2006 Photo Contest, Daily Life, 3rd prize

G.M.B. Akash

01 January, 2005

A 12-year old child laborer in a textile factory in Narayanganj, Bangladesh, is beaten by the owner for not completing his work on time. The boy works for ten hours a day and earns around one US dollar. UNICEF estimates that some 3.3 million children, one-fifth of the country's labor force, are employed in Bangladesh. This is despite efforts in the 1990s to curb child labor in the garment industry. Many children are forced into hazardous occupations in painting or engineering workshops, or in tanneries that use dangerous chemicals. On average a child laborer gets 60 taka (less than US$ 1) a day, about one third of the adult rate. In addition, factory owners prefer child workers because they are able to keep the workplace free from trade unionism. Early employment also deprives the children of opportunity for education, thus preventing them from finding a way out of low-paid occupations.

About the photographer

G.M.B. Akash

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