Call to sign petitions urging Indian Parliament to pass law banning child labour (Gordon Brown, UN Special Envoy for Global Education)
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Author: Gordon Brown, UN Special Envoy for Global Education, on Inter Press Service
Soon, the Indian Parliament will have the chance, for the first time in its history to pass this law which defines and criminalises trafficking and slavery. In addition to this, the Indian Parliament would also have a chance to pass another pending legislation to ban child labour. Today I invite everyone concerned about the abuse of the rights of boys and girls around the world to add their names to the petitions that we will put to the Indian Parliament urging its members to put an end to child slavery...The problem is wide-ranging as children are made to work...in dangerous industries – from agriculture and construction to tin, gold and coal mining and factory production. It’s believed that at least 115 million of these children are working in hazardous conditions. [E]ach year 15 million children under the age of 14 don’t receive a single day of schooling because they’re forced to carry out full time work.
- Related stories: Call to sign petitions urging Indian Parliament to pass law banning child labour (Gordon Brown, UN Special Envoy for Global Education)
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Author: Ranjit Devraj, Inter Press Service
[The leader of] Bonded Labour Liberation Front, says...the [Indian] government appeared unable to implement laws that deal with child labour although various studies have shown that it is a factor in perpetuating poverty, illiteracy and unemployment...[He adds] that but for international pressure factory owners would have continued to employ children in industries that involve hazardous substances such as glass, matches, fireworks, tobacco, cement and bricks. “We believe that in spite of the laws more than 12 million children below the age of 14 are still working...in stone quarries, mines or in the hospitality business,” [he] said...Child rights activists are now looking to amendments due to be made in existing child labour laws through the child and adolescent labour bill that is expected to be passed in Parliament during the budget session which opens on Feb. 22.
The Parliament of India will begin the first session of the year in the third week of February. They need to know that any further delay in the passage of this historic law ending the enslavement of children in their country is simply unacceptable. Child rights groups in India and the rest of the world are already calling on government of India to prioritise the Child and Adolescent Labour Abolition Bill but we need your help to build massive public pressure that leaders in India cannot ignore. Call on the Indian Parliament to immediately pass the Child and Adolescent Labour Abolition Bill and end child slavery in India.
To members of the Indian Parliament and global leaders: We call on you to immediately pass the Child and Adolescent Labour Abolition Bill. You have the power to abolish child labour under 14 years of age and ensure all children can go to school. We also call on India and all nations to put the eradication of child labour at the heart of national education plans and expand social protection programmes so that all children around the world go to school by the 2016 deadline set by the United Nations.