In Bangladesh, cases of child labour are increasing, driven by poverty, a lack of visibility in lower tiers of supply chains, and limited factory capacity (or interest), to implement responsible recruitment practices.
In response to this issue, in November 2022, UNICEF Bangladesh commissioned The Centre to collaborate with the Ministry of Labour and Employment (MoLE) and the Department of Inspection for Factories and Establishments (DIFE) to enhance the capacities of inspectors and practitioners in child protection and the implementation of the Children Act 2013.
Since then, the project has progressed through multiple phases. Consultation meetings were held with stakeholders, including MoLE, MoWCA, Department of Social Services (DSS), DIFE, ILO, World Vision, and Educo. These meetings were crucial in shaping the project's inception report, which focused on developing a child labour elimination framework and capacity-building strategy for ministries, departments, and other stakeholders.
During this phase, The Centre curated a comprehensive library of materials on child protection, child labour prevention, and remediation. These resources will support MoLE in deepening their knowledge and sharing best practices for implementation.
From February to May 2023, the project entered an intensive phase of workshops and meetings with MoLE, MoWCA, UNICEF Bangladesh, and other stakeholders. Feedback was sought and training modules were refined. One-on-one interviews were conducted with the Department of Social Services and the Department of Women Affairs (DWA) to gather insights on existing mechanisms, initiatives, challenges, and suggestions.
Based on the feedback received, five capacity-building modules were fine-tuned and submitted to UNICEF Bangladesh in May 2023. These modules focus on different ministries and departments, including MoSW, MoWCA, DoL, and DIFE. Four modules follow a Train-the-Trainer (ToT) format to equip social services officers and frontline workers. The remaining module, recommended by MoLE and UNICEF Bangladesh, will directly train a broader group of stakeholders, including the Ministry of Primary and Mass Education, DHSE, Bangladesh Shishu Academy, NGOs, and key actors.
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