No sector or employment is excluded from the scope of the principle of the effective abolition of child labour. Work in shops and establishments is light and, as a result, the relevant legislation allows children over the age of 12 to work in shops and establishments. DHAKA, BANGLADESH – APRIL 30: According to the Bangladesh Labour Code, the minimum legal age for employment is 14 years. But 90% of child workers work in small factories and workshops and on the streets. The application of labour law is practically impossible. Poverty pushes families to send their children to work, often in dangerous and low-paid jobs. Children are paid less than adults, many work up to twelve hours a day. Full-time work often prevents children from going to school. Long working hours, low or no wages, poor nutrition, isolation and hazards in the working environment can seriously affect children`s physical and mental health.
(Photo by Mohammad Asad/Pacific Press) Akash, G. (2016, December 19). 8€/month for the T-shirt. He photographs child labor. Excerpt from Mr Globalization. Child labourers in Bangladesh work more than 64 hours a week, most of them in textile workshops (Quattri & Watkins, 2016). The ever-increasing demand of the market relegates to the background the working conditions of workers: condemned emergency exits, dilapidated electrical installations and lack of space, there are no less than 80,000 safety problems of the 1,106 factories inspected on the territory (AFP, 2016) (AFP, 2014). Failures that can lead to significant human disasters, such as the collapse of the Rana Plaza factory in 2013, which caused the death of 1,127 people (AFP, 2016). In the immediate or long term, the effects of child labour are often inevitable.
On the physical level, it can be injuries, disabilities, but also metal poisoning, the symptoms of which occur several years after contamination. Psychologically, young workers suffer from unhealthy self-esteem and psychological trauma due to the high stress caused by the conditions and type of work. Where access to education contributes to the education of a society, child labour reinforces the vicious circle of poverty. Convention No. 138 obliges States to set a minimum age below which it is not possible to be admitted to employment and to take measures to phase out child labour. Bangladesh has set the minimum age at 14 years. This measure will enter into force one year after its signature, on 22 March 2023. The Ministry of Education, social services, etc. are also taking steps in this regard.
To promote and realize these principles and rights, the Government`s objective is to include school curricula complemented by rehabilitation measures. The poverty reduction programmes/projects currently being implemented also contribute to the effective abolition of child labour. Technical cooperation and financial assistance will also contribute to the achievement of these objectives. But activists say measures that allow girls to marry at the age of 16 cast doubt on their commitment. A revised version of the original proposal would retain the legal age of 18, but allow exceptions with parental consent. Given that most marriages are arranged by parents, activists say this would always mean lowering the age to 16. Representative organizations of employers and workers to whom a copy of the report has been sent The principle of the effective abolition of child labour is recognized in Bangladesh. Convention No. 138 has not yet been ratified by Bangladesh, but the effective abolition of child labour is recognized by our national legislation.
Labour law sets the minimum age for employment or trade. The labour laws are: the Factories Act 1965; Child Employment Act 1938; Stores and Establishments Act 1965; Road Transport Workers Ordinance 1961; and the Tea Plantation Work Ordinance 1962. For example, children whose age is lower than that provided for by our national legislation are not employed in factories, factories or industries. In general, Bangladesh will phase out child labour on time, in accordance with Convention No. 138. In 2011, Bangladesh made moderate progress in its efforts to eliminate the worst forms of child labour. Bangladesh passed the Deterrence and Suppression of Human Trafficking Act, 2012, which makes trafficking in human beings (including labour trafficking) a capital crime, developed and funded a Child Labour Tracking Information System to manage child labour data and started implementing a child labour project of 9 millions of dollars. However, legal protection against child labour is limited and the capacity to enforce child labour laws remains weak. Bangladesh maintains a low age of compulsory schooling. In Bangladesh, children are employed in the worst forms of child labour, particularly in hazardous activities in agriculture and domestic services.
 The government has set up a number of programs and projects to abolish child labour and provide them with education. Regular inspections by the labour inspectorate also contribute to the effective abolition of child labour. The Government signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the ILO in 1994 on the implementation of the International Programme for the Elimination of Child Labour (IPEC). In Bangladesh, IPEC activities began in 1995. So far, 48 action programmes have been completed and another 28 are currently being implemented by the government, NGOs, trade unions, employers, etc. The MoU was signed by organizations such as the BGMEA, ILO and UNICEF on the elimination of child labour in the textile industry. Inspection teams have been set up, particularly vigilant in the inspection of garment factories. This has led to a decline in the level of child labour to negligible levels, and it is expected that there will be no more child labourers in garment factories in the near future.
The law is binding on employers. Violation of any provision of the law is punishable. For example, state labour inspectorates, such as general, medical and technical surveillance authorities, visit and inspect workplaces as part of their normal activities. Inspectors inform employers of the provisions of the law and sometimes legal action is taken in case of violation of the law. There are also inspection teams composed of inspectors from the BGMEA, the ILO and the National Labour Inspectorate. To eradicate child labour, measures are being taken by the Government, employers as well as international organizations and NGOs.