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India made advancement to eliminate child labour says US report

India made advancement to eliminate child labour says US report
September 22
12:36 2018

WASHINGTON: India is among the only 14 countries to have made significant advancement in efforts to eliminate the worst forms of child labor in 2017, an official US report said Saturday. “In 2017, India made a significant advancement in efforts to eliminate the worst forms of child labor,” the US Department of Labor said in its annual ‘Child Labor and Forced Labor’ report.
It said the Findings on the ‘Worst Forms of Child Labor’, mandated by the Trade and Development Act of 2000, is the most comprehensive research product on the state of child labor worldwide. This year, the report uses more stringent criteria to assess the efforts of 132 countries and territories to address child labor, the report added.
“Only 14 countries including Colombia, Paraguay, and India met the new criteria for “Significant Advancement”, which this year requires specific legal and policy labor standards to be met,” it said. The Department of Labor said the Indian government ratified both ILO Convention 182 and Convention 138 and amended the Child Labor Act to prohibit children under the age of 18 years from working in hazardous occupations and processes.

The government also launched the ‘Platform for Effective Enforcement for No Child Labor’ to more effectively enforce child labor laws and implement the ‘National Child Labor Program’. In addition, the government released a new ‘National Plan of Action for Children’ that implements the ‘National Policy for Children’, which includes a focus on child laborers, trafficked children, and other vulnerable children, the report said.

“However, children in India engage in the worst forms of child labor, including in forced labor producing garments and quarrying stones,” the report rued, adding that children also perform dangerous tasks of producing bricks. The Child Labor Act’s hazardous work prohibitions do not include all occupations in which children work in unsafe and unhealthy environments for long periods of time. Penalties for employing children are insufficient to deter violations, and the recruitment of children by non-state armed groups is not criminally prohibited, it said.

The report urges the Indian government to collect and publish national-level data on labor law enforcement, including funding, number of labor inspectors, number of violations found and the penalties imposed and collected for child labor law violations. “Ensure that the types of hazardous work prohibited for children under age 18 are comprehensive, especially in the sectors in which children work in unsafe and unhealthy conditions for long periods of time such as in spinning mills, garment production, carpet making and domestic work,” it said.
“These reports represent one of the Department of Labor’s key contributions to the global effort to protect workers in the United States and around the world by defending the rights of all people to live free of child labor, forced labor, human trafficking, and modern slavery,” said US Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta. Recent International Labor Organization estimates show there are still over 152 million child laborers one in every ten children and 25 million forced laborers worldwide, he said. PTI

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