End child labour, Bangladesh court tells government

Last Updated: Mon, Sep 06, 2010 06:10 hrs

The high court here has directed the Bangladesh government to end within a year child labour in a number of industries across the country.

Judges Mohammed Imman Ali and Obaidul Hasan admitted a public interest litigation from several human rights groups to order the labour and employment ministry to stop the production of beedi (traditional hand-made low-cost tobacco rolls) factories engaging children in northern Rangpur district.

In the verdict given on a writ petition filed in 2004 by rights organisations Ain-o-Salish Kendra and Aparajeya Bangla, the court ordered the government to amend the Bangladesh Labour Act, 2006.

The programme of compulsory and free primary education is not enough to take child labourers to schools from factories, the court observed.

In March 2001, Bangladesh ratified an International Labour Organisation (ILO) convention related to the prohibition of and immediate action for the elimination of the worst forms of child labour. It then started implementation of the International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour programme that aims at progressive elimination of child labour.

According to Bangladesh Shishu Adhikar Forum, children are involved in Bangladesh in 430 different types of works and among them 67 types are identified as the most hazardous, New Age newspaper said.