Keraniganj to become first child labour-free zone


The work of building the first model child labour-free district by implementing the Keraniganj project on the outskirts of the capital is already underway. Therefore, Keraniganj is about to become first child labour-free zone', the stakeholders said in a meeting held at a Dhaka hotel Monday.

The meeting was held on the progress of the national action plan prepared in the context of Bangladesh to eliminate child labour by 2025 to achieve Sustainable Development Goal-8 under the initiative of UNICEF Bangladesh and the Ministry of Labour and Employment, reports UNB.

It highlighted five strategic plans to free the country from child labour within the next three years.

Ministry of Labour and Employment joint secretary Hazera Khatun said Bangladesh has made significant progress in eliminating child labour in the last few decades. Despite that, 6.8 percent of the country's children aged 5-17 is still involved in child labour."

"So, these plans have been adopted to protect children from violence, deprivation of rights and torture under the national five-year plan to build a child labour-free Bangladesh by 2025," she added.

UNICEF Bangladesh chief of child protection, Natalie McCauley said if Bangladesh is to be free from child labour, the scope of social activities should be extended to the village level.

She also urged the relevant ministries to work in a coordinated manner to keep records of the children who fell out of primary school.

Elisa Calpona, UNICEF child protection manager, said: "In 2022, UNICEF and the Department of Inspection for Factories and Establishment and the Ministry of Labour and Employment signed a memorandum of understanding to join forces in the elimination of child labour to meet the SDG Target 8.7."

Md Towfiqul Arif, additional secretary at the Ministry of Labor and Employment, emphasised the formation of a national committee for the implementation of a child labour-free Bangladesh.