Bangladesh Shishu Adhikar Forum (BSAF)
A Nationwide Movement for Rights of the Child in Bangladesh
Workshop at Khulna
The 2nd Capacity building Workshop of Divisional Child Labour Welfare Council was held on 30 August 2016 at Khulna at the CSS Ava Centre. The workshop was divided in to 3 sessions: inaugural, working and closing sessions.
Among others the State Minister for the Ministry of Labour and Employment was present on the occasion. Besides, the Divisional Commissioner of Khulna division, Deputy Commissioner of Khulna and a large number of govt. officials including 10 number of Upazilla Nirbahi Officers (UNO) were present in the workshop. Among the total 47 number of participants, CSOs like BSAF as largest NGO Network, media people (Both print and electronic), trade union leaders, local govt. representatives, lawyers, NGOs and INGOs participated in the workshop. It was a day-long program started at 10:00 A.M. Mr. Mujibul Haque, MP, State Minister, MoLE was attended the workshop as the Chief Guest. He was present throughout the workshop. Mr. Khondaker Mostan Hossain, Joint Secretary of MoLE; Deputy Commissioner of Khulna and the BSAF Chairperson spoke on the occasion. Mr. Md. Abdus Samad, Divisional Commissioner of Khulna division chaired the sessions while Syeda Munira Sultana, National Project Coordinator, Clear Project, ILO Bangladesh Country Office moderated and presented the whole sessions of the workshop.
At the beginning of the workshop, all the participants and guests introduced themselves which was followed by the welcome address delivered by the BSAF Chairperson. In his speech Mr. Emranul Huq Chowdhury, BSAF chairperson expressed that, over the last couple of years Bangladesh achieved lots in different areas including the area of child rights. Bangladesh has been able to draw attention of the world community on the achievements of child rights. It was possible because the govt. was positive, international agencies like ILO, UNICEF were cooperative and NGOs were also very active in their respective arena.
Mr. Emran also said that, of the total population 46% is children. A significant number of children is engaged in various type of works for their livelihood. Due to collective effort of GO and NGOs, around 46% child labour has been reduced in Bangladesh comparing to the last child labour survey in 2013. Despite a significant number of child labour has been reduced, we could not eliminate the hazardous child labour (HCL) yet. The presence of the minister himself indicates that the govt. is committed to eliminate all forms of child labour.
Mr. Nazmul Hassan, the Deputy Commissioner of Khulna delivered his speech of greetings. He appreciated ILO, BSAF and MoLE for organizing such important workshop. He emphasized on organizing such workshops at district level and if possible upazila level even. That could contribute in
Mr. Mamun highlighted the salient features of the NCLEP 2012-2015 and strategies and outputs of national plan of action (NPA) against child labour before the participants. Then the floor was open and comments or recommendations were invited from the participants.
The comments forwarded by the participants were:
- Disaster particularly the water logging is a challenge for Khulna.
- A kind of bonded labour is found at Dublar Char in Khulna, where children are also available.
- Welding workshop, transport sector are the main areas where children are appointed in large number.
- A coordination body is necessary to coordinate among the different organizations and agencies working on the implementation of NPA.
- Private sector should be given more priority
- Committees are there in different levels like division, district, upazila etc. For getting output, committees at all levels should be activated and coordination among the committees should be ensured.
- Children should not only be withdrawn from labour, there should be also a realistic plan to rehabilitation them. Otherwise there will be a chance of their coming back to labour market.
- Children are being used in the circus party. There the children are forced to show acrobatic which is very risky. This should be included in the hazardous job list for the children.
- Dropout from the school should be given appropriate attention. Because a large number of dropout boys go to labour market and dropout girls get marriage (child marriage).
- No factory/ industry owner comply the Corporate Social Responsibilities (CSR). Government should give attention to this area.
- Government’s social safety net program coverage should be widened.
- NGOs’ micro-finance program should be more social oriented.
- Lack of publicity about the Child Labour Welfare Council (CLWC).
- Harmfulness of the HCL is not that much acquainted with the mass level people. Government should utilize mass media to educate and aware the mass people about the harmfulness of HCL.