Around 13 lakh children in Bangladesh aged between 5 and 17 years are engaged in hazardous jobs, says a study report.

The study prepared by Bangladesh Shishu Adhikar Forum (BSAF) reads that currently there are 74 lakh working children by and large engaged in diverse forms of economic activities.

The three quarters of a total 4,21,000 child domestic workers who are mostly vulnerable are girls, the paper said quoting different statistics prepared by the government and NGOs.

The BSAF presented the paper in a programme titled Impact Sharing with Media Professionals in the concluding ceremony of 21-month-long Elimination of Hazardous Child Labour Project at Sagor-Runi Auditorium of Dhaka Reporters Unity.

The pilot project Managing of the Top MATT-2 was implemented in Shuvadda Union of Keraniganj. A total of 185 vulnerable working children received support from the project.

These children were admitted to different government and private educational institutions and each of them was given Tk1000 as monthly education fee.

Each of the families also received Tk15,500 at a time to start a small business so that their children do not have to work for money.

“As it was an experimental project, we only took 185 children randomly chosen from informal industries,” said Shabel Firuz, country director of Islamic Relief Bangladesh.

Tariq-Ul-Islam, secretary of the Ministry of Women and Children Affairs, spoke as the chief guest on the occasion.

The secretary said the government had already taken various project works to stop child labour and he stressed the need for a separate budget allocation for children in the next national budget.

Director General of Prime Minister’s Office Shaikh Yusuf Harun and Personal Secretary to Information Minister Sahidul Haque, also spoke at the ceremony with BSAF Chairperson Emranul Huq Chowdhury in the chair.

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