Working children at risk of trauma

Jannatul Islam

4th November, 2019 09:52:50 printer

Working children at risk of trauma

For representational use only

Most of the working children in the capital are at risk of physiological trauma after being roughly rebuked by their employers and other staffs, said a recent study.

Trauma is damage to the mind which leads feeling of helplessness that diminishes the ability to feel the full range of emotions and experiences.

In the latest study, Spanish development agency Educo said that around 68.5 per cent of children in Dhaka’s transport sector are victims of personal attack by employers.

Talking to the Daily Sun, rights activists recommended increasing social awareness about how to behave with the working children as well as rehabilitating them with technical education. Of the total surveyed children, around 37 per cent suffered from depression which could lead to a state of trauma, according to the study.

The survey was conducted among 544 child workers from the both domestic and transport sectors under  15 police stations of Dhaka City including direct intervention areas.

The findings show that around 64 per cent of working children are at risk of suffering physical injury while over 80 per cent of children did not have access to proper healthcare services.

In the transport sector the children are mostly found to work on four-wheel human haulers in Dhaka city. There are 31 routes used by human haulers in Dhaka in which approximately 1,642 human haulers traverse every day. Approximately 1068 children were found working as helpers on human haulers, according to official data. Of them, most of the workers were between 8 and 13 years, which was mid of childhood according to the national definition of child up to 18 years.

Rights activists alerted that there was no alternative to technical education to save the children from risky works in the city.

Campaign for Popular Education (Campe) Executive Director Rasheda K Choudhury said the government should introduce specialised stipend under social safety net for working children to ensure their education.“The development agencies’ activities for working children have decreased in recent times as the country moved towards a developing one. Now, the government should focus on rehabilitation of working children to give them a taste of childhood,” she told the Daily Sun.

A total of 58.73 percent child domestic workers never attended school, while 82.65 percent child transport workers never attended school.

Educo Child Labour specialist Afzal Kabir Khan said the employers should treat the working children with care as they supported work on roads and at home.

“It (behavior) depends on personal attitude. As we found in the study, most of the working children experience rough behavior from their employers which led them to trauma state or other mental complexities,” right activist Afzal Kabir told the daily sun urging the authorities for introducing physiological counseling for improving mental health of working children.

Of  the total, over 90 percent child workers were not attending any technical educational institutions due to unavailability of technical schools nearby, according to the study.

World Vision Bangladesh Advocacy and Child Protection Coordinator Mir Rezaul Karim said “Policymakers should focus on introducing specialised technical education for working boys and girls. As we experienced good result by providing technical works to 88,000 working children across the country. In our programme, we offer mechanical and technical tasks for boys and swing and beauty parlour works for girls to empower themselves with self-dependency.”

Its may be mentioned that there are around 1.2 million children still are worked as domestic aides or inother areas, according to the International Labour Organisation (ILO).