Mindset change must to combat child labour abuses at home

DHAKA, March 16, 2017 (BSS)- A major shift in the mindset of the employers is a must to improve the condition of child labour at home and combat relevant abuses, representatives from cross section of society said here today.

They said law alone could not combat child labour abuses unless the abusers themselves become aware about the rights and privileges of their domestic helps as well as punishments for the illegal act.

"Law and awareness both are required for improving the condition of the child labourers at every home," Israfil Alam, MP, said at roundtable held at the Daily Star office here.

Alam, also the chairman of the parliamentary standing committee on labour and employment, said an effective partnership between the government and NGOs could stop child labour recruitments for domestic purposes within 2021.

The question of abuses would not arise if the recruitments are curbed, he added.

Chairperson of Bangladesh Shishu Odhikar Forum Emranul Haque chaired the function, which was addressed, among others, by Joint Secretary Shahjahan Miah, country director of Japanese NGO 'Shapla Neer' Nobutada Sugahara and ILO representative Munira Sultana Lamia.

A number of issues and loopholes were identified at the roundtable that needs to be addressed for the betterment of the domestic child labourers. These include: enlistment of 'domestic child labour' in the list of 'worst forms of child labour' in the country, reviewing of the Domestic Workers and Welfare Policy 2015, enactment of complete and revised law and registration of existing child domestic helps.

Nobutada said a social movement was a must to raise greater degree of awareness at all levels and discourage child labour recruitments at home. He also said the existing laws need to be implemented properly while innovative ideas need to be put in place to effectively eliminate child labour from everywhere.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)