Educo and ESDO celebrates World Day against Child Labour with more than 200 underprivileged children
Education and Development Foundation (Educo) and its sister concern Eco-Social Development Organization (ESDO) celebrated World Day against Child Labour by organizing a rally, drawing competition and cultural program at Shilpakala academy in Dhaka.
A total of 200 children of Educo's ODHIKAR project schools as well as working children in different schools of Dhaka participated in the events on Wednesday.
"Though the Bangladesh Labour Act, (amendment) 2018 has banned all forms of child labour for those under 14 years of age and hazardous forms of child labour under 18 years of age, yet 3.45 million child labourers exist in Bangladesh, of whom 1.28 million are engaged in hazardous forms of child labour that exposes them to physical, economic and even sexual exploitation," says a press release by Educo.
Md Ruhul Amin Khan, project director (Joint Secretary), School Feeding Programme in Poverty Prone Areas, Directorate of Primary Education graced the event as chief guest.
Mr Abdul Hamid (director, Program Operations – Educo) chaired the event. Renowned artist Mr. Litu Anam and media person Mr. Jamil Ahmed were also present at the program, along with Educo, ESDO staff and students.
Md Ruhul Amin Khan addressed the children as the future of the country and explained the steps that Bangladesh government has taken to eradicate child labour from Bangladesh. “The government has taken the issue of child labour very seriously and is investigating the reasons behind this. We already are contributing to the child labour eradication, but we need the support of the civil society," he added.
At one point of the program, Educo and ESDO’s students, who are also working children, shared their experiences. One of the students, Sweety Akhter, shared how she is simultaneously managing studies and work. 10-year-old Sweety said, "I am currently studying in class 3 at Educo’s Odhikar Pathshala. As my father died few years back and mother is very sick, I have to work as domestic helper in one of the houses. My school starts in the morning and I have to work in the afternoon for 3-4 hours each day."
The chair of the event and Educo Bangladesh’s Director-Program operations Mr. Abdul Hamid explained how Educo is working with children and their communities to promote just and equitable societies that guarantee their rights and wellbeing. In his speech, he explained that by the end of 2019, Educo aims to increase the number of working children who join the education system and improve the mechanisms for coordinating the fight against exploitation and the worst forms of child labour.
Educo’s primary efforts focus on raising awareness to help change cultural perspectives, practices and attitudes, and on strengthening education programs for promoting and protecting Child Rights and improving access to quality education, adds the press release.