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The Times of India, 12-9-2007

Child labour ban: Pvt sector help sought

NEW DELHI: Private companies will have to ensure that they do not use child labour. The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights plans to enlist private sector cooperation to enforce the child labour ban.

"We will be speaking to private companies to remove any products that have been made with the use of child labour," Shanta Sinha, NCPCR chairperson, said.

The commission will also ask banks not to lend credit to those companies that use child labour. "We will ask banks to include the ban on child labour in their terms and conditions so that before they lend credit, companies must ensure that no child’s rights have been violated," Sinha said.

The NCPCR has also submitted a set of suggestions to the Planning Commission linking a ban on child labour with universalisation of education.

"Child labour is banned in some sectors and regulated in others. We have found several lacuna in the law and want to see that all children have the right to education, health and protection," Sinha added.

Amongst the loopholes in the child labour prohibition act were the absence of agriculture in the list of prohibited sectors. Sinha said a child working for his family did not constitute as labour either. "This clause needs to be re-looked at," she said.

Elaborating on the task before the commission, Sinha said it would ensure the welfare of children from 0-18 years of age with special emphasis on children between the ages of 0-6 years.

Arresting dropout rates in school education while increasing funding for child protection schemes are expected to be on the commission's agenda.

The Hindu, 12-9-2007

Commission for enforcing right to education

NEW DELHI: The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights has asked the Government to implement the right to education to help in child labour abolition.

“We have given the Planning Commission a proposal detailing strategies for abolishing child labour in the 11th Plan, based on our meetings with various governments and non-governmental organisations,” Commission chairperson Shantha Sinha told reporters here on Tuesday.

The chairperson said the commission was planning to get in touch with corporate houses to impress upon them the need to eliminate child labour in their supply chain. The issue would be taken up with the national and multinational companies.

Even banks have been approached and asked to put it a condition before approving loans that no child labour was employed by them.

The need was to have a voice in favour of children and make children’s rights, including that of free and compulsory education, a priority.

Once the right to education is enforced, laws relating to child labour would have to be firmed up, Ms. Sinha said.

Describing the middle-class as the largest employer of child labour, Ms. Sinha said there had to be “moral indignation” against employing children and creating awareness that children too have rights that need to be protected.

Children also need to be trained to protect themselves from physical and sexual abuse by adopting any suitable approach whether sex education or any other form.

The Commission was working on formulating a protocol to ensure that children were not denied their rights in disturbed situations such as violence, terrorism and natural calamities.

Landelijke India Werkgroep - 12 september 2007