Child labour is a major issue in most of the least developed and developing countries in the world and Bangladesh is no exception.
Instead of going to school and enjoying their childhood, many children are made to work to support their families and for their own livelihood. Despite it being against the law to employ children to work underneath cars, strip paint, weld metal, empty batteries and many other dangerous tasks, over 1.2m children are employed in this way across Bangladesh. These children work for 14 hours a day in appalling conditions for no or low pay, they are routinely ill and frequently injured.
Following a baseline study that revealed that 3,000 children are employed in hazardous jobs in Sylhet City, UKBET initiated a pilot programme which inludes the following activites:
At the outset of the programme we were uncertain whether a small Trust such as UKBET could make much of a difference. But nearly 5 years on we now have no doubt about the significant benefits and impact that UKBET’s programme is delivering. We have already enaged 700 children in this project and withdrawn around 250 children from hazardous works.
300 children regularly attend one of the 4 Centres for Working Children opened across Sylhet and more than two thirds can read and write.
All children have had their births registered.
We plan to cascade this model more widely in the future. If you would like to support our Child Labour project or get involved, please do get in touch.