It is feared that children may be used as cheap labour for poll-related jobs

The possibility of use of children during election campaign for the coming Lok Sabha and Assembly polls has started to worry child rights activists. By the time the election process starts, most school-going children would have completed their examinations. It is feared that a number of children may be used as cheap labour for pasting posters, hanging banners or even being part of election rallies and meetings.

Apart from the school-going children, child labourers are also suspected to be used by political organisations for various works during the campaign. The child rights activists feel that children from economically backward sections, particularly from rural areas and slums of urban centres, would get lured into political activities for meagre amounts, said convenor of Campaign Against Child Labour (CACL),Sudhir Sabat.

The CACL has decided to request all major political parties to see that they should not misuse children during their campaigns. According to Mr. Sabat, they would hold discussions with leaders of all major political parties regarding this on March 13.

Apart from this, the CACL also wants all major political parties to give importance to child-related issues as well as measures for eradication of child labour in the State. “We would request all political parties and candidates to include issues related to child rights and child labour in their manifesto,” Mr. Sabat said.