January 19, 2016
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TUESDAY, JANUARY 19, 2016 | Magh 6, 1422, Rabius Sani 8, 1437 | Regd No DA 6238, Vol 3, No 273 | www.dhakatribune.com | 32 pages | Price: Tk10
ILL-PREPARED WASA FACES BIG TASK PAGE 32
RAB ARRESTS 3 SMUGGLERS WITH 2.8M YABAS PAGE 5
DHAKA NOT READY FOR MAJOR TREMBLER PAGE 3
n Mohammad Jamil KhanThe number of working children in the coun-try has been on the rise despite a policy taken last year to eradicate child labour by this year.
Three years ago, the government identi ed 38 child labour-prone sectors in the country and vowed to ensure that there would not be a single child in active labour by 2016.
That vow had two parts: to eliminate child labour in hazardous jobs; and to fully eradi-cate the social curse.
The government claims that the ready-made garment sector and the shrimping in-dustry two of the 38 sectors identi ed in 2012 are now fully free from child labour.
However, some of the other sectors, includ-ing transport, still remain heavily dominated by child labour, many in hazardous jobs.
According to the latest child labour report published by Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) last month, there are now as many as 3.45 million children in active labour in the country. Ten years ago, when the BBS pub-lished its last report, 3.2 million children were in active labour. So, in 10 years, child labour has increased by 250,000.
The December 2015 BBS report also says that 1.228 million children were engaged in hazardous jobs. In 2003, this gure was 1.3 million, showing that in 10 years the govern-ment has managed to remove 72,000 chil-dren from hazardous jobs.
Case studyYesterday afternoon, 10-year-old Sujan, who
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PM assures teachers of solution to pay deadlockn Arif Ahmed and Shadma MalikPrime Minister Sheikh Hasina has assured teachers of reaching a solution about their demand for a separate pay scale and asked them to return to classrooms, said Professor ASM Maksud Kamal, secretary general of the Federation of Bangladesh University Teach-ers Association (FBUTA), yesterday.
He told reporters after a meeting with the prime minister that the demands of the strik-ing teachers had been raised at the meeting.
The premier said she would look into the matter. She also called on the teachers to
withdraw the ongoing strike, said Kamal. After a meeting with the FBUTA mem-
bers tomorrow [Tuesday], we will decide on the next course of action. We will also make a decision about whether to call o the strike, he added.
An eight-member FBUTA delegation met the prime minister at the latters o ce yes-terday.
On Sunday evening, the FBUTA president and secretary general submitted a proposal to Education Secretary Sohrab Hossain on behalf of the striking teachers.
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Cops must wear uniforms or police vests while on dutyn Shohel MamunFrom now on, policemen are not allowed to carry out duties in civilian dress, Home Min-ister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal said yester-day.
If they [policemen] are not in uniform, they will not be considered to be on o cial duty, Kamal told journalists at his o ce.
We know that for technical reasons, po-licemen have been working in plain clothes. But the ministrys directive is that every po-liceman, including Detective Branch o cials, must at least wear police vests, he said.
The directive comes in the wake of several cases of abuse of power by policemen wear-ing civilian clothing.
On the night of January 9, Sub-Inspector Masud Sikder con ned Bangladesh Bank o cial Golam Rabbi to a police vehicle and pressured him for a Tk5 lakh bribe.
Masud then threatened to kill Rabbi in a shoot-out and implicate him in a drugs case if he failed to pay the money. The policeman was suspended on January 16.
Suspended Mohammadpur Sub-Inspec-tor Masud Sikder did not act like a police
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In 2012, identifying 38 sectors, govt vowed to fully eliminate child labour by 2016 By 2015, only 2 sectors could be made child labour free Success rate 5.26% National coordination committee held just 2 meetings in 3 years
2003 2013 3.2 million in active labour 3.45 million in active labour1.3 million in hazardous job 1.228 million in hazardous job
Source: Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics PHOTO: SYED ZAKIR HOSSAIN
Child labour still risingGovernment set to miss its 2016 child labour elimination deadline by a big margin
News2DTTUESDAY, JANUARY 19, 2016
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Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina chats with guests who attended a cake festival on the premises of Gono Bhaban in the capital yesterday afternoon BSS
Child labour still risingworks as the helper of a human haulier driv-er, was calling passengers near City College at the Science Laboratory intersection in Dhaka.
When this reporter, who was on a motor-bike, caught up with Sujan, the little boy was literally hanging from the door of the human haulier, which was already moving slowly.
Dont you feel scared? You may fall on the road anytime!
Sujan replied: No Sir. Nothing will hap-pen. I have been working for a year now.
Asked why he does not go to school, the little boy said it was poverty his father had left them years ago and his mother earns only a handful by working as domestic help and so he has to work.
Sujans daily income depends on the num-ber of passengers; so on days when there are passengers in plenty, he earns up to Tk200. On less fortunate days, his income comes down to Tk100.
Before this correspondent could ask an-ymore questions, the human haulier sped away down the Mirpur Road.
The sleeping committeeIn 2012, the government laid out the Nation-
al Child Labour Elimination Policy 2015. The ambitious vow at that time was to ensure that no child would be working in hazardous jobs by the end of 2015 and there would not be any child labour at all by 2016.
A national coordination committee, comprising representatives from various stakeholders the Labour Ministry, Women and Children A airs Ministry, NGOs was formed. This committee was tasked with forming district level sub-committees to work for eliminating child labour.
In three years, that committee has man-aged to sit for just two meetings although they were supposed to meet once every six months, and none of those district-level committees have been formed.
While talking to the Dhaka Tribune, Sec-retary to the Labour Ministry, Fazizur Rah-man, admitted that they were nowhere near achieving the 2016 deadline they had set for themselves.
BBS reportBangladesh Bureau of Statistics published the child labour report in December 2015, but the survey work was conducted in 2013
following the guidelines of the Bangladesh Labour Act 2006 and the conventions of the International Labour Organisation (ILO).
That report found that most children 1.4 million to be speci c employed in hazardous jobs are in Dhaka, the capital city and the cen-tre of all economic activities in the country.
The report also found that child labour mainly exists in ve sectors: transport, ware-housing, wholesale and retail business, vehi-cle repairing, construction, and mineral. In addition, 33.3% of the total child labour force is engaged in agriculture, forest and sheries sectors.
The BBS found in the survey that most children drop out of school because their families cannot a ord the expenses of educa-tion. Sometimes families take their children out of school thinking learning mathematics and English was less important than learning household work, specially for a girl child.
During a recent eld visit to Coxs Bazar, the biggest tourist destination in Bangladsh, this correspondent has found that one out of every six children in the district is school dropout.
When contacted, Education Minister
Nurul Islam Nahid said they had ensured that nearly 100% of the children in the coun-try are now going to school.
But many of those children drop out of school before completing primary education and get engaged in di erent types of work, the minister said.
We are conducting various activities to bring back children to school. We have ar-ranged nancial bene ts alongside food at school for children from poor families. We have also made arrangements for educating the street children, Nahid said. l
Cops must wearo cer with the Bangladesh Bank o cial. This is proved by the preliminary investiga-tion. That is why he has received a suspen-sion order, the home minister said.
Jatrabari Sub-Inspector Akash is also un-der investigation. We will take action after the investigation ends, Kamal added.
On January 15, four on-duty policemen in plain clothes beat up an inspector of Dhaka South City Corporation in Jatrabari area of the capital. l
PM assures teachers of solution to pay deadlockIn the proposal, the teachers raised two de-mands. First, 5% of all public university pro-fessors should be made distinguished pro-fessors and their pay should be equal to that of senior secretaries. The other demand was that 25% of all professors should be raised to grade one status.
After yesterdays meeting, Professor Ka-mal said: The prime minister said there would be initiatives to ful ll the second de-mand but no decision could be made imme-
diately about the rst one.But we are still optimistic that a solution
will emerge soon as we have nally been able to meet the prime minister. We are expecting a positive result, he added.
Yesterday was the eighth day of the indef-inite strike of public university teachers, who have been protes