Award-winning PhD research image highlights realities of child labour

Published on 19 June 2020

Institute of Development Studies’ PhD researcher, Md Mahmudul Hoque (Moni), has won first prize in the 2020 Doctoral Research Image Competition hosted by the University of Sussex.

‘Can we close our eyes?’ © Md Mahmudul Hoque

Moni’s award-wining photograph entitled ‘Can we keep our eyes closed’ shows 16-year old Arif (pseudonym), working at a welding workshop in Dhaka, Bangladesh. He has no basic safety equipment – not even a pair of glasses. He must close his eyes and protect them from being exposed to the welding fireworks.

Moni said:

“I met Arif a few months ago when I visited some parts of the city to experience the reality of working children in Dhaka. He left school several years ago. The 2013 National Child Labour Survey reveals that at least 1.2 million children are engaged in the worst forms of child labour in Bangladesh. Most of these children work in informal sectors. The country enacted a set of policies to eliminate the worst forms of child labour but not much improvement has been reported. My research concerns how social protection policies can response to address the child labour issue in Bangladesh.”

The Doctoral Research Image Competition showcases the richness and variety of PhD research undertaken at Sussex. Entrants are encouraged to inform, engage, and intrigue a non-specialist academic audience and offer a visual perspective on current doctoral research.

IDS students did extremely well in the competition. Dina Zayed won the People’s Choice award for her image entitled ‘Grounding Stone- Climate, Publics, and the Politics of Voice’. And four other IDS PhD researchers made the shortlist with submissions that represent the diversity of cutting-edge work on development at IDS:

The shortlisted images are being exhibited throughout the Festival of Doctoral Research (15-19 June 2020). See all of the entries below.


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