Child Labour Elimination Project
Shoe Factories, Bhairab, Bangladesh
In Bhairab, over 3,200 children work long hours in small shoe factories which are often one room of an employer’s house; cramped, dark and poorly ventilated. Children, who also sleep in the factories, frequently suffer from injuries and glue inhalation and many suffer physical and sexual abuse from their employers.
Learning for Life and local partners, POPI and HELP, in conjunction with Comic Relief, have begun a project which will create an enabling environment for children, parents/guardians, employers, duty bearers and other key stakeholders including government, to support the release and reintegration of targeted child labourers and gain commitment of all groups not to engage in hazardous child labour in future.
Families are being incentivised to send children to school through the provision of vocational training and income generation support. Children are receiving individually-assessed support from a menu including educational support, health support, recreational activities and vocational training. All children aged 6-14 in the project area are being prevented from engaging in hazardous labour by educating them on the dangers involved. Advocacy and media publicity will spread the benefits of the project, locally and nationally.
500 working children have been released from hazardous work, are now attending full-time education.
Local folk singing groups regularly conduct awareness-raising performances to promote child rights and legislation to stop child labour in the community.
Children that have been released from hazardous work also take part in extra-curricular activities in our supplementary education centre