Children of Bangladesh
A task of the Bangladesh Development
Research Center (BDRC)
Snapshot of Child Labor in Bangladesh
Photo: © Mridul Sangma (Creative Commons)
© bri vos (Creative Commons)
In 1995-96, the estimate of child labor was put at 6.6 million.
(These are 19.1% of the 34.4 million children between the ages of 5-14
years). Children were found to work in 200 types of activities, of which 49
were identified as being particularly hazardous as they harmed children’s
physical and mental well-being.

Source: Khair, Sumaiya (2005) Child labour in Bangladesh: a forward looking policy
study (Geneva, Switzerland: International Labour Organization (ILO) April).
In 2002-03, the estimate of child labour was put at  3.2 million.
Child labor was (based on ILO Conventions Nos. 138 and 182) defined as:
  • all children aged 5-11 who are engaged in economic activity;
  • all children aged 12-14 who are engaged in economic activities except those
    doing light work (less than 14 hours a week, to the exclusion of all hazardous
    work and other worst forms of child labour); and
  • all children aged 15-17 in hazardous work (including working 43 hours or more
    in a week) and other worst forms of child labour.
The Survey covered an estimated 42.4 million children between the ages of
5-17 years.

Source: Khair, Sumaiya (2005) Child labour in Bangladesh: a forward looking policy
study (Geneva, Switzerland: International Labour Organization (ILO) April).
On June 21, 2008, The Bangladesh Today
reported that around 1.3 million children
are engaged in risky jobs.

The number of child workers had increased as
many children have no other alternative to
survive due to the sharp food price increase.
© Mark Knobil (Creative Commons)
The Government of Bangladesh has
implemented a program that is expected to
lead to the withdrawal of all child workers
from the worst form of child labor by 2015.
Note: "Child labor" is a narrower concept than "economically active children".
There are many more children economically active than there are child workers.
© 2012 Bangladesh Development Research Center Inc. (BDRC)
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