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'Banning child labour will push families into further poverty'

Minister of State for Labour and Employment Harish Rawat, has said that under the existing socio-economic conditions in the country and compelling conditions, children are forced to seek employment to supplement their family income.

Under these circumstances, increasing the minimum age of employment from 14 to 18 years may further push these poor families into poverty, he said.

Due to this reason, the government said the ILO conventions, seeking elimination of the worst form of child labour, was not yet ratified because some socio-economic conditions which are unique to India were obstructing the setting up of its necessary legislative framework.

India is only among a handful of countries left to ratify the ILO convention 182 which concerns elimination of worst forms of child labour, and convention 138, which seeks to fix minimum age of employment as 18 years.

His reply comes in the backdrop of the Labour Minister Mallikarjun Kharge’s statement earlier that they were trying to build a consensus among different stakeholders to get both the conventions ratified.

Rawat, in his reply, also said a working group constituted to suggest amendments, if any, in the Child Labour Act has recommended to set up special courts for child labour related cases.

The group has also recommended including education of child labours in addition to health and safety already provided under the Act and provisions of power to search and seizure of offenders.

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Printable version | Apr 30, 2021 8:09:39 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/Banning-child-labour-will-push-families-into-further-poverty/article16544963.ece

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