Global March Against Child Labour, a Netherlands-based international NGO working for ensuring child rights, and its counterpart INCIDIN Bangladesh, hailed the government for ratifying ILO Convention Number 138, the Convention on minimum age of child workers.
They called upon the government to actively pursue partnership with sector specific and local government actors along with the civil society to achieve the goal of effectively implementing both the global commitments under the ILO conventions and national obligations under the different laws, policies and plans.
In a joint letter of congratulation issued Thursday, Timothy Ryan, chairperson of the Global March, and AKM Masud Ali, executive director of INCIDIN, congratulated the government for its unwavering commitment to end all forms of child labour by 2025, with special focus on elimination of worst forms of child labour by 2022.
"Global March Against Child Labour and INCIDIN Bangladesh firmly believe that without ensuring proper monitoring of the informal sectors and devising appropriate child-welfare-centric withdrawal arrangements, the good work of the government in freeing the formal sectors of child labour cannot be sustained,". While the formal sectors are free of child labour, the informal sectors of the same value chain continue to retain child labour, they said in a statement.
"We believe the latest ratification of ILO convention 138 on setting the minimum age of employment at no less than 14 years, is another big leap forward towards meeting the SDG goals to eradicate child labour".
"We understand that the ratification of the Convention will furthermore lead to a legal reform, primarily in banning engagement of children below 15 years of age in any of the listed hazardous child labour," said the statement, adding: although, under special circumstances, children below 14 can be legally employed, we believe that the government will do the utmost to keep the age of employment at par with the age of completion of basic education at 15, they said.
The latest ratification will lead to an additional responsibility of the government to monitor the presence of children below the age of 15 at informal work locations to assess presence of children in hazardous work, they observed, adding that the global and national civil society actors are committed to work together with the government of Bangladesh to achieve these landmarks.