Back to Page Authors: M. Abdul Ahad

Keywords: causes, consequences, child laborer, Sylhet city, Bangladesh

Abstract: The present study was conducted to determine the causes of being child labourer and the nature of employment and working environment of child labourers in the context of Bangladesh. Through using purposive sampling technique, total eighty (80) respondents from Sylhet Sadar Upazila were selected as sample. The field survey (personal interview) was adopted to collect cross-sectional data, using unstructured questionnaire. Besides descriptive statistics, an analytical technique namely Influencing Causes Index (ICI) measure was also administered. The Friedman test and the chi-square test of independence were also performed. The study reveals 61.25% of child laborers are under the age of 12 to 14. Around 16.25% and 13.75% are involved in rickshaw pulling and agriculture respectively. Most of them reveal that their parents have no educational qualification and their fathers were involved in small scale business and agriculture while 13.75% reveals that their fathers were unemployed. The ICI measure ranked poverty first as a leading reason of being child labourer, while high cost of education and uneducated family member were stood second and third in rank order respectively among thirteen identified reasons of being child labourer. 73.75% were found paid labourer irrespective of 22.5% self-employed children. The present study reveals that 72.5% child laborers have been working more than 8 hours in a day. Uppermost 92.5% respondents disclosed that they do not get additional payment for overtime working. Regretfully, 90% child laborers stated that they did not get any training facilities before or after commencement of job. That is why; they (67.5%) had to depend on another experienced labourer. Study displays 48.75% child laborers did not find hygiene facilities at their workplace. Notably, 58.75% of child laborers never found any safety measures from their workplace. The result highlights that children are toiling long hours under dehumanizing vulnerable working environment. Area and context-specific data are important for future policies and effective surveillance initiatives.