The readymade garments (RMG) industry, the main export revenue earner for Bangladesh has been excluded by the US Department of Labor from the list of the sectors suspected of producing goods with child labor.
The 11th edition of the annual “Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor”, a report mandated by the Trade and Development Act of 2000 that provides information on the efforts of certain US trade beneficiary countries to eliminate the worst forms of child labor, released in September-end, does not include Bangladesh garment sector.
However, the report suspects Bangladesh’s textile, leather and footwear sectors of manufacturing products using child labor, in violation of international standards, but it does not reveal the extent of child or forced labor used in Bangladesh textile sector.
Besides Bangladesh, it accuses China, Ethiopia and North Korea of using child labor in textile sector, and adds that it does not mean that these countries would attract some import restrictions by the US.
The report states that the information gathered by it can serve as an important tool in global efforts to stop child labor.
It commends the Bangladesh Government for making a moderate advancement in efforts to eliminate the worst forms of child labor by passing the Human Trafficking Deterrence and Suppression Act, 2012, which makes labor trafficking a capital offence.
However, Bangladesh still has a long-way to go in completely eradicating child labor, especially owing to the fact that the country maintains a low compulsory education age, the report adds.