Child labour up 53 pc in State, finds study

Child labour up  53 pc in State, finds study

Child labour has increased by 53 per cent from 2001 to 2011 in the State, according to an analysis of census data by Child Rights and You (CRY).

Speaking at an event organised by the State government to mark World Day Against Child Labour, here on Friday, Minister for Labour P T Parameshwara Naik announced that Dakshina Kannada district has been declared free from child labour.

Every department has to work with NGOs to eradicate the practice in the State, urged the minister. Bengaluru has the highest number of working children in the State followed closely by Belagavi, Kalaburagi, Mysuru and Yadgir, says the analysis by CRY. The data has been collected for the age groups from 5 to 9 years and 10 to 14 years.

A walkathon was taken out from Freedom Park to Jnanajyothi auditorium on Central College premises before the event.

At another event, Karnataka State Legal Service Authority Executive Chairman Justice N K Patil said lack of quality and low-cost education has contributed to school drop outs. These children join the labour force. Though, the State has taken initiatives to counsel parents of construction labourers to bring their children back to school, the effort has to be an ongoing one. Poverty and lack of social security are the main causes of child labour, he said. “The ever increasing gap between the rich and poor and the privatisation of basic services has driven major sections of the population out of employment. This adversely affects children more than any other group,” he said. Child labour is frequently utilised in places of production and service including small scale industries, restaurants, as domestic aids, shopkeeper’s assistant, in stone breaking, book binding and in every house-hold industry, he added.

He said the law in India says that any child below the age of 14 years cannot be employed either in a factory, office or restaurant. India’s international business is severely affected because of child labour. In many cases export from India has been refused on the grounds of child labour.

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