Speakers at a workshop underscored the need for acknowledging the child labour in the dried fish sector (DFS) as a hazardous work.
They said that the child workers in dried fish sector are facing different health related risks and are deprived of education due to poverty.They made the observation at a research dissemination workshop at the Centre on Integrated Rural Development for Asia and the Pacific (CIRDAP) auditorium in the city, said a press release.
Chittagong University under Winrock International’s Climb project on child labor in Bangladesh’s Dried Fish Sector (DFS) released the report.
President of the Bangladesh National Women Lawyers Council Advocate Salma Ali was present as the chief guest at the workshop.
Chittagong University Economics Department Professor Mohammad Noor Nabi made a presentation at the workshop.
A research team of eight teachers from the Department of Economics, Sociology and Law of Chittagong University in collaboration with SUIT, a non-government organization in Chittagong, conducted the study on the socio-economic condition and working environment of children working in the dried fish sector in Cox’s Bazar Sadar and Maheshkhari Upazila.
As per the study, children engaged in the dried fish processing industry of Bangladesh are engaged in 100 percent risky work in direct sunlight. Fifty three percent of the children engaged in the dried fish processing industry work in the sun for five hours daily.The speakers at the workshop demanded immediate action of the government in this regard, noting that the dried fish sector is not included in the list of hazardous jobs for children yet.
Joint Inspector General of the Department of Inspection for Factories and Establishments (DIFE) Dr Mustafizur Rahman, Director of the Department of Labor Md Gias Uddin, National Child Labor Welfare Council member ZM Kamrul Islam, Incidin Bangladesh’s executive director Masud Ali, Winrock International’s Climb Project Director AHM Zaman Khan, and head of the university research team Mohammad A. Hossain, among others, spoke on the occasion.
Mustafizur Rahman said the government is working to include the dried fish sector in the list of hazardous jobs for children and a proposal for inclusion of six sectors, including this industry, is under consideration of the concerned ministry.