প্রকাশিতঃ 12:49 pm | June 12, 2020
WRITTEN BY – RAJA SURJO KHAN
Today is Friday, June 12, 2020, “World Day for the Elimination of Child Labor”. Since I have been working on Social Awareness & Development (SAD), I have had the opportunity to learn, write and research a number of awareness-raising activities. SAD believes that “Development Depends on Awareness” Or “Development depends on awareness.” The development of a country can never be sustainable without mass awareness. Every human being must have an awareness of social, economic, natural and political problems and solutions. And SAD is trying hard to create mass awareness in the society through accurate data collection and analysis. In its continuation, on the occasion of ” World Day against Child Labor -2020″ ” The report titled “Let the pen be the best tool, Not labor in hans of a child” has been published. It discusses Bangladesh& Cox’s Bazar’s position on ‘child labor’, a brief history, discussions in the context of Cox’s Bazar, causes, laws, implications and various ways of transition. The International Labor Organization (ILO) is celebrating this day with the title “COVID-19: Protect Children From Child Labor-2020”.
★ Child labor;
Child labor refers to occupations that interfere with a child’s normal development (perhaps due to employment practices or proper control) and that are not age-appropriate and where a child is used for work where proper guidance is needed. Will read. Globally, about 211.5 million children work, many of them full-time, according to the International Labor Organization. Many of them do not go to school, do not get proper nutrition and do not get enough time for sports. More than half of them work in the worst types of child labor, such as child prostitution, drug trafficking, weapons of war, and other hazardous environments.
International studies have found that three-quarters of adults have experienced physical abuse while still a child, and 1 in 5 women and 1 in 13 men have experienced sexual abuse in childhood. Mental abuse and neglect are also common experiences in childhood. As of 2014, 41,000 children under the age of 15 worldwide are killed each year. The World Health Organization states that this number is not accurate, it is very low. The actual infanticide statistics are much higher.
UN and child labor:
The ILO is a specialized agency of the United Nations. In 1992, ILO’s International Child Labor Elimination Program [IPEC] was launched. Currently, this program is running in 80 countries. In 1998, the ILO unanimously adopted the Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights in the Workplace. Through this, the ILO has expressed its firm commitment to the elimination of child labor along with policy and rights in the workplace. Every year on June 12, World Day brings together millions of people around the world, including governments, employers and labor organizations, civil society, as well as millions of people around the world, to highlight the plight of child laborers and what can be done to help them.
Child labor in the context of Cox’s Bazar:
According to BBS, children currently make up about 40 per cent of the country’s total population. There are 3 crore 96 lakh 52 thousand children aged 5 to 17 years. The highest proportion of children in the population is in Dhaka division, about 33.7%. It is followed by Chittagong (20.6%). The total population of Cox’s Bazar district is 22,89,990 (as of 2011 census). And the population growth rate of Bangladesh is 1.33%. As such, the population of Cox’s Bazar increases every year to about 30,457. Then the total increase in the last nine years is about 2,74,112 people and now the total population is 25,64,102 (twenty five lakh sixty four thousand one hundred and two). Cox’s Bazar currently has 5,28,206 children (five lakh eight thousand two hundred and six) if the rate of children aged 5 to 17 is 20.6% of the total population. The distribution of child labor in Bangladesh according to the economic sector is as follows: agriculture 35%, industry 8%, transportation 2%, other services 10% and domestic work 15%. According to that calculation, the total number of children in Cox’s Bazar —-
★ In the field of agriculture – 1,84,872 ( one lakh eighty four thousand eight hundred and seventy two)
★ In the field of industry – 42,257 ( forty two thousand two hundred and fifty seven people)
★ In the field of Transportation – 10,565 ( ten thousand five hundred and sixty five people)
★ For other services – 52,820 ( fifty two thousand eight hundred and twenty)
★ In case of domestic work – 79,231 ( seventy nine thousand two hundred and thirty one)
Many of them do not go to school, do not get proper nutrition and do not get enough time for sports. Many of them are involved in disruptive occupations (such as prostitution, drugs, smuggling, etc.). In addition, about 10,000 (ten thousand) children work in hazardous and unhealthy environments in the dry villages of Nazira Tech in Cox’s Bazar city, Sonadia Island in Maheshkhali, Teknaf, St. Martin and Kutubdia. If proper action is not taken, our Cox’s Bazar will face a worse situation.
Here are 12 best ways to reduce child labor in Cox’s Bazar:
START WITH YOURSELF;
People who employ children in their homes or workplaces in the name of giving them a chance to make a living and sustain themselves instead of starving, and pretend to be a big benefactor. Pretending to be generous, many bring them home and use them for household chores. They benefit a lot from children who don’t think of anything more than cheap labor. At all times these children are at their service, in one corner of their home to answer their every call and can be embodied in the best need of its owner. But what we need to keep in mind is that change starts with yourself. Try your best to keep your house clean, take care of the little ones, clean your dishes or stop the kids from washing the car. Instead, contribute to the emancipation of the poor and create adult employment to support their families. As much as possible, make your work by adults. And help those who are not adults in the family to manage life, at least get a basic education. There are enough humanitarian reasons to encourage you to do this, if it doesn’t work, please remind yourself that child labor is illegal!
2. AWARENESS RAISING;
Raising awareness is a cornerstone of child labor prevention or eradication projects. People need to know about child labor, especially its worst forms and why it is harmful to both related children and overall. In many cases poor parents and other adults in their community also worked as children during their childhood. And so most people don’t consider child labor a crime. They think that the money earned from the child’s work can meet the additional income needs of the family. The parents themselves were deprived of primary education. No one is or can be aware of their children later. Extreme scarcity and illiteracy are the main reasons for people’s unawareness towards child labor. Whatever the underlying causes of child labor, the causes of unconsciousness need to be identified and remedied. However, the community needs to be made aware of its harmful effects and actions that can help protect their children and their full development. In order to raise awareness about the harmful effects of child labor, primary initiatives are to connect communities directly to information, communication, education and training. Increasing awareness refers to aggregation on the cognitive or increasing the mental level, human knowledge and skills, it can also contribute to practical changes.
3. LEARN FOR YOURSELF ABOUT CHILD LABOR LAW;
One of the first steps to freeing society from child labor is to learn about the provisions of our Constitution for the protection of children, as well as various laws to stop their exploitation and to ensure that perpetrators are brought to justice. We can inform each other of a simplified list of such provisions and laws.
4. BE VIGILANT AND REPORT ABUSE;
Be aware of any kind of child abuse or exploitation happening around you. Remember, you should be their voice for such children. Get to know them by working with child labor and abuse in your area. When any incidents of child labor occur in your area, immediately inform the police or call the helpline or contact the NGOs in your area. You can also notify the relevant authorities in person or by phone call or letter. Phone calls or letters can be used to keep your identity anonymous if the perpetrator is an influential person.
5. TALK TO THE PARENTS OF CHILD LABORERS;
Children work around us with their parents. This provides a wonderful opportunity to talk to these parents about the serious impact that child labor has on children in the long run. Try to advise the parents of these children and persuade them to take their children out of work and enroll them in school, thus helping the children move towards a different and better future. While parents are likely to cite factors such as poverty and illiteracy, try to give them an accurate idea of child labor. Try to convince them that if their children are pushed into child labor, poverty will remain in their lives. If we want an economically bright future for these families, we must work together to provide quality education and skills for their children.
6. ACT AS A VOLUNTEER FOR A LEADING MOVEMENT OR ORGANISATION WHOSE WORKING TO ELIMINATE CHILD LABOR;
You can volunteer at the nearest regional offices of these organizations to understand child labor and move forward with what is being done and what needs to be done to address this problem. When you associate with them, you will be amazed at how cruel and inhumane these children are, in many cases. And these companies always need a helping hand in their work. Take a few hours off from your weekly vacation and help them in any way you can. The task will not be difficult if you want.
7. BE A WELL-INFORMED VOTER
Pay attention to the promises of the candidates in your constituency. If the elimination of child labor is not part of their commitment, bring it to the forefront of the discussion forum and their other conversations with you. Avoid them if they do not make any promises or take action to eliminate child labor. Or use the best of your ability to understand them. Avoid them all if necessary. Spread this awareness among other voters around you.
8. IDENTIFY SOCIETIES OR COMMUNITIES WITH ADDITIONAL CHILD LABOUR AND CONTACT WITH THEM FOR SOLUTIONS;
Get rid of the extra child labor community or community around you. Then discuss the evils of child labor with them. Collect accurate information and discuss solutions with organizations or public representatives working on child labor elimination. However, care must be taken to ensure that the information is accurate and acceptable.
9. PURCHASE CHILD LABOR FREE PRODUCTS;
You will see many traders around you illegally producing goods using children. Many products you use on a daily basis may be associated with it. Be careful before buying, so that you do not become a cause of increase in child labor.
10. INVEST ETHICALLY;
If you are an investor, make sure your companies are capable from a humanitarian point of view. Make sure that any company you invest in does not include child labor. Make sure your investment does not contribute to child labor.
11. TEACH OR INFORM OTHERS ABOUT CHILD LABOR;
Give presentations in schools, religious institutions, non-profit organizations and other groups to educate them about child labor related issues and encourage positive action. Therefore, discussion meetings can be arranged in different educational institutions and children’s institutions on the occasion of different days.
12.CONTRIBUTE TO THE SPREAD OF CHILD EDUCATION;
Children from communities or groups that are deprived of various benefits can contribute to the spread of education. Despite many efforts, we can at least fund free primary education in areas where child labor is rampant. Through the expansion of this primary education there will be an opportunity to communicate with parents in those places. And they will respect and listen to you for giving you free education. There will be a huge opportunity to educate children as well as to make their parents aware. The good news, however, is that many institutions in our Cox’s Bazar are starting their journey to educate such disadvantaged children for free. But it needs to be established fifty times more than that. Spend your time and money on this humanitarian work. It will be good for both the society and the country.
Although Child Labor Prevention Day is celebrated on June 12 every year, it is difficult to say whether it will be possible to stop children from risky work by 2021. The ban on hiring children in hazardous work in factories needs to be strictly enforced and the hiring and breaking sector in domestic work also needs to be included in the list of hazardous jobs.