Child labor in the Era of Sustainable Development: insights from Jhenaidah City of Bangladesh: Child labor in the era of sustainable development

  • Md. Ashfikur Rahman Khulna University, Khulna, Bangladesh
  • Md. Sazedur Rahman Khulna University, Khulna, Bangladesh
  • Md. Ashraful Alam Khulna University, Khulna, Bangladesh
  • Mahamudul Hasan Khulna University, Khulna, Bangladesh
  • Md. Imtiaz Hasan Rahul Khulna University, Khulna, Bangladesh


The existence of child labor in developing countries like Bangladesh is undoubtedly a serious problem in the era of sustainable development. Undoubtedly to abolish child labor from all level is not so easy. The current study was intended to assess the livelihoods pattern and causes of being involved as child labor in Jhenaidah city-Bangladesh and to find out the ways in which child labor can be diminished gradually. This study was exploratory in nature where convenience sampling was adapted, seventy-five children aged less than 18 years were interviewed with an interview schedule. The extent and prevalence of child labour in a country are being considered as a significant indicator of how far-off that country stays away from the overall sustainable development. The results of this study demonstrate that the majority (17/22.67%) children engaged in performing work in shops or hotels. The X2 (p<0.5) results elucidate that there exists gender difference in child abuse and harassment. The rate of physical and mental abuse and torture was higher in male children, in contrast, the prevalence of sexual harassment and abuse by slung was significantly higher in female children. The working hours as an average above 7 hours or more, and per day wage of children in Jhenaidah found just above 1.4$ (120 BDT). The principal component analysis indicates that lack of parental employment facilities which has directly related to poverty found as the foremost reasons for a child to make involvement as labour before completing age 18, this result is not only applicable for Jhenaidah but also possibly applicable for all developing countries. Besides, father’s education and death of mother were the important indicators of being child laborer. The ways of eliminating child labour are not so easy task because the problem has been indissolubly embedded in our society for long. Hence, it requires moral, political will and commitment from all people in the society for ending and eradicating child labour. Alongside all these, international organizations must make sure their robust participation in enhancing this process.


1. Ahad, M.A., Eleen, F. and Chowdhury, M., 2018. Hazardous Working Conditions and Employers Perception Regarding Child Laborer: A Study at Sylhet City of Bangladesh. South Asian Journal of Social Studies and Economics, pp.1-7.
2. Alam, G.M., 2009. The role of science and technology education at network age population for sustainable development of Bangladesh through human resource advancement. Scientific Research and Essays, 4(11), pp.1260-1270.
3. Alam, S., Mondal, N.I. and Rahman, M., 2008. Child labor due to poverty: A study on Dinajpur district, Bangladesh. The Social Sciences, 3(5), pp.388-391.
4. Amin, S., Quayes, M.S. and Rives, J.M., 2004. Poverty and other determinants of child labor in Bangladesh. Southern Economic Journal, pp.876-892.
5. Anker, R. and Melkas, H., 1996. Economic incentives for children and families to eliminate or reduce child labour. International Labour Office.
6. Atkinson-Sheppard, S., 2016. The gangs of Bangladesh: Exploring organized crime, street gangs and ‘illicit child labourers’ in Dhaka. Criminology & Criminal Justice, 16(2), pp.233-249.
7. Basu, K. and Van, P.H., 1998. The economics of child labor. American economic review, pp.412-427.
8. BBS, (2011). Population census and housing census-2011. Statistics division. Bangladesh bureau of statistics, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, Dhaka, Bangladesh.
9. Beegle, K., Dehejia, R. and Gatti, R., 2009. Why should we care about child labor? The education, labor market, and health consequences of child labor. Journal of Human Resources, 44(4), pp.871-889.
10. Cardoso, E. and Souza, A.P., 2004. The impact of cash transfers on child labor and school attendance in Brazil.
11. Chang, H., Dong, X.Y. and MacPhail, F., 2011. Labor migration and time use patterns of the left-behind children and elderly in rural China. World Development, 39(12), pp.2199-2210.
12. Edmonds, E.V. and Pavcnik, N., 2005. Child labor in the global economy. Journal of Economic Perspectives, 19(1), pp.199-220.
13. Edmonds, E.V., 2015. Economic Growth and Child Labor in Low Income Economies. A Systhesis Paper Prepared for IZA/DFID. Bonn: Institute for the Study of Labor.
14. Engelgau, M.M., Zhang, P., Jan, S. and Mahal, A., 2019. Economics Dimensions of Health Inequities: The Role of Implementation Research. Ethnicity & Disease, 29(Suppl 1), pp.103-112.
15. Ersado, L., 2005. Child labor and schooling decisions in urban and rural areas: Comparative evidence from Nepal, Peru, and Zimbabwe. World development, 33(3), pp.455-480.
16. Fors, H.C., 2012. Child labour: A review of recent theory and evidence with policy implications. Journal of Economic Surveys, 26(4), pp.570-593.
17. Gharaibeh, M. and Hoeman, S., 2003. Health hazards and risks for abuse among child labor in Jordan. Journal of Pediatric Nursing, 18(2), pp.140-147.
18. Goswami, S. and Jain, V., 2006. Determinants of Child Labour Participation: Review of Issues and Implications for Policy. Management and Labour Studies, 31(4), pp.388-398.
19. Hadi, A., 2000. Child abuse among working children in rural Bangladesh: prevalence and determinants. Public Health, 114(5), pp.380-384.
20. Hasan, M.M., Hossain, B.S., Alam, M.J., Chowdhury, K.A., Al Karim, A. and Chowdhury, N.M.K., 2018. The Prospects of Blue Economy to Promote Bangladesh into a Middle-Income Country. Open Journal of Marine Science, 8(03), p.355.
21. ILO, (2017). Global estimates of child labor: Results and trends, 2012-2016. International Labor Organization.
22. Islam, M.S., Rahman, M.E. and Khatun, R., 2013. Street Children Struggle For Survival Where Protection Of Human Resource Development: (A Study On Khulna City, Bangladesh.). International Journal of Scientific & Technology Research, 2(11), pp.36-49.
23. Junaid, M., Malik, R.N. and Pei, D.S., 2017. Health hazards of child labor in the leather products and surgical instrument manufacturing industries of Sialkot, Pakistan. Environmental Pollution, 226, pp.198-211.
24. Kamruzzaman, M., 2015. Child victimization at working places in Bangladesh. American Journal of Applied Psychology, 4(6), pp.146-159.
25. Khakshour, A., Ajilian Abbasi, M., Sayedi, S.J., Saeidi, M. and Khodaee, G.H., 2015. Child labor facts in the worldwide: A review article. International Journal of Pediatrics, 3(1.2), pp.467-473.
26. Khatun, M.T. and Jamil, H., 2013. Life style of the street children in Khulna city. Bangladesh Res Publ J, 9(1), pp.50-56.
27. Kuddus, A. and Rahman, A., 2015. Human Right Abuse: A Case Study on Child Labor in Bangladesh. International Journal of Management and Humanities, 1(8), pp.1-4.
28. Nwazuoke, A.N. and Igwe, C.A., 2016. Worst forms of child labour in Nigeria: An appraisal of international and local legal Regimes. Beijing L. Rev., 7, p.69.
29. Okpukpara, B.C. and Odurukwe, N., 2006. Incidence and determinants of child labour in Nigeria: Implications for poverty alleviation.
30. Plummer, C.A. and Njuguna, W., 2009. Cultural protective and risk factors: Professional perspectives about child sexual abuse in Kenya. Child abuse & neglect, 33(8), pp.524-532.
31. Rad, E.H., Gholampoor, H. and Jaafaripooyan, E., 2015. Child labor and the influencing factors: evidence from less developed provinces of Iran. Iranian journal of public health, 44(9), p.1244.
32. Rahman, M.M., Rahman, M.H., Zakaria, A.F.M. and Monjur-Ul-Haider, M., 2015. Street Children: Survival on the Extreme Margins of Human Life?. International Journal of Humanities Social Sciences and Education (IJHSSE, 2 (9), pp. 136-144
33. Rahman, M.S., 2018. Occupational injuries among children in Bangladesh. International Research Journal of Social Sciences,7 (10), pp. 17-20.
34. Ray, R., 2002. Simultaneous Analysis of Child Labour and Child Schooling: Comparative Evidence from Nepal and Pakistan. Economic and Political Weekly, pp.5215-5224.
35. Richter, L.M., Daelmans, B., Lombardi, J., Heymann, J., Boo, F.L., Behrman, J.R., Lu, C., Lucas, J.E., Perez-Escamilla, R., Dua, T. and Bhutta, Z.A., 2017. Investing in the foundation of sustainable development: pathways to scale up for early childhood development. The lancet, 389(10064), pp.103-118.
36. Rickey, L. and Jayachandran, S., 2009. The determinants of child labor and schooling in the Philippines. Unpublished thesis. Palo Alto, CA: Stanford University.
37. Roby, J.L., 2005. Women and children in the global sex trade: Toward more effective policy. International Social Work, 48(2), pp.136-147.
38. Roggero, P., Mangiaterra, V., Bustreo, F. and Rosati, F., 2007. The health impact of child labor in developing countries: evidence from cross-country data. American journal of public health, 97(2), pp.271-275.
39. Sayeed, S. (2011). Street-children in development: review of government policies and alternative strategy in Bangladesh. Centre for Health and Development Intelligence, p. 235
40. Serra, R., 2009. Child fostering in Africa: When labor and schooling motives may coexist. Journal of Development Economics, 88(1), pp.157-170
41. Shafiq, M.N., 2007. Household schooling and child labor decisions in rural Bangladesh. Journal of Asian Economics, 18(6), pp.946-966.
42. Shields, P.M. and Rangarajan, N., 2013. A playbook for research methods: Integrating conceptual frameworks and project management. New Forums Press.
43. Siddiqi, A.F., 2013. Important determinants of child labor: A case study for Lahore. American Journal of Economics and Sociology, 72(1), pp.199-221.
44. Summerfield, G.C., Moore, D.F. and Becerra, N.E., 2017. Child Labor Related Uses of Section 337 under International Legal Norms. Fed. Cir. BJ, 27, p.401.
45. Togunde, D. and Carter, A., 2006. Socioeconomic causes of child labor in urban Nigeria. Journal of Children and Poverty, 12(1), pp.73-89.
46. Uddin, M.N., Hamiduzzaman, M. and Morad, M., 2014. Hazardous child labor & psycho-physical and economic consequences: a study in Sylhet City, Bangladesh.
47. UNICEF, (2010). Child labor in Bangladesh, Retrieved from: [Accessed: July 2018].
48. Von Stein, J., 2016. Making promises, keeping promises: democracy, ratification and compliance in international human rights law. British Journal of Political Science, 46(3), pp.655-679.
49. Webbink, E., Smits, J. and de Jong, E., 2013. Household and context determinants of child labor in 221 districts of 18 developing countries. Social Indicators Research, 110(2), pp.819-836.
50. Webbink, E., Smits, J. and De Jong, E., 2015. Child labor in Africa and Asia: Household and context determinants of hours worked in paid labor by young children in 16 low-income countries. The European Journal of Development Research, 27(1), pp.84-98.
51. Zaman, S., Matin, S. and Kibria, A.M.B.G., 2014. A study on present scenario of child labour in Bangladesh. IOSR Journal of Business and Management, 16(6), pp.25-36.
How to Cite
RAHMAN, Md. Ashfikur et al. Child labor in the Era of Sustainable Development: insights from Jhenaidah City of Bangladesh: Child labor in the era of sustainable development. International Journal of Social Sciences, Humanities and Education, [S.l.], v. 3, n. 2, p. 137-149, june 2019. ISSN 2521-0041. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 22 mar. 2023.