ILO supports first meeting of national child labour council.

The inaugural meeting of the National Child Labour Welfare Council (NCLWC) was held in Dhaka on 26 May 2015 with the support of ILO.

The inaugural meeting of the National Child Labour Welfare Council (NCLWC) was held in Dhaka 26 May 2015 with ILO support.

Created in 2014, the body forms part of the Government of Bangladesh’s commitment to guide, coordinate and monitor the implementation of its National Plan of Action (NPA) on elimination of child labour.

Chairing the meeting was Mr. Md. Mujibul Haque MP Honorable State Minister for Labour and Employment, while taking also taking part were senior representatives from government, workers organisations, employers and civil society.

Speaking at the event, Srinivas Reddy, ILO Bangladesh Country Director, “The future of any country depends on the future of its children. What we offer our children today in terms of education and development is what we offer our country in the future.”

Mr Reddy recognised the progress made by Bangladesh in reducing child labour but called for more to be done. He requested the government to ratify ILO Convention 138 concerning minimum age for admission to employment and stressed the need for urgent action to eliminate the worst forms of child labour within a time bound manner as committed in the NPA.

“There has been very good progress towards the elimination of child labour in formal sectors such as ready made garments. However additional efforts need to be made with regards to the worst forms of child labour that still exist in certain industries. Both unions and employers have an important role to play in this regard. For unions especially, they can be at the forefront of the battle to demand that workplaces are child labour free,” he said.

The activation of the National Child Labour Welfare Council has been supported by ILO’s Country level engagement and assistance to reduce child labour project (CLEAR) with funding from the US Department of Labor. CLEAR will work with the Ministry of Labour and Employment to support the council as an important mechanism to increase implementation of the NPA.

The mandate of the council is to analyze and review the overall child rights situation in the country and advise on successful implementation of the Child Labour elimination policy 2010 and the concerned National Plan of Action. In addition, the council will coordinate the implementation of initiatives relating to child labour while monitoring the activities of divisional child labour elimination committees, district child rights fora and upazilla child labour welfare committees.