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19 February, 2020 00:00 00 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 19 February, 2020 01:14:33 AM
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Travails of child labour

Travails of child labour

We all know the problems of children who work, including their vulnerability to abuse and exploitation. We also know that children as young as five years are put to work. The employer pays well below the minimum wage while a child performs the duties of an adult. In a number of cases, child workers run away from their place of work. However, it is of course likely that parents, often in desperate need for money, may send the child to work once again. This has happened before and is likely to continue. There are agents who entice them with talk of the financial benefits, often offering false reassurances about how they will look out for the children while they are away from home.

We need to do more than merely pull children out of the workplace. A much wider approach is needed. Only when there is more employment for adults in a family will children be saved from working. Currently, in many cases parents are poorly paid and unable to meet household costs. The average family size of more than four children per house hold also points to the need for controlling population growth and raising awareness about the need to educate children and ensure for them a better future. An improvement in their economic situation would naturally help rescue children from the workplace.

There have been various innovative solutions suggested to bring down the rate of child labour and allow the millions of children who work in the country to instead attend school. One of the suggestions that has come up at various forums is to encourage women including mothers to work, either from within their homes or beyond them, so that their income can replace the amount brought in by children. It is also true that adult workers are generally paid better than children, though in the informal sector this needs to be enforced far more strongly. This is not the ideal situation, but perhaps it is better than not giving them any education at all. The ILO and local groups have been involved in such efforts.

Most important of all is the need to make employers and potential employers aware of the fact that putting a child to work is unacceptable and technically speaking at least a violation of laws. Only when there is more social awareness of this, will the reality for working children change.

 

 

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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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