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101 East
Too young to work
As many Bangladeshi children work in risky and dangerous jobs, we look at government plans to eradicate child labour.
Last Modified: 19 Dec 2011 13:48

Bangladesh is one of the poorest countries in the world. 

To support their families, millions of children are employed to work, many of them in hazardous conditions.

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Last year, the government came up with an ambitious plan to stop all children under 14 working by 2015. It is a staggering task, as poor families have relied on child labour for generations.

Previous efforts to stop child labour have backfired. When the US introduced the Child Labor Deterrence Act in 1993, an estimated 50,000 Bangladeshi children lost their garment industry jobs overnight, leaving many to resort to more hazardous and exploitative jobs such as stone-crushing, street hustling and prostitution.

But social commentators claim that there are cultural reasons for widespread child labour in Bangladesh – including the belief it will train young people for work as adults and stop them becoming involved in crime. 

On this edition of 101 East, we look at how Bangladesh is tackling the issue of child labour.

"Too young to work" won the Best Short Documentary Award in the prestigious biannual international Gold Panda Awards in China.

 
101 East airs each week at the following times GMT: Thursday: 2230; Friday: 0930; Saturday: 0330; Sunday: 1630.

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Source:
Al Jazeera
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