H. E. A.J.A.J.M.G. Hennekens, Ambassador, Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and Ms Panudda Boonpala, Country Director, ILO visited Dholaipar Multi Purpose Centre and Jatrabari Vocational Training Centre at Jatrabari in Dhaka on 18 November 2009 to see the field level operations of the Urban Informal Economy (UIE) Project
Yasmin, 12, daughter of a labourer at a brick-field, who works at an engineering workshop, studied up to Class I in the village, said brightly to the visiting team, ‘My study was stopped until I got admission in this school. I like to study as my friends have done. My parents want this too.’
First Secretary of Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Deputy Secretary of the Ministry of Labour and Employment, Zonal Officer of DCC, local ward councilors and Directors of implementing NGOs were also present during the visit. They talked with learners, parents and community people and were impressed with positive responses from them about the learning and vocational training centres in this area.
H. E. Hennekens, Ambassador, Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands said, ‘It is a very immoral act for employers to employ children in work. A lot of talk is going on, but there is no actual action; lots of laws, but these are not implemented. We’ll go together to DCC to speed up the process of preventing employers from engaging children in hazardous labour. I appreciate the training and services provided to the children.’
UIE project, which is funded by the Government of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, is a project of support to the national Time-Bound Programme (TBP) on the Elimination of Hazardous Child Labour. In partnership with Dhaka City Corporation (DCC) and implemented by NGOs, it provides non-formal education, socio-economic empowerment and vocational training to working children and their guardians through Multi Purpose Centre (MPC) and Vocational Training Centre (VTC).
The DCC-ILO Action Program on Child Labour under the UIE project started in December 2008. It will be implemented in four zones of Dhaka city with the target of preparing 11,000 children for formal primary or secondary education through participation in non-formal education programmes, reducing the reliance on child labour earnings for 3,700 guardians, and providing vocational training to 3,700 children. Population services and Training Centre (PSTC), Nari Maitree, Resource Integration Centre (RIC), Dhaka Ahsania Mission (DAM) and Centre for Development Services (CDS) work as secondary partners providing non-formal education, socio-economic empowerment and vocational training services under this project.