As per an official US report on the ‘Worst Forms of Child Labour’, India is one of the only 14 countries which has made significant progress towards eliminating child labour in 2017. The report is mandated by the Trade and Development Act of 2000 and is one of the most comprehensive works of research on the issue.
“Only 14 countries – including Colombia, Paraguay, and India – met the new criteria for “Significant Advancement”, which this year requires specific legal and policy labour standards to be met,” said the report. The Indian government has ratified both the ILO Convention 182 and Convention 138 and the Child Labour Act has been amended to prohibit children from working in hazardous areas. ILO Convention 182 is related to the elimination of the worst forms of child labour while ILO Convention 138 is related to minimum age.
The report adds, “the government also launched the Platform for Effective Enforcement for No Child Labor to more effectively enforce child labor laws and implement the National Child Labor Program. In addition, the government released a new National Plan of Action for Children that implements the National Policy for Children, which includes a focus on child laborers, trafficked children, and other vulnerable children”.
The report, however, rued the fact that children in India continue to work in the worst forms of child labour. “Ensure that the types of hazardous work prohibited for children under age 18 are comprehensive, especially in the sectors in which children work in unsafe and unhealthy conditions for long periods of time such as in spinning mills, garment production, carpet making and domestic work,” it urges the Indian government.
“These reports represent one of the Department of Labor’s key contributions to the global effort to protect workers in the United States and around the world by defending the rights of all people to live free of child labour, forced labour, human trafficking, and modern slavery,” said US Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta.
The original report can be accessed here.