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India can eradicate child labour with proper enforcement of laws, says official

Thursday, June 13, 2019

India can eradicate child labour with proper enforcement and implementation of laws and by creating awareness among public, a senior government official said yesterday. "There are laws to protect children from working. There is Child Labour Prohibition and Regulation Act, Pencil portal etc but still we find children working in agriculture fields, glass making units, carpet making units, households.

"This means somewhere we are not acting at field-level...Somewhere we are failing to enforce the laws," Heeralal Samariya, Secretary, Ministry of Labour and Employment said.

Speaking at an event to mark World Day Against Child Labour, he said a lot more needs to be done to eradicate the social evil even though the number of working children has significantly come down. As per census data, the number of working children in the age group of 5-14 years has come down to 1.01 crore in 2011, from 1.26 crore in 2001.

He also requested the members of the civil society, working organisations, NGOs and general public to come forward and help the government in taking action against those who are making children work. People can also motivate children to join schools if they find them working at traffic signals, shops or as domestic help, he suggested.

Kalpana Rajsinghot, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Labour and Employment said a complaint can be made on the Pencil portal and assured that the identity of the complainant will be kept secret.

"When a person lodges a complaint on the portal, it is immediately marked to district nodal officer of that particular area. The officer takes the matter in a time bound manner" she said at the event organised by V V Giri National Labour Institute.

Launched in 2017 by the government, Platform for Effective Enforcement for No Child Labour (Pencil) portal has seen about 900 complaints being registered till now, Rajsinghot said adding some people have been convicted though the figures are not available immediately.

International Labour Organization (ILO) Director Dagmar Walter said India has taken key steps against child labour by ratifying conventions 182 and 138.

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