GUWAHATI, June 11 - Even as World Day Against Child Labour will be observed in the State tomorrow along with the rest of the country, the Kailash Satyarthi Children�s Foundation (KSCF) has conducted a study titled �Extent of child labour and prosecution of cases under Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Amendment Act, 2016, in India� to assess the government�s efforts towards achieving Sustainable Development Goal 8.7 of eliminating child labour in the country by 2025.
The study is a secondary analysis of data from three successive �Crime in India� reports published by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) from 2016 to 2018 and the Census of India 2011.
The analysis reveals that a total of 204 FIRs (384 victims) in 2016; 462 FIRs (685 victims) in 2017 and 464 FIRs (810 victims) in 2018 were registered under the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act (CPLRA) in the country over the last three years. The study dismisses the dramatic increase in child labour rescues between 2016 and 2018 and categorises it as �grossly inadequate�.
A statement on �Extent of Child Labour and Prosecution of Cases under Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Amendment Act, 2016 in Assam� issued by the Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA) stated that World Day Against Child Labour is a wakeup call for the Government of Assam to pay attention to the humanitarian task of eradication of child labour.
�Unless and until child labour is completely eradicated and every child goes to school, receives education, the demographic dividend which our country has will not get translated in growth and prosperity for everyone,� the statement said.
According to the Census of 2011, Assam stands at the 13th position in terms of the number of child labourers (2.8 lakh) in the country. The number of FIRs registered under the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act increased from 2 in 2016 to 39 in 2018. In total only 52 FIRs were registered under CLPRA during these three years and 53 children were rescued from labour and slavery.
�It is evident that the State administration of Assam has paid no attention to its very important responsibility of eradication of child labour,� the statement said.
Internationally it has been accepted that child labour is one of the worst forms of violence against children and is a serious violation of child rights as well as human rights.
In this regard the Government of India in 2016 amended the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act. The amendment prohibits engagement of children up to 14 years of age in all occupations.
However, even though legislative and administrative measures have been taken, widespread illiteracy, acute levels of poverty, lack of social security and protection and ignorance make prohibition of child labour a distant dream.
As per estimates of the International Labour Organisation (ILO), in 2016 the total global child labour population in the age group of 5-17 years was 152 million of which 114 million were in the age group of 5-14 years, constituting 75 per cent of the total child labourers. According to Census of India, 1.01 crore children in the age group of 5-14 years were reported to be working in the country in 2011. Out of that the total child labourer population of Assam is 2.8 lakh.