June 12 was World Day against Child Labour. In India the statistics on children working is shocking. Here's a phone outreach programme that is sure to help these kids.

World Day against Child Labour was celebrated on June 12. It is now 25 years since India first recognised and introduced the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act and yet India is home to the largest number of working children in the world.

CHILDLINE, India's first 24 hour, toll free, phone outreach service for children in need of care and protection has been functioning since 1996.

On an average it receives two million calls a year. Most of the calls are from children themselves who wish to be rescued from their place of work, while other calls are from people who want to make a complaint about a child who is being employed.

Although there is awareness about child labour laws many people continue to employ children as they know that no action will be taken against them. Or in the event there has been a prosecution they are confident that they would be let off with a light sentence.

The fact is that the Child Labour legislation is inadequate to address the real problem. The legislation only regulates the nature of work, it does not prohibit it. So even though the 2006 notification bans children from working in homes and restaurants, because of weak enforcement and implementation of the law nothing has come out of it. So the need of the hour is to specify harsh punishment with a quicker way to justice so that violators of the law will be afraid.

Get together to abolish child labour and raise voice for the voiceless. Call 1098 when you see a child at work!.

Quick facts

In the 2001 census it was found that 12.7 million children in the age group of five to 14 years were economically active.

One in every eight children in the of age group of five to 14 years works either for his/her own household or for somebody else

Children account for 42 per cent of the country's population, of which two per cent are engaged in paid work.