World Day Against Child Labour

Take action to end child labour

Country Director of ILO Bangladesh, Tuomo Poutiainen, called for the actions that are still needed to tackle child labour in the country.

Statement | Dhaka, Bangladesh | 12 June 2021
The well-being of millions of children around the world are at stake as we observe the UN year for the elimination of child labour. With COVID-19 hindering our efforts, the need to unite our voices and actions to combat the curse of child labour is more important than ever.

The International Labour Organization has been supporting Bangladesh to eliminate child labour since 1994. Together we have made considerable progress in reducing its prevalence over the last two decades. We continue to support research, policy and grassroots actions however, crucial steps still need to be taken to eliminate all forms of child labour with priority especially on hazardous forms.

In our efforts we need to focus on compulsory education, skill development, and social protection programmes – not only to address the child labourers and vulnerable children, but also to provide decent working opportunities for parents and older siblings.

It is high time to maximise the demographic dividend of the country and strengthen measures to produce a skilled, healthy, and productive labour force.
There have been many successes around the world in eliminating child labour, including here in Bangladesh. These efforts can and must be continued and we all have a role to play in supporting them.

I would like to thank the Government of Bangladesh, especially Ministry of Labour and Employment, DIFE, UNICEF, Manusher Jonno Foundation, Bangladesh Shishu Adhikar Forum and Educo Bangladesh for jointly observing this year’s event amid the pandemic. I am grateful to the Government of UK for supporting our activities through the Asia Regional Child Labour Programme.
Let’s accelerate our commitments into action.

Let’s Act now!