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State mulls achieving zero child labour status by Dec, 2013

State mulls achieving zero child labour status by Dec, 2013
Highlights

Govt plans to strictly implement the Child Labour Prohibition and Regulation Act, 1986A 2,784 child...

  • Govt plans to strictly implement the Child Labour Prohibition and Regulation Act, 1986A
  • 2,784 child labourers rehabilitated so far

A Ravindra Seshu

Hyderabad: The State government decided to make Andhra Pradesh a zero child labour state by the end of December 2013.A For that, the government wants to strictly implement the Child Labour Prohibition and Regulation Act, 1986, by conducting massive raids in the places where children are being employed. Under the Act, the State government is the appropriate authority for implementing the Act for the areas under its jurisdiction.A Strong enforcement measures act as deterrents and also lead to voluntary action on the part of employers not to employ children in their respective units.

The officials found that migration of labourers from backward regions to big cities is generating child labour system. The middlemen, who hire the labourers, have been using child labourers in various places such as brick kilns and other hazardous industries by luring the parents with attractive wages. These children work under highly exploitative situations for very long working hours.

Last year, the government took a major step in the direction of elimination of child labour by banning the employment of children below the age of 14 years in two occupations, including children working as domestic helpers and in tea shops, hotels and road side eateries.

Talking to The Hans India, labour commissioner B Ramanjaneyulu said that the government rehabilitated 2,784 child labourers so far. "Our aim is to make the State a zero child labour state by the end of December 2013," he remarked. He informed that the government, along with the help of voluntary organisations, has taken up a special drive to find out child labourers.

On information provided by the Society for Integrated Development for Urban and Rural Areas (SIDUR), he said that three child labourers were found working in miserable conditions at mechanic sheds in KPHB Colony on May 25. The three child labourers were D Manoj, B Srikanth and D Durgesh. The three kids have been working in mechanic sheds for the last one year and were not paid wages for the last 18 days.

A demand notice for Rs 20,000 for each child was served as per the notice of Supreme Court directions to the employers, he added. As per the government's estimation, there will be 70,000 child labourers in the State working in hazardous conditions. It has planned to identify them and send them to rescue homes.

There is no specific protocol that deals with various issues involved in prevention, rescue, repatriation and rehabilitation of trafficked and migrant child labourers. Efforts are on to develop the protocol as a set of guidelines for smooth rescue and rehabilitation of these children.

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