Activists call for revision in child labour laws

Activists call for revision in child labour laws

Child rights experts and activists working for children’s welfare gave a clarion call here on Monday for revision in the definition of child labour so as to bring uniformity in all laws and recognise all working children up to the age of 18 years as child labourers.

A fervent plea was made for taking urgent steps for elimination of all forms of child labour in Rajasthan.

The occasion was the release of a comprehensive draft plan of action for elimination of child labour and a report on the child labour situation in Rajasthan and region-specific strategies in the presence of three Ministers. The two documents have been produced after painstaking efforts spread over the last one year involving a series of multi-stakeholder consultations.

The Rajasthan Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Minister, Mr  Mahendrajeet Singh Malviya, the Labour Minister, Mr  Mangilal Garasia and the Minister of State for Education, Mrs Naseem Akhtar Insaf were present at well-attended function at Jawahar Kala Kendra, where the draft document was handed over to the state government.

A leading non-government organization based in Banswara, Voluntary Association for
Agriculture, General Development, Health and Reconstruction Alliance (VAAGDHARA), and the international aid organization, Plan India, have jointly drafted the document with the state government’s support through consultations organized in different parts of Rajasthan.

The suggestion for raising the age of children to 18 years for including them in the definition of child labour was made by the Principal Secretary, Social Justice and Empowerment Department, Mrs. Aditi Mehta, who made a reference to the Juvenile Justice Act, 2000, and said that this proposal should be put up before up the State Cabinet for its approval.

 “Our Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, is sensitive to children’s problems. I do hope that this proposal would see the light of the day,” said Mrs. Mehta. The three Ministers also observed that it would be justified to treat the children up to 18 years, who are forced to work in different areas, as child labourers.