Saturday, January 19, 2019 | ePaper

Child labour - a curse for economy

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Md Mazadul HoqueThere is a common talk that today's child is tomorrow's future. Today's young people are tomorrow's statesmen and policymakers. The kids who are considered the key driving forces of any nation are widely seen to involve in disgraceful works worldwide. Specially, the regions of lower and middle-income countries broadly came under the engagement of child labors. Despite untiring efforts discharged from humanitarian organizations in order to permanently abolish, this trend is going up day by day. As a result, the children are turning into day-laborers instead of being human resources through elementary and higher education. Currently, the world is experiencing 152 million child labor.
Ultimately, the economy gets a little bit by employing them in the jobs offered by the profit-hunger people. Those who become mad to be employed aiming to earn from boyhood, damage their talent. At one stage, the workers ( children group) get frustrated having no required strength  to move forward. Many fighters of globally- famed humanitarian organizations are trying their level best to remove this. But, the least developed countries do not pay heed to the instructions given from time to time. The people under lower-income countries who employ the child in the works are not produced before law and order for committing such heinous crime.
South Asian countries are stumbling again and again in terms of reducing or eliminating child labor force despite showing many outstanding performances. Child labor issue among others is one of key factors to achieve Sustainable development Goals ( SDGs) by 2013 set by the United Nations ( UN). So, there is no alternative to reduce this with a view to filling up all the goals. If failed to achieve SDGs, the rising economy like Bangladesh has to give cost. The developed countries then will forget to appreciate Bangladesh. So, the need for move to disappear the teen-aged labor force with the help of humanitarian organizations that are found to carry out battle against this.   
Nevertheless, among others Asia region has been advancing to employ child labor to a great extent. Around 62 million of total worldwide 152 million child labor in this area was registered according to a study carried out by The International Labour organization (ILO), a United Nations agency, with 187 member states. The ILO study said that most of childern involved in works are between 8 to 11 that is a threat for world economy. The economies that are linked with a good number of under ten child labor is likely to be slowed the days to come.
  The issue on child labor in Bangladesh should bebroadly brought under notice to the head of the government. Among South Asian countries, a significant number of children is employed in Bangladesh where needed no age limit and no education in order to get jobs. Though ILO is continuously issuing warning letters not to take further decision of employing child-level workforce, the employers without caring ILO's advice given from time to time are on the race to woo the teen-aged workers.
The child not more than 11 is working in transport sector as helpers by being forced from financially insolvent families. They invest most of day- time apart from night hours on the transports of different shapes. Why are they allowed by the transport owners to be engaged in such activities? The owners who invite the child should be asked behind the cause of employing them .Moreover, from dawn to dusk, the children are obliged to do works in ill-reputed sectors only for making sure  three times meals for their family and nothing else. The society also encourages the kids to be linked with any works for earnings.
Since SDG-8 strongly focused  on eradicating forced and child labour and trafficking, the issue had been significant in this moment  and if we fail to eliminate this  within specific time  set by United Nations ( UN)  , the disrespect to us from world people is likely to hit any time . The country has so far gained the ability of displaying many outstanding tasks that were impossible to execute by the stipulated time frame to get the status of developing county by 2024. But in respect of reducing child labour, Bangladesh still lags behind due to having no prudential guidelines drafted by concerned authorities.
Why not follow the international rules set by ILO aiming to ensure bright future of the children? If the sudden inspection by the international surveyors, whose objective is to find out ill practice in the work places, is seen to be present, the manufacturing sectors among others might have been caught with child labor to them. If found any fault to the eye of inspectors hailing from abroad, we might face many restrictions for doing business globally.
The long-desired achieved growth must be halted for not fill up international compliance. The state should launch a drive right now to vanish the concerned labor force since we are now on the track of becoming middle-income countries one by soon. Though the state is promised to decrease drop out rate of the children from primary education with providing reading materials free of cost, they are allowed to involve in works by their needy families. I think to overcome the problem would be easier if  the state takes the matter seriously.
(Md Mazadul Hoque is a banker and he can be reached at: mazadul1985@gmail.com)

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