Mohammad Abdul Hamid, Honourable President of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh was chief guest of an event to mark World Day Against Child Labour held in Dhaka on 20 June 2017.
Also taking part were Anisul Haque, Minister of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs; and Muhammad Mujibul Haque State Minister for Labour and Employment.Barrister M. Amir ul Islam, an eminent member of the Bar and civil society also spoke on the occasion. Mr. Kazi Reazul Haque, Chairman, National Human Rights Commission presided over the event.
Speakers highlighted the need to eliminate child labour in Bangladesh by 2025. Special emphasis was made on stopping the employment of children as domestic workers.
Mr Srinivas Reddy, ILO Country Director for Bangladesh recognised the considerable efforts taken by Bangladesh to reduce child labour in recent years. Child Labour fell by some 48 percent from 2003 to 2013 according to the Child labour Survey conducted by Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics with support from ILO.
However he stressed that more needs to be done.
“I would like to urge the Government of Bangladesh to ratify Convention 138 on Minimum Age. This would send a resounding message about our common cause – and our common standards that protect children’s human rights.”
He also requested the Minister of Law and the State Minister for Labour to consider the recommendations set forth in the legal analysis of child labour related laws conducted by the National Human Rights Commission with ILO support.
“The recommended legal amendments would go a long way to help securing the legal rights of thousands of working children and the elimination of child labour,” Mr Reddy added.
The Chair presented the salient features of the recommendations and requested the Law and Labour Minister to take actions in this regard.
The Law Minister assured his support to review the recommendations and take appropriate actions to fill in the gaps in law if any.
The State Minister for Labour expressed his firm belief that eliminating child labour was possible just as Bangladesh had managed to overcome many challenges to boost the economy, ensure food security and build the RMG sector. He also urged a change in mind-sets and attitude towards child domestic workers.
Meanwhile, Barrister M. Amir ul Islam stressed the need to ensure quality education for all not only to eliminate child labour but also to produce bright citizens of tomorrow.
The World Day Against Child Labour was organised by the ILO with support from the USDOL and in collaboration with the National Human Rights Commission of Bangladesh.