1.3m children engaged in most hazardous jobs

August 30, 2012

NHRC workshop told
Around 7.4 million children in the country are labourers, of which 1.3 million are engaged in the most hazardous work, said country director of Save the Children at a human rights review workshop yesterday in the capital.┬áThe National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) organised the workshop on child labour and trafficking as part of reviewing state of human rights at the capital’s BRAC Centre.
Quoting different unofficial estimates, Michael Mcgrath, country director of Save the Children, said three lakh trafficked children are staying in Indian brothels while two lakh are in Pakistani brothels.
Considering the economic and social realities, it is really a tough challenge for Bangladesh to completely eradicate child labour, and trafficking in child along with women, he said.
Kazi Reazul Haque, member of NHRC, said ages of the child labourers vary mostly between five and ten and they work up to 16 hours a day.
Mikail Shipper, secretary to labour and employment ministry, said the government under a recent rehabilitation programme has withdrawn 10,000 children from hazardous works in the capital.
Mizanur Rahman, chairman of NHRC, said that the commission has urged the government to withdraw some reservations shown to the UN Convention on Rights of the Child that Bangladesh signed in 1974 and ratified in 1990.
The UN Human Rights Council in next May in Geneva, during its second four-yearly review, will focus on Bangladesh’s progress in human rights situation. The council will also place emphasis on the implementation of its recommendations that had been made since the first review in 2009.
The commission will submit its own findings on human rights situation to the council alongside that of the government during the review.
Instituted by the UN in 2006, Universal Periodic Review is a mechanism of a country to improve on human rights situation and eliminate violations of the rights.

-With The Daily Star input

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