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22 October, 2018 00:00 00 AM
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Family burden induces child labour in agriculture

BSS

DHAKA: After early demise of his father Hossen Ali, minor boy Sattar who just crossed 12 years had to take the burden of his four-member family on his tiny shoulder, reports BSS.

This misfortune has compelled him and his younger brother Sadek (10) to stop going to school. The helpless siblings started working as agriculture labourers to eke out a living for the family.

To add a further blow to the sufferings, Sattar’s elder brother Babul, who was also a teenager, got married last year after his father death and started living separately.

“After my father’s death, my mother became mentally imbalanced as she could not withstand the shock. That’s why we needed money for her treatment. But, we had no option to earn the required money to do so,” said Sattar, who lives in Purba Gobaria village under Kuliarchar upazila in Kishoreganj district.

He said they had no alternatives, but stop going to school and started working as agriculture labourers. “We became paupers earlier spending all the family savings for our father’s treatment,” he said.

“Now my younger brother and I work on our own land as well as other’s land as day labourers because we have no alternative option,” Sattar said with tearful eyes.

The eventual involvement of Sattar and his brother in agriculture as child labourers depicts the country’s grimy scenario of child labours’ engagement in the agriculture sector.

Like Sattar, many children are becoming school dropouts for their involvement in non-formal agriculture sector in the country, although there is no specific data about the number of child labourers working in agriculture.

But, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in its recent report says child labour in agriculture sector worldwide has started to rise in recent years driven by poverty and an increase in conflicts and climate-induced disasters.

Citing a report of the ILO on the trend of global child labour, the FAO warned that the rising trend in child labour not only threatened the wellbeing of millions of children, but also undermined efforts to end global hunger and poverty.

The ILO report noted surge in child labourers in agriculture worldwide in recent years when the number swelled from 98 million in 2012 to 152 million in 2016 due mainly to prolonged conflicts and climate related natural disasters followed by forced migration.

According to the report, nearly three out of every four children in child labour worked in agriculture when 70 percent of them were in unpaid family labour.

Child labour in agriculture is a global issue that is harming children, damaging the agricultural sector and perpetuating rural poverty.

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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