Vigil Human Rights Diary - June 2011

Laws Alone Will Not Eradicate Child Labour

If laws could abolish child labour, there would be no child labourer left in India today.  The Constitution of India prohibits employment of children below 14 in any factory, mine or any other hazardous employment.  The Directive Principles of State Policy say that the State must secure children from abuse and ensure that they are not forced by economic necessity t enter vocations unsuited for them; that they shall be given opportunities and facilities to develop in a healthy manner and that childhood and youth shall be protected against moral and material abandonment. The Factories Act, the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act and a host of other law make employing children a punishable offence.  Despite these laws, we can see children working in undignified conditions almost everywhere.  India is home to the largest number of working children in the world.  Government statistics put their numbers around 20 million while other agencies claim that it is 50 million.

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