DHAKA (ILO news)- ILO Bangladesh hosted a consultation workshop on eliminating child labour with the relevant constituents on 28 August 2019 in Dhaka. The objective of the workshop was to:
• Improve the knowledge base to eliminate child labour
• Align national policies and laws with international standards
• Enhance the capacity of the constituents to combat child labour and run an effective mass awareness campaign.
Around 55 participants from different government agencies, employers groups, workers, development partners, NGOs and national humanitarian groups actively participated in the workshop.
The programme is focused to implement in six countries in South Asia, namely- Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Nepal and Pakistan. ILO’s regional Decent Work Team is conducting consultation workshop with all constituents in child labour in the aforementioned countries.
The four-year project will be spearheaded by the ILO, UNICEF and the Institute of Development Studies (IDS), which is housed at the University of Sussex, UK. The multi-country initiative will be supported by the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID).
ILO is hoping to achieve SDG goal 8.7 in the region by implementing this programme.
SDG goal 8 requires member states to - “Take immediate and effective measures to eradicate forced labour, end modern slavery and human trafficking and secure the prohibition and elimination of the worst forms of child labour, including recruitment and use of child soldiers, and by 2025 end child labour in all its forms.”
“One of the first steps for Bangladesh is to implement the National Plan of Action (NPA) that accompanies the Child Labour Elimination Policy (2010).” Said Tuomo Poutiainen, ILO Country Director for Bangladesh. “We must also focus our efforts on eliminate the Worst Forms of Child Labour especially in hazardous sectors like transport, ship building, drug trafficking etc.” He added.
“Bangladesh has reduced the number of child labourers in the 5-17 age group from 3.2 million in 2002-03 to 1.7 million in 2013.”- said K M Ali Azam, Secretary of Ministry of Labour and Employment. He also mentioned that “The government’s seventh five-year plan is aligned with the SDG goal 8.7 and focusing school to work transition for 14 -17 age group.”
The participants hoping that the programme will:
• Speed up elimination of the Worst Form of Child Labour
• Protect children working away from home
• Prevent child trafficking, rescue and ensure reintegration
• Facilitate school-to-work transition.
“Extreme poverty and dependency on informal economy is one of the cause for child labour. Only a policy and action plan cannot eliminate child labour. If we can raise proper awareness and show the alternate path for them such as school-to-work transition, the situation can improve.” Said Kamran T Rahman, President, Bangladesh Employers’ Federation.
For more information please contact the ILO Country Office in Bangladesh
Email:Dhaka@ilo.org Tel: + 880 2 55045009