Social norms and economic realities mean that child labour is widely accepted and very common in Bangladesh. Many families rely on the income generated by their children for survival, so child labour is often highly valued. Additionally, employers often prefer to employ children because they are cheaper and considered to be more compliant and
obedient than adults. When children are forced to work, they are often denied their rights to education, leisure and play. They are also exposed to situations that make them vulnerable to trafficking, abuse, violence and exploitation. Millions of children are reported not to attend school, however estimates vary. Among children aged 5-14, about five million, are economically active. “Child labour” is a narrower concept than “working children”. According to the International Labour Organisation definition (right), there are about 3.2 million child labourers in Bangladeshi. Certain groups of children are more likely to work than others, for instance boys comprise about three-quarters of all working children. In slums almost one in five children aged 5-14 are child labourers, and of these, only 25 per cent attend schools. Rapid urbanisation means that more children will move into urban slums and be compelled to work. Child employment rates increase with age, but even about two per cent of five-year-olds and three per cent of six-year-olds works.
Child labour is a visible part of everyday life in Bangladesh: young children serve at roadside tea stalls, and weave between cars selling goods to motorists. Other children work in jobs that are hidden from view, such as domestic work, which makes monitoring and regulation difficult. On average, children work 28 hours a week and earn 222 taka (3.3 USD) a week4.
Many of the jobs that children in Bangladesh perform are considered „hazardous‟, and put their physical and mental development at risk. The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child expressed concern in 2009 that many Bangladeshi children continue to work in five of the worst forms of child labour, namely welding, auto workshops, road transport, battery recharging and tobacco factoriess. The Committee also raised concerns about the lack of mechanisms to enforce child labour laws or monitor working conditions, and insufficient public awareness about the negative effects of child labour.