The Covid-19 pandemic has undone a lot of progress towards ending child labour, globally. What can Bangladesh do to recover some of that progress?
We do have a lot of legislative measures in Bangladesh, but there still need to be reforms in terms of defining the age of the child that is consistent with the Children Act 2013 on the rights of the child. The labour law in 2006 focuses more on formal sectors, while children are mainly engaged in non-formal sectors, so that needs to be brought under the legal system. The government-issued circulars of engagement of children in hazardous labour lists 38 different categories of jobs involving hazardous labour. I think we need to simplify this system. There's also a huge gap in the child protection system and we need to strengthen the social service workforce so that families have access to social workers and can prevent the push and pull factors that lead these children into hazardous labour or to being on the streets.