Ending Child Labour in Bangladesh

Ending Child Labour through Street WISE

Dhaka, Bangladesh


Mani*, age 11, wants to be a doctor or a tailor, but she spends her days working in a fish depot instead. A year ago she had to abandon her studies to help provide income for family. The work is hard and tedious, and it brings her a lot of pain in her legs, waist and fingers. Her father left them. Because her sisters married as teens, if Mani doesn’t continue her studies, she too risks marrying early. She hopes to return to her studies and continue learning.


1.2 million Bangladeshi children are trapped in the worst forms of child labour (National Child Labour Survey 2015), with many engaged in dangerous work in the informal manufacturing sector. Children working in informal garment production work as many as 16 hours a day and often carry heavy loads, use hazardous machinery, and handle chemicals without protective equipment. 19.9% of children are primary school dropouts and 31.5% are secondary school dropouts (World Vision Bangladesh phase evaluation report, 2015).


Key challenges:

  • Children are engaged in hazardous child labour
  • 9.9 million youth are not in employment and not in education (Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics, 2013)
  • Parents depend on their children to bring in income because of their desperate poverty
  • Girls in such situations are pressured into becoming child brides, becoming teenage mothers and foregoing opportunities to break out of the vicious cycle of poverty through education

World Vision aims to provide life skills, vocational training and back-to-school opportunities through:

  1. Protection from hazardous labour and annual health checkups
  2. Career guidance, education and certification
    • Out of school children to be able to continue primary education through non-formal education programmes
    • Providing demand-led technical and vocational training and access to the job market in the areas of setting up enterprises, tailoring, electrical house electrical wiring, automobile repairs, handicrafts, packaging
    • Equipping child friendly learning centres
  3. Life skills such as
    • Self awareness
    • Leadership skills
    • Decision making
    • Emotional management
    • Problem solving
    • Critical thinking
  4. Economic empowerment for parents to increase their income and allow their children to continue schooling and vocational training
    • The project will also link to the Micro-Finance Institute and market actors to get financial services and market information by facilitating relationships and network building

Target number of beneficiaries:

  • 500 child labourers between the ages of 8 – 16
  • 1,000 community members