been bringing criminal charges against employers who abuse domestic helps. Under the existing law, every child must attend school up to Grade V or until the age of 10 years. However, there is no effective mechanism for enforcing the law in favour of child domestics particular.
The Government’s response to child labour
403.The State Party has acknowledged the problem of child labour. She has ratified the ILO Convention-182 in 2001 concerning the Prohibition and Immediate Action on Elimination of Worst Forms of Child Labour, and also committed to the Rawalpindi Declaration of SAARC calling for the eradication of child labour by 2010. The Government has prepared a Child Labour Policy, which is awaiting approval. The Government has also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with ILO-IPEC for elimination of child labour.
404.Under the Mines (Amendment) Act, 2004 the age of children who can be engaged in mines has been revised from 15 years to 18 years to conform to the CRC. Bangladesh Labour Law, 2006 deals, inter alia, with some prohibitions related to child labour. Hazardous work by a person below 18 is prohibited by this law. The Government has been publishing the list of such hazardous works on a regular interval. For any other (non-hazardous) economic activity, the lower limit of admission into employment is 14 years but with the certification of a registered medical doctor about fitness and age of the child. The employer must preserve the certificate and allow her/him to continue on-going education adjusting working hours.
405.Up to December 2004, under ILO-IPEC initiative about 20,000 children have been removed from hazardous work, and almost similar number of children is attending schools. The BGMEA-ILO-UNICEF project identified 10,546 child workers, in garment factories. The intervention under the project proved to be very successful in removing child labour as by the end of 2003 only 23 (0.2 percent) of the factories were employing 58 child labour. It is believed that with more compliance to labour standards by the employers, coupled with internal lobbying and advocacy, in the recent years, the proportion of child labour in garments factories at least remained very low.
406.With a view to prevention and eliminate child labour through viable alternatives, among other measures, the MoLE has launched a comprehensive initiative in the form of Time Bound Programme, TBF (2004-15) to protect, remove, rehabilitate and prevent the worst form of child labour in the country with the support of ILO, UNICEF and ADB. The Ministry has also been implementing another USAID assisted project named Eradication of Hazardous Child Labour (2nd Phase) Project aiming at removing 30,000 children from hazardous works, and making those children skilled.
407.BEHTRUC project and its successor project for the urban working children under MoPME, is being implemented in the six Divisional cities (346,500 children benefited from the project and the on-going one has a target of 200,000 working children); 44 Shishu Kalyan (child welfare) Trust schools have been providing primary education to the street children. This project mainly focuses on rehabilitation of street children.
408.Protection of Children at Risk (PCAR) project MoSW/DSS, funded by UNICEF, through 13 different activities, covering groups of children without parental care, provides basic education, skills training and basic healthcare.