Bhubaneshwar, Nov 23 (Odisha.in) The three-day National Convention of Children has decided to put forth a united fight to banish child labour in India and has asked Campaign Against Child Labour (CACL) to file a PIL in the Supreme Court of India to compell the administration to fulfil its constitutional obligation of protecting children’s fundamental rights in the country.
The highlight of the concluding day of the 4th National Child Convention organised by Campaign Against Child Labour (CACL) on Thursday at the Adivasi Ground was the public hearing of four child labourers, who narrated their personal experiences as child labourers from four different sectors like domestic, hospitality, mining and trafficking and migration.
Two sections of jury—adult jury and child jury—were assigned the job of spelling out their verdict on the cases after hearing them.
The overall process was designed in a way to ensure that some concrete recommendations to initiate policy changes for eradication of child labour menace in the country.
Speaking to iGovernment, CACL National Convenor Ranjan Mohanty said that following the verdict in the public hearing, the members of the organisation will be meeting son to discuss the issue of filing a PIL. Mohanty hopes that the organisation will be able to complete the process and file the PIL within two months.
CACL which is a nationwide network of over 6,000 NGOs and organisations—women’s groups, trade unions, academic institutions, media agencies and corporate houses—plans to submit the recommendation to the central and state governments.
Both adult and children jury clearly spelt out their verdict pinning three major factors responsible for growth of child labour—the government, illiteracy and employers of child labour.
Children argued for free and compulsory education, medical facility and adequate security for them adding that the government should implement anti-child labour laws in true letter and spirit and set up schools in remote areas.
They also gave a proposal of forming community level children committees to curb this menace of child labour practice and demanded prohibition of all forms of child labours till the age of 18.
They also urged the government to take proper care and rehabilitation of the handicapped and rescued children.
CACL Delhi Chief Ajay Jha presented a declaration which called upon the government to take appropriate action against the violators of anti-child labour laws. He emphasized on the need for more investment in agriculture and cottage industries to check migration of labourers from rural areas in the country.
Speaking at seminar organized CACL, TDH South Asia Coordinator and Eminent Sociologist CJ George said new innovative measures need to be taken to address the issue of child labour.
He made it clear that it is all the more important to investigate the circumstances under which these children are working before any plan to rescue them.
Speaking at the conference, the Orissa State Labour Institute Director PC Dash exhorted non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to come out with constructive suggestions to enable the government work for eradication of child labour.
The forum also called for simultaneous rescue operations along with rehabilitation process and said that everybody should make sincere efforts to remove this social irritant.
The Convention also stressed that there was an urgent need to analyse and remove the stumbling blocks for proper coordination of these committees and the government organizations.
It also called upon all involved in the cause to ensure that child protection mechanism is developed and implemented at the community level.
The forum also urged that children should know how to raise their voice relating to their moral right and safety and called for removal of legal bottlenecks in the child protection related laws.