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Made By Children - A study of the elimination of child labour in Bangladesh’s textile industry

Holmström, Linn LU (2015) JAMM06 20151
Department of Law
Abstract
In the stitches of our clothes one can often find traces of child labour. The garment
industry in Bangladesh is the country’s largest export sector. It is also a sector where
sever human rights violations take place on a daily basis in relation to child labour.
Accidents in textile factories in the country causing numerous deaths relatively recently
brought the situation of working conditions to the forefront of the world’s attention. But
the matter of child labour in the Bangladesh garment industry has been a subject of
global attention for some time. Child labour occurs in all regions and sectors in the world.
In 2012, ILO estimated that 168 million children were trapped in such working
conditions. It also is relatively common in... (More)
In the stitches of our clothes one can often find traces of child labour. The garment
industry in Bangladesh is the country’s largest export sector. It is also a sector where
sever human rights violations take place on a daily basis in relation to child labour.
Accidents in textile factories in the country causing numerous deaths relatively recently
brought the situation of working conditions to the forefront of the world’s attention. But
the matter of child labour in the Bangladesh garment industry has been a subject of
global attention for some time. Child labour occurs in all regions and sectors in the world.
In 2012, ILO estimated that 168 million children were trapped in such working
conditions. It also is relatively common in Bangladesh where about 3.2 million children
are trapped in child labour.

The garment industry is for many States, including Bangladesh, the fundamental pillar of
the country’s economy. The industry provides millions of farmers, families and children
with a financial income as well as it enriches the country with foreign exchange from
export. The garment industry, including its local supply chain is extremely labour intense
and children have frequently been carrying out work which is harmful to their socioeconomic
development and health. Children in this sector are often used to weave, or
perform other tasks that are related to the industry. The work most commonly takes place
indoors under strict surveillance. Many international legal documents acknowledging
and regulating the prohibition of child labour and children’s working conditions have
developed over a relatively long time-span, but today there is adequate legislation
regulating this matter. That international legislation is adopted and incorporated in
national laws is important to eliminate child labour and recognizing the rights of the
child in this regard. International pressure and actions has been taken to make
Bangladesh comply with international standards, adopt national laws on child labour and
especially to reduce the numbers of child laborers in the formal garment industry. The
formal garment industry in Bangladesh has recently been declared child labour free. But
this has not been the reality for a long time. Therefore how this came to happen will be
explored in this thesis. This thesis will analyze the events leading to the fact that
Bangladesh’s formal garment industry is today child labour free. On the basis of this,
Bangladesh can be considered as one of the big global tests. If the battle against child
labour can be won in the garment industry in this country, there is hope for this to occur
in other industries, sectors and countries in similar situations as well. Therefore it is
important to look at the concrete actions taken and assess whether international
obligations and pressure have had any impact on the national developments including
legislation, actions, and the reduction of child laborers in the garment sector. (Less)
Popular Abstract (Swedish)
I stygnen i våra kläder kan man ofta finna spår av barnarbete. Klädindustrin i Bangladesh är landets största exportsektor. Det är också den sektor där överträdelser av de mänskliga rättigheterna sker dagligen i förhållande till barnarbete. Olyckor i textilfabriker runt om i landet har orsakat flertalet dödsfall, vilket även tagit situationen gällande landets arbetsrättsliga förhållanden samt användning av barnarbete till världens beaktande. Frågan om barnarbete i Bangladeshs klädindustri har dock under en längre tid varit föremål för den globala gemenskapen. Barnarbete förekommer i alla regioner och sektorer i världen, och under 2012 beräknade ILO att ca 168 miljoner barn var inblandade i någon form av arbetsförhållanden som klassificeras... (More)
I stygnen i våra kläder kan man ofta finna spår av barnarbete. Klädindustrin i Bangladesh är landets största exportsektor. Det är också den sektor där överträdelser av de mänskliga rättigheterna sker dagligen i förhållande till barnarbete. Olyckor i textilfabriker runt om i landet har orsakat flertalet dödsfall, vilket även tagit situationen gällande landets arbetsrättsliga förhållanden samt användning av barnarbete till världens beaktande. Frågan om barnarbete i Bangladeshs klädindustri har dock under en längre tid varit föremål för den globala gemenskapen. Barnarbete förekommer i alla regioner och sektorer i världen, och under 2012 beräknade ILO att ca 168 miljoner barn var inblandade i någon form av arbetsförhållanden som klassificeras som barnarbete. Barnarbete är även relativt vanligt i Bangladesh där omkring 3,2 miljoner barn jobbar under diverse former av barnarbete.

Klädindustrin är för många stater, däribland Bangladesh, en grundläggande pelare i landets ekonomi. Branschen bringar miljontals bönder, familjer och barn en finansiell inkomst, likväl som den berikar landet med inkomst från export. Klädindustrin, inklusive den lokala distributionskedjan är intensiv och barn utför ofta arbete som är skadligt för deras socioekonomiska utveckling- och hälsa. Arbetande barn i denna sektor används ofta till att väva eller utföra andra uppgifter som är relaterade till industrin. Vanligast är att arbetet sker inomhus under strikt övervakning och hårda arbetsförhållanden. Flertalet internationella juridiska dokument vilka erkänner och reglerar förbudet mot barnarbete samt barns arbetsvillkor har utvecklats under en relativt lång period, och i dag finns det en adekvat lagstiftning i förhållande till dessa förfärliga men så vanliga seder. Att internationell lagstiftning antas och införlivas i nationell lag är ett väsentligt sätt att eliminera barnarbete och erkänna barns rättigheter i detta avseende. I Bangladesh har det förekommit internationella påtryckningar för att reducera barnarbete vilket har lett till att flertalet åtaganden har vidtagits av landet för att följa internationella normer, så som antagandet av nationella lagar. Mirakulöst har den formella textil industrin i landet officiellt förklarats fritt från barnarbete. Detta har dessvärre inte varit verklighet under en lång tid. Således analyserar denna uppsats händelser som bistått till att denna sektor idag är fri från barnarbete. På dessa grunder kan Bangladesh även betraktas som ett globalt test. Om kampen mot barnarbete kan vinnas i klädindustrin i landet, kan det finns hopp för att detta kan ske inom andra branscher, sektorer och länder i liknande situationer. Därför är det viktigt att titta på de konkreta åtgärder som vidtagits och bedöma huruvida internationella förpliktelser och påtryckningar har haft inverkan på den nationella lagstiftningen och reduceringen av barnarbetare inom klädindustrin i landet. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Holmström, Linn LU
supervisor
organization
course
JAMM06 20151
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
Labour Law, Child Labour, Bangladesh, Garment industry, Law, Human Rights
language
English
id
7866930
date added to LUP
2015-09-15 10:42:57
date last changed
2015-09-15 10:42:57
@misc{7866930,
  abstract     = {In the stitches of our clothes one can often find traces of child labour. The garment
industry in Bangladesh is the country’s largest export sector. It is also a sector where
sever human rights violations take place on a daily basis in relation to child labour.
Accidents in textile factories in the country causing numerous deaths relatively recently
brought the situation of working conditions to the forefront of the world’s attention. But
the matter of child labour in the Bangladesh garment industry has been a subject of
global attention for some time. Child labour occurs in all regions and sectors in the world.
In 2012, ILO estimated that 168 million children were trapped in such working
conditions. It also is relatively common in Bangladesh where about 3.2 million children
are trapped in child labour.

The garment industry is for many States, including Bangladesh, the fundamental pillar of
the country’s economy. The industry provides millions of farmers, families and children
with a financial income as well as it enriches the country with foreign exchange from
export. The garment industry, including its local supply chain is extremely labour intense
and children have frequently been carrying out work which is harmful to their socioeconomic
development and health. Children in this sector are often used to weave, or
perform other tasks that are related to the industry. The work most commonly takes place
indoors under strict surveillance. Many international legal documents acknowledging
and regulating the prohibition of child labour and children’s working conditions have
developed over a relatively long time-span, but today there is adequate legislation
regulating this matter. That international legislation is adopted and incorporated in
national laws is important to eliminate child labour and recognizing the rights of the
child in this regard. International pressure and actions has been taken to make
Bangladesh comply with international standards, adopt national laws on child labour and
especially to reduce the numbers of child laborers in the formal garment industry. The
formal garment industry in Bangladesh has recently been declared child labour free. But
this has not been the reality for a long time. Therefore how this came to happen will be
explored in this thesis. This thesis will analyze the events leading to the fact that
Bangladesh’s formal garment industry is today child labour free. On the basis of this,
Bangladesh can be considered as one of the big global tests. If the battle against child
labour can be won in the garment industry in this country, there is hope for this to occur
in other industries, sectors and countries in similar situations as well. Therefore it is
important to look at the concrete actions taken and assess whether international
obligations and pressure have had any impact on the national developments including
legislation, actions, and the reduction of child laborers in the garment sector.},
  author       = {Holmström, Linn},
  keyword      = {Labour Law,Child Labour,Bangladesh,Garment industry,Law,Human Rights},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Made By Children - A study of the elimination of child labour in Bangladesh’s textile industry},
  year         = {2015},
}