Ending child labour in Bangladesh requires urgent action


The recent findings from the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) paint a grim picture of child labour.

According to the National Child Labour Survey-2022, approximately 1.78 million children between the ages of five and 17 are currently trapped in various forms of labour, with a staggering 1.07 million of them engaged in hazardous work.

These statistics should serve as a wake-up call for all stakeholders to prioritize the eradication of child labour and ensure the well-being of our nation’s children.

It is disheartening to note that despite concerted efforts over the years, the prevalence of child labour has seen a worrying increase since 2013.

The fact that such a large number of our children are being deprived of their right to education, safety, and a childhood free from exploitation demands immediate attention and action from both the government and civil society.

Children engaged in hazardous work face physical injury, mental distress, limited educational opportunities, and the perpetuation of poverty cycles.

Moreover, they are deprived of their fundamental rights as children and are often socially excluded.

The cycle of poverty and exploitation becomes self-perpetuating unless decisive steps are taken to break it.


One particularly distressing aspect highlighted by the survey is the prevalence of child labor in domestic work, where many young girls toil without receiving any wages.

This not only robs them of their childhood but also perpetuates gender disparities and denies them opportunities for personal and economic empowerment.

The urban concentration of child laborers in hazardous sectors underscores the need for targeted interventions in urban areas.

Additionally, the long hours and hazardous conditions under which these children work highlight the urgent need for stringent enforcement of labor laws and regulations to protect their rights and ensure their safety and well-being.

Efforts to eliminate child labour must be comprehensive and multi-faceted.

Concerted efforts should focus on not only rescuing and rehabilitating child labourers but also addressing the root causes that drive children into the workforce, such as poverty, lack of access to education, and social inequalities.

Concrete actions must ensure that every child in Bangladesh has access to education, protection, and opportunities for a better future.

Safeguarding the rights and well-being of children is our moral and legal obligation.