Commentary: Diluting India's child labour law will trap families in cycle of poverty

Author: Rikke Nöhrlind of International Dalit Solidarity Network & Gerard Oonk of India Committee of the Netherlands in Guardian (UK), Published on: 22 May 2015

The Indian government is making severe cuts to budgets that address discrimination and the welfare of the country’s most marginalised people. In a deeply flawed strategy, they are relaxing legislation on child labour as a means to alleviate poverty. An amendment to India’s Child Labour Prohibition Act seeks to permit children under 14 to work in “family enterprises”...Altering the act that was otherwise set to make all forms of child labour illegal will push millions of children into work rather than education...The government argument that allowing children to work in family enterprises will help families overcome poverty is strongly countered by many experts on child labour...There is no proof that allowing children to work will alleviate poverty. On the contrary, evidence suggests that children are used instead of adults, who are then unemployed because children are easier to exploit and control...If the Indian government is serious about curbing poverty, it should prioritise budgets for education and enforce legislation...

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