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Kailash Satyarthi calls upon parliamentarians to pass law and ban child labour

Union Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya, expresses complete support to passage of the bill in the April session of the parliament

New Delhi, India, March 30th, 2015: “Immediate and safe passage of the Child Labour (Prohibition & Regulation) Amendment Bill in both the Houses of Parliament should be the utmost moral responsibility of every Indian parliamentarian,” urged Nobel Peace Laureate Kailash Satyarthi. He was speaking at“The Dialogue between Civil Society and Policy Makers for the Elimination of Child Labour,” conference today. The dialogue, bringing together Parliamentarians and policy makers, was organized by Global March Against Child Labour and partner organisation Bachpan Bachao Andolan.

The dialogue was attended by Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya, and Member of Parliaments  from Bhartiya Janta Party, Congress (I), Trinamool Congress, Samajwadi, Congress and Janta Dal (U) and included representations from State Commissions, NGOs and embassies.

Kailash Satyarthi in his key note speech stated, “We need to put children first. A child in need of care and protection; trapped in labour cannot afford to wait for a single day.” Considering the alarming number of child laborers present in India today, Kailash Satyarthi said that India needs to act immediately! He also added, “I urge the parliament of India to pass the child labour bill. I demand complete ban on all forms of child labour bringing the law in sync with Right to Education Act. I further demand that rehabilitation be made part of the same law.”

Addressing the gathering Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya, announced that  he will fully support the complete ban of child labour till the age of 14 and of hazardous labour and processes till the age of 18 with the placement of the Child Labour (Prohibition & Regulation) Amendment Bill in the parliament in this session. "Our Honourable Prime Minister PM has already directed the Labour ministry to discuss in detail the recommendations of the standing committee in consultation with the ten departments. Child labour is a menace and a matter of shame for society and we must make sure that every child is in school as envisaged by Right To Education", he said.

Kailash Satyarthi requested support from Parliamentarians across party lines for the pending anti-child labour bill when the Parliament reconvenes after the recess on April 18, 2015 and also asked civil society organizations to mobilize efforts to create a unified demand for a strong anti- child labour law.

In spite of being one of the founder members of the International Labour Organization (ILO), India has not ratified ILO convention 138 on minimum age of employment (1973) and 182 on worst forms of child labour (1999). Kailash Satyarthi urged the Government of India for speedy ratification and implementation of ILO conventions 138 and 182. 

Kailash Satyarthi was recently awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his fight against oppression of children around the world.  For his work in this area, he was named among the 50 greatest leaders in the world by Fortune magazine in its annual list of "extraordinary" men and women transforming business, government and philanthropy.  Kailash Satyarthi is an Indian children’s rights advocate and an activist against child labour. He founded the Bachpan Bachao Andolan (lit. Save the Childhood Movement) in 1980 and has acted to protect the rights of more than 83,000 children in India alone. It is largely because of Satyarthi’s work and activism that the International Labour Organization adopted Convention No. 182 on the worst forms of child labour, which is now a principal guideline for governments around the world. Kailash Satyarthi also founded The Global March Against children which works across 144 countries.

(From R-L) Bandaru Dattatreya, Hon'ble Minister for Labour & Employment, Govt. of India, Kailash Satyarthi, Nobel Peace Laureate and Ravi Prakash Verma, Member of Parliament, India Bandaru Dattatreya, Hon'ble Minister for Labour & Employment, Govt. of India addresses the gathering
Participants at the Round Table Discussion Jagdambika Pal, Member of Parliament, India addresses the gathering
Dinesh Trivedi, Former Union Minister for Railways addresses the gathering Session in progress