Fallen Stars

Mohammad Shahnewaz Khan

According to UNICEF report from January 2014, 5.6 million of the country's 26 million children were not in school and according to the ILO 2006 there are about 3.2 million child laborers in Bangladesh.1.2 million Children are trapped in its worst forms, according to the latest National Child Labor Survey report, published in 2015.On average, children work 28 hours a week & earn 4 USD per week. The vast majority of children (93 percent) work in the informal sector which makes enforcement of the relevant legislation challenging. Employers often prefer to employ children because they are cheaper. Often, the conditions are dangerous and they face the possibility of mistreatment, violence, trafficking, abuse, exploitation, low-quality food and miss out education. As a result, they get stuck in low paying, low-skilled jobs, thereby perpetuating the cycle of poverty.

“Fallen Stars” is about life of those children, especially who works away from their home. I've documented these children's lives, originally out of my own curiosity and empathy for their plight. I began documenting child laborers five years ago. I try to fathom how they cope with their daily lives, for example, as they work in hazardous situations like brickfields, aluminum factories, garbage dump yards & shipyards. I've worked about this issue in Bangladesh, Nepal, Africaand India.I tried to document Shafik and a few other child laborers' lives, their family lives, their dreams and the undervalued labor of these children with my work, to raise awareness in to the society.

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