‘Government committed to eradicating child labour by 2017’

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has emphasised the need for anti-child labour law to have more teeth and Karnataka to contemplate having its own laws at the Sate level to supplement the legislation at the Centre.

At a World Day Against Child Labour event here on Thursday, the Chief Minister said States should pressure the Union government to strengthen the anti-child labour law. The continued practice of child labour despite there being a law banning it, points to the lacunae in it, he said.

He said the State had set a deadline to eradicating child labour by 2012, but it had not happened. He added that the government was committed to eradicating it by 2017.

Collective responsibility

The Chief Minister said that society should own collective responsibility for eradicating the practice of child labour and not leave it to just law-implementing authorities. People should tip-off officials when they spot children working in hospitality and other industries, he said.

Minister of State for Labour P.T. Parameshwara Naik said that since 2001 to now, 1.09 lakh child labourers had been freed and rehabilitated under the State and Central action plans. He said that 19,308 cases had been registered and 1,359 of them resulted in conviction.

The Minister said that in all, Rs. 83.43 lakh fine had been levied on offenders and four had been jailed in the last three years. The programme was preceded by a jatha to create awareness on child labour, from Freedom Park to the Sree Kanteerava Indoor Stadium, in which students and film actors, including Tara, participated.

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