Community support coupled with integrated efforts of all the government and non-government organisations concerned can be the crucial means of protecting children from risky labour.
Utmost emphasis should be given to providing institutional learning to disadvantaged children free of cost in order to reduce child labour. All the authorities concerned should come forward to mitigate risky child labour.
Administrative officials and other stakeholders made the observation while addressing the ninth monitoring committee meeting related to the district child labour held at the conference hall of Rajshahi Deputy Commissioner (DC) on Thursday.
The District administration and the Department of Inspection for Factories and Establishments (DIFE) jointly organised the meeting discussing and devising ways and means on how to culminate the risky child labour collectively.
With DC Shamim Ahmed in the chair, the meeting was addressed, among others, by DIFE Deputy Inspector General Ariful Islam, Additional DC Kolyan Chowdhury, business leader Sekender Ali, Awami League leader Abdus Sohel and district unit president of Jatiya Shramik League Abdullah Khan.
The meeting was told that mitigation of child labour has become indispensable to achieving sustainable development goals together with building a developed and prosperous Bangladesh.
Side by side with building large-scale mass awareness, owners of factories and industries should come forward and work together to eliminate child labour for their physical and mental development by protecting legitimate rights.
In his remarks, DC Shamim Ahmed said the physical and mental development of children couldn’t be possible until they were protected from risky labour.
The children should be protected from all sorts of labour, violence, repression and oppression so that they could make themselves competent enough to serve the nation.
He stressed that children should be taught positive social values and encouraged to develop healthy behaviours at an early age.
Apart from this, the DC emphasised the need for ensuring children’s safety and security and stopping early marriage for the greater national interest.
Ariful Islam said the number of child labour in various industries, factories and other risky workplaces has started reducing due to the intervention of various time-fitting steps, including work-oriented education, in the region for the last couple of years.
He said they are working with the children working in 38 risky sectors in the region besides putting in their level best efforts to rehabilitate the child labourers every year in a planned way.
In 2021, there were 190 child labourers under 14 in the risky sectors. They have brought 80 of those under work-oriented education by freeing them from risky jobs till April last.
Islam also said there are more than 5,000 child labourers in factories and other commercial establishments, including electric and welding, in the city and its outskirts and upazila markets which are beyond their