Asking the government to adopt a zero tolerance policy on child labour, volunteers of Child Rights and You (CRY) will launch an online campaign, asking people to post pictures of minor children who are being used as labour.
On World Day against Child Labour, 30-odd volunteers voiced their
demands through a play, 'Abhi Ek Muskaan Baki Hai' at India Habitat Centre (IHC), throwing light on the current situation of child labourers in the city.
Volunteers performing a play highlighting the ills of child labour in the city, at India Habitat Centre on Tuesday. Arijit Sen/HT Photo
The volunteers urged people to send their children to school and asked the government to raise the age limit of a child to 18 years, which stands at 14 in the existing Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act 2006, enabling more avenues to study than work.
"India has the highest number of child labourers in the world. We at CRY follow the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), which defines every human being in the age group of 0 to 18 years as a child, who is entitled to the right to education, nurturing and protection, as opposed to a childhood of work," Soha Moitra, director of CRY.
As part of the Treat Rights campaign, volunteers will visit various restaurants across the city, asking the owners to take a pledge against employment of children.
"These children are not working only because of poverty but also because they provide cheap labour. Our society needs to be made aware about the child labour laws. They need to understand that there is no difference between our children and those working as child labour. We need to boycott all products where child labour is involved," said Shantha Sinha, chairperson of National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR).
Emphasising on the crucial role of rehabilitation Bharti Sharma, ex-chairperson of Child Welfare Committee said: "Rehabilitation should not be limited to the child only but should extend to the entire family, only then will the situation improve."
Sixteen minors rescued
Sixteen minor children, working in garment and metal industries, were rescued on Tuesday. Thirteen employers have been arrested and four establishments sealed by the police. These establishments are located in Ghonda Chowk in north-east Delhi. The children were trafficked from remote villages of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar and were working in those factories for over a year. The children were between the age bracket of 7 and 13 years.