Survey of child labour in five U.P. districts ordered

The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has ordered a survey of child labour in five districts of Uttar Pradesh, where a large number of children are employed in carpet industry and other labour intensive units. The survey will include data on the number of children rescued and action taken for their rehabilitation.

The survey directive was given by a jury of the NCPCR during a public hearing in Varanasi on Saturday. The study would be conducted in Varanasi, Bhadohi, Mirzapur, Sonbhadra and Maharajganj.

The district administration will submit a report to the child rights panel within three months and the jury will constantly monitor the survey's progress.

A case citing the injustice of a U.P. circular issued in 1998, which allowed for only two inspections a year for any industry in the organised sector, was heard by the Commission. This law allowed child labour to go unchecked in several places. The Commission ordered a policy revision and stated that laws should change with time.

“Free and compulsory education and total abolition of child labour are central to human development and fundamental for enhanced citizenship. There has to be zero tolerance of children being out of school and child labour laws and policies have to be in sync with the Right to Education Act 2009,” said NCPCR chairperson Shantha Sinha.

Thirty six cases from the five districts, selected through the Shambhunath Singh Research Foundation (SRF) — an NGO working in close coordination with NCPCR in the area — were heard by the jury comprising Dr. Sinha; Himachal Pradesh High Court Judge R.B. Mishra; NCPCR members Yogesh Dube and Vinod Kumar Tikoo; member-secretary of NCPCR Shri Lov Verma; and chairperson of the Bihar State Commission for Protection of Child Rights Nisha Jha.

In each case, the jury ordered swift and targeted action, set a time line for the authority in question to follow and asked the authority to send in a report of its progress to the Commission, which will constantly monitor the progress and action taken in each case.

Another case heard was that of a young orphan living with his grandfather. He was forced to work because his grandfather was not receiving aid from any of the government security schemes. The Commission ordered immediate action and told the authority concerned that the grandfather should receive his pension within four days and a report of this should be sent to the central body.

Other issues that came up were those of child labour, child trafficking, malnutrition, denial of birth registration, immunisation, absence of Integrated Child Development Services centres and improper functioning of the Anganwadi system.

A case came up on child labour in the carpet industry in Bhadohi district, where the rescued children were not ensured entitlement of their rights. The jury immediately ordered the authority concerned to set up a task force in Bhadohi and submit a copy of the report to the Commission within a week.

The jury also heard cases of violation of right to education, including denial of admission, corporal punishment, absence of infrastructure, and even absence of schools in clusters, where a large number of out- of-school children were identified.

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Printable version | Oct 6, 2022 11:00:53 am |