World Day against Child Labour today
Govt yet to approve the list of hazardous works for childrenMuktasree Chakma Sathi
The government is yet to publicise the list of hazardous work for children although in its National Child Labour Elimination Policy 2010 it said it would eliminate the worst forms of child labour from Bangladesh by 2015.
Labour ministry sources said the ministry approved the list of hazardous works for children in May.
Delay in determining the hazardous works will definitely hinder the process of elimination of child labour, especially the worst forms of child labour, said child rights activists.
About 1.3 million children aged between 5 to 17 years are engaged in hazardous work. Among them 1.18 million are boys and 0.12 million are girls, according to the Bangladesh Institutes of Labour Studies.
The labour ministry’s list includes 36 works as ‘hazardous’, which include manufacturing of aluminium products, working at automobile and engineering workshops, manufacturing of bidi and cigarette, manufacturing of plastic and rubber products, etc.
Mahfuzar Rahman, secretary in charge of the labour ministry, told reporters at a press briefing on Monday that the ministry has already finalized 36 works as hazardous, but the list is yet to be approved by the government.
Omar Faruq, project manager of the Bangladesh Occupational Safety, Health and Environment Foundation, told New Age that national and international organizations and child rights organizations have submitted 49 types of work to the labour ministry which they consider to be hazardous.
Presently, there is no list of hazardous work or occupations, except in the list of the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics. The BBS list contains hazardous works including bidi making, steel furniture painting, battery recharging and welding.
Child rights activist Sharfuddin Khan, also a consultant of UNICEF, told New Age that elimination of child labour is not possible if the government fails to implement the plans.
‘If the government does not work with a plan which must be implemented, all efforts will go in vain,’ he added.
A report titled Understanding Children’s Work in Bangladesh, published on October 2011 by the International Labour Organisation, the World Bank and the United Nations Children’s Fund, pointed out that 9,20,000 children work for ‘at least’ 40 hours a week, which they termed ‘extremely long hours’.
Section 41 of Labour Act 2006 said that no children should engage in work for more than 30 hours if s/he works in any factories or mines.
Bangladesh is a signatory to the ILO Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention 182 which clearly says, ‘Each member which ratifies this convention shall take immediate and effective measures to secure the prohibition and elimination of the worst forms of child labour as a matter of urgency.’
comments powered by Disqus