In a momentous step, India has ratified two core conventions of the International Labour Organisation (ILO), thus coming closer to its commitment to making the country child-labour free, reported The Hindu.
“It is a historic moment for India as we are going to take another giant step to affirm our commitment for a child labour free India by ratifying the two Core Conventions of International Labour Organization (ILO) – Conventions 138 regarding admission of age to employment and Convention 182 regarding worst forms of Child Labour”, said the Minister of State for Labour and Employment (Independent Charge), Shri Bandaru Dattatreya at the sideline event held at the International Labour Conference, 2017 on June 13 in Geneva.
At the event, the Instruments of Ratification were handed over by India to the ILO.
The Labour and Employment Minister said in a press release that the Government of India has been working in a concerted manner to eliminate child labour from the country by following a multi-pronged strategy by including both stringent legislative and project-based approach.
According to the 2001 census, there were 12.6 million child workers between the ages of five and 14 years in India. In 2011, this number fell to 4.35 million.
Last year, the Central Government introduced the Child Labour (Prohibition and Prevention) Amendment Act, 2016, which banned employment of children below the age of 14 in all occupations and processes. It further prohibited employment of adolescents (14-18 years of age) in hazardous occupations. However, children were allowed to “help” families in running their domestic enterprises after school hours.
The amendment linked the age of employment for children to the age of compulsory education – 14 years – as mentioned in the Right to Education Act (RTE), 2009.
With the ratification of the two core ILO conventions, India has ratified six out of eight core ILO conventions. The four other conventions are the abolition of forced labour, equal remuneration, and no discrimination between men and women in employment and occupation.
Nobel Peace Laureate Kailash Satyarthi, while talking to The Hindu, appreciated the ratification of the ILO conventions by the government, claiming that it would ensure compliance with the 2016 law. “There has been a paradigm shift in the government’s stance from the past when it said those raising the cause of child labour had a western agenda. Now, the government has agreed to the global scrutiny of child labour,” said Satyarthi.
The Logical Indian community appreciates the step taken by the government to safeguard the youth of our nation and we hope that India soon achieves its dream of making a conducive environment for every child.