Education to child laborers and poverty alleviation
Tuesday, 03 June 2008

According to a news item, the Ministry of Labour and Employment has already completed the first phase of the project to provide non-formal education to 30 thousand child laborers that started in July 2005. The second phase of the project is under implementation. We are encouraged to note that the government will provide education and training to child workers and extend micro finance to the parents of the children concerned for their income generating activities. It has become urgently necessary in Bangladesh to prohibit child and adolescent employment. Also is necessary to launch an advocacy programme at door-to-door level to change the mindset of people in order to stop child labour. We urge the government also to ratify the ILO Convention 138 on minimum age for employment and formulate a policy in line with the recommendation in this regard to put an end to child labour in the country. Bangladesh, an ILO member country, has, however, agreed to abide by the ILO fundamental principle and rights at work. This includes elimination of child labour. It is necessary to formulate a policy immediately in the light of the draft national policy on child labour. The draft, prepared in 2002, requires the elimination of the worst forms of child labour in a time frame. It also very rightly recommended various interventions including increasing poverty alleviation activities, legal provisions, education, and motivational programmes to eliminate child labour. All these steps are urgently necessary to bring an end to the shocking condition of the working children. But most urgent is the alleviation of poverty. Poverty is the single most compelling factor of child labour.

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