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Child Labour Free India Campaign

Child Labour Free India Campaign

Global March Against Child Labour supports the Child Labour Free India Campaign organised by India partner Bachpan Bachao Andolan

Current Face of Child Labour in India

India is the  largest democracy in the world with its remarkable and sustained   economic growth but still faces the stigma of 4.9 million1 child labourers (60 million child labourers according to NGO data), 81506182 out of school children and  1174803 missing children who have been trafficked or have become victims of organ trade etc. Economic growth cannot be sustained with financial capital only. It requires human capital, and ending child labour ensures that. This is a very crucial time to re-energize the child labour elimination movement in India so that we do not let loose the pace in development.

The new ILO global report entitled 'Accelerating Action Against Child Labour', presents detailed estimates. Progress was greatest among children aged 5-14, where the number of child labourers fell by 10 per cent. Child labour among girls decreased by 15 per cent. However, it increased among boys (by 8 million or 7 per cent). What’s more, child labour among young people aged 15 to 17 increased by 20 per cent, from 52 million to 62 million.

Why Child Labour Free India Campaign?

Campaign Objectives

  • All forms of employment should be prohibited for children up to the age of completion of  education in accordance to the Right to Education Act.
  • Employment of children up to 18 years of age in any hazardous occupation or processes or any economic activity which is dangerous for children must be prohibited in conformity with the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act 2000.
  • Child labour should be made cognizable and non-bailable offense under law and punitive actions against offenders should be made more stringent and time-bound.
  • An effective national program with sufficient resource allocation for comprehensive rehabilitation of child labourers and also for clear monitoring and accountability framework must be in place.
  • India should reiterate its new role as a leader in global economy by immediately ratifying ILO Conventions No. 182 on the worst forms of child labour and the No. 138 on the minimum age.

Bachpan Bachao Andolan since its inception in 1980,symbolizes the largest grassroots movement against child labour, child trafficking and child servitude. The organization has a legacy of 30 years of crusading as an initiator of rescuing slave children (through direct action and raid and rescue operations) in India.

 BBA worked with members of parliament & civil society across the country to fast track the process of the 93rd Constitutional Amendment Bill (resulting in the 86th Constitutional Amendment). It also launched an Educational March (Shiksha Yatra) across the country, covering over 15,000 km to fight against an age-old evil of illiteracy firmly rooted in our society.

Domestic child labour campaign organised from 1995 to 2006 brought amendment in the Child Labour (Prohibition & Regulation) Act, 1986 which on 10th October 2006. The act prohibits the employment of children below the age of 14 in factories, mines and in other forms of hazardous employment (including domestic labour and service industry)

Restricting few industries and processes leads to shift of children from one process to another giving space to employers to play with law.

Secondly, various acts and amendments in law like RTE and the recent judgment of Supreme Court upholding its constitutional validity can never be upheld and implemented in lettter and spirit until all children are withdrawn from work. Therefore, it is neessary to have a complete ban on child labour.

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1    As per NSSO 66th Round 2009-2010

2    As per official data OOSC as per independent research 2009 Unstared Question 1498 Rajya Sabha 12 August 2011

3    As per RTI 2008-2010