Child labor is a visible part of everyday life in Bangladesh. Employers often prefer to employ children because they are cheaper and considered to be more compliant and obedient than adults. They are also exposed to situations that make them vulnerable to trafficking, abuse, violence and exploitation. According to the ILO (International Labor Organization) 2006 there are about 3.2 million child laborers in Bangladesh. On average, children work 28 hours a week and earn 222 BDT (just US $3.3) a week. The vast majority of children (93 per cent) work in the informal sector which makes enforcement of the relevant legislation challenging. Many child laborers miss out on their right to education because they do not have the time to go to school or to study. As a result, working children get stuck in low paying, low-skilled jobs, thereby perpetuating the cycle of poverty.
I have started my project on child labor from last three years. I am documenting life of child labor, which was a result of curiosity of many children. Iï¿½m influenced by great writer Nikolai Ostrovsky.
I am very much interested to those children who work away from their home and family. I wonder how they cope up with their daily life with that hazardous condition like brickfield, aluminum factory, shipyard and garbage dump yard. Iï¿½ve started following Shafik (11) and few others who work in a brickfield in Chittagong. His family live in an Island named Hatia in Bay of Bengal. Shafik working at Bakkar brickfield, as his father wants him to do so. His father took 6000 BDT (80$) for six months agreement from master, who collect children as a labor from different villages of Bangladesh. I would like to document Shafik and few other child labourï¿½s lives, dreams and future following few of them on their working environment and their family living different districts of Bangladesh, Asian & African countries. I would like to document their lives, dreams and undervalued labor of these children with my work.
Photo documentary by Mohamed Shahnewaz Khan (Hits: 96834)
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