World Day Against Child Labor in India

This year World Day Against Child Labor A “Action Week Against Child Labor” was observed from 3-12 June 2022. Throughout this special week, events and activities around the world demonstrate progress in eliminating child labor. In the world, 160 million children are forced to work, which represents about one in ten children.

In India, on Saturday, June 11, the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu called on the people to participate in the government’s efforts to eradicate child labor in the state.

In Chennai, at Edward Elliott’s Beach, Tamil Nadu Domestic Welfare Trust Organizes a human chain so that about 500 children and adults take part in demonstrating their solidarity.

Child labor reinforces intergenerational poverty, threatens the national economy, and undermines the rights guaranteed by the Convention on the Rights of the Child. In contrast to activities that aid a child’s development, such as doing a few hours of housework a week or a task during the school holidays, child labor interferes with school and harms physical, mental and emotional health. Physical, mental, social and / or child morality.

United Nations Children’s Fund, ‘Child Protection Advocacy Brief: Child Labor’, UNICEF, New York, 2018

Demands of the child rights movement in Tamil Nadu

Member of the Child Rights Movement and Tamil Nadu Domestic Welfare Trust He made several demands for the elimination of child labor. They called on the state government to take steps to curb child labor in all sectors and ensure that there are no more child laborers in Tamil Nadu.

They also called on domestic workers to increase scholarships for children and to increase funding for education and child protection. According to them, the child rights movement also wants to form a child protection committee at the local level, which will ensure uninterrupted surveillance of children. When urban slum dwellers are relocated, the government should ensure their safety and education.

Child protection in India

In 1992, India ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and has since centralized its national policy on children in a rights-based manner. The most notable change is that the national policy established by the Ministry of Women and Child Development defines children under 18 years of age. Through this policy the Government of India “Take positive action – legislation, political or otherwise – to promote and protect the right to life, dignity, security and liberty of all children, especially marginalized or disadvantaged children; Ensuring that all children have equal opportunities; And no customs, traditions, cultural or religious practices are allowed to infringe or restrict or prevent children from enjoying their rights

The 2011 census data (latest available) indicates that the total number of children aged 5-18 years in India at that date was 33 million including 22.87 million adolescents and 10.11 million children aged 5 to 14 years.

As part of its efforts to eradicate child labor, the Government of India has established the Pencil Platform, which allows NGOs and the general public to report an incident of child labor online. The child is forced to work

A young girl is working as a housemaid in India
@ Vishwarup Ganguly

Tamil Nadu is one of the leading states in the fight against child vulnerability

According to UNICEF, Tamil Nadu has the lowest infant and neonatal mortality rate and stunting rate in India and the highest primary school enrollment rate in India.

Tamil Nadu is one of the pioneer states in India in establishing pro-poor policies and social protection programs for children and women from the most marginalized communities. The state has introduced progressive laws and programs such as social security, health, nutrition, water, sanitation and education, as well as public distribution.

Over the decades, these social policies have been effectively implemented with high public investment in the social sector and strong administrative structures and systems that facilitate effective planning and monitoring. It has had a significant impact on children’s well-being in health, nutrition and education. India has one of the lowest rates of infant and neonatal mortality and stunting among children under five years of age.

In addition, Tamil Nadu has given several positive incentives to attract children to school and has emphasized on improving investment in education over the last three decades. Access to primary education. However, the state still needs to address some political challenges.

Feet of working children in India

Revival of post-Kovid child labor in Tamil Nadu

A quick study published by the agency Campaign Against Child Labor (CACL) In the 24 districts studied in Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry, the number of working children in high-risk communities increased from 231 to 650 compared to the pre-COVID-19 period.

The proportion of child laborers in Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes has almost tripled, from 28.2% to 79.6%, due to the Covid-19 epidemic and consequent school closures.

According to the report, 30.8% work in the manufacturing sector and 26.4% in the service sector. Children were also employed in agriculture and home-based cottage industries.

More than 94% of children said they started working because of financial problems facing pressure from their parents and family. The epidemic and the accompanying loss of livelihoods have pushed many families into poverty. So, even after being held captive, children were used to earn some money.

The study suggests steps to address this problem: ensuring guaranteed minimum employment for adults in families, bringing vulnerable families under social protection programs, and enforcing strict labor laws, and forming safety committees. Childhood at the village level.

The little girl is selling in a market in India

Unfortunately, this resurgence of child labor has been observed all over India but all over the world. Child Labor: Global Estimates 2020, Trends and the Way Forward, a report published on the eve of World Day Against Child Labor on June 12, 2021, warns that, for the first time in twenty years, progress has been made towards ending child labor. , Reversing the previous downward trend which saw child labor decrease by 94 million between 2000 and 2016. Of the 160 million worldwide in 2022, child labor has increased by 8.4 million in the last four years – and a few million more are at risk due to the impact of Covid-19, the report said. Globally, another 9 million children are at risk of being pushed into child labor by the end of 2022 due to the epidemic. A simulation model shows that this number could rise to 46 million if children do not have access to much needed social security coverage.

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