skills necessary for driving economic growth in the 21st century is an absolute need.

Furthermore, the elimination of child labour will not only enhance Bangladesh's global reputation but will play a part in attracting foreign investment and aid, without which our economic development will never reach its full potential. However, investors and trade partners increasingly demand ethical practices, and a child-labour-free Bangladesh aligns with these expectations.

If we are indeed to come Smart Bangladesh, the eradication of child labour is not merely a moral imperative but an essential step for Bangladesh to realize this vision of becoming a prosperous, innovative, and equitable nation. 

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