STATE ACTION PLAN FOR ELIMINATION OF CHILD LABOUR IN ANDHRA PRADESH
LABOUR, EMPLOYMENT, TRAINING AND FACTORIES DEPARTMENT
GOVERNMENT OF ANDHRA PRADESH
Labour, Employment, Training and Factories Department,
“L” Block, A.P., Secretariat, Government of Andhra Pradesh
First edition: 2009
Revised edition: 2013
Address:- “L” Block, A.P. Secretariat, Hyderabad.
C O N T E N T S
Introduction to State Action Plan for Elimination of Child Labour
Magnitude of problem of child labour in Andhra Pradesh
Vision, Objectives and Strategies of State Action Plan for Elimination of Child Labour 2013 :
Existing programmes towards prevention and elimination of child labour in Andhra Pradesh.
Institutional Framework existing, for Elimination of Child Labour
Publicity and awareness campaign
Rescue, Release, Rehabilitation and Repartition of released children
Role of various Departments of the State in rescue, release and rehabilitation of all working Children
Role of other stake holders in rescue, release and rehabilitation of all working children
Chapter - I
Introduction to State Action Plan for Elimination of Child Labour
Children are the most precious human resource and hold the potential of future development of the nation. If children are deprived of their childhood, the social progress and economic development of the country would be adversely affected.
ILO conventions require total prohibition of employment of children. Convention No.138 of 1973 prescribes a minimum age of 15 years for all employments and 18 years for hazardous employments. Convention No.182 of 1999 deals with worst forms of child labour. UN convention on the rights of the child 1989 declares that every child is entitled to rights to survival, protection, development and participation.
Constitution of India guarantees fundamental rights to all citizens including children, who are protected against exploitation. Article 24 provides for prohibition of employment of children in factories, mines and hazardous industries which resulted in enactment of Factories Act, 1948 and Mines Act, 1952. Employment of Children Act, 1938 was replaced by Child Labour (P&R) Act,1986 which is a comprehensive legislation that prohibits employment of children up to the age of 14 years in hazardous employments. Article 45, which was a directive principle of state policy was elevated to a constitutional right to education to all children of 6-14 years age under Article 21 (A) that resulted in enactment of Right of the Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009. Other Acts like Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act, 1976, and Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000 also contribute to elimination of child labour.
National policy on child labour was announced in 1987 and National Child Labour Project societies have been established in all states. In Andhra Pradesh NCLP Societies have been established in all 23 districts of the state. The initiatives of UNICEF and ILO facilitated acceleration of programmes of elimination of child labour in the state.
Vigorous enforcement of child labour laws commenced in the state in 1996 following the landmark judgment delivered by Hon’ble Supreme Court in the case of MC Mehta Vs State of Tamil Nadu and others. Sarva Siksha Abhyan launched in 2001-2002 ensured realization of the fundamental right of all children in 6-14 age group to free and compulsory education by providing substantial funds for strengthening school education in every aspect. National Commission for Protection of Child Rights constituted in 2007 under Commissions for Protection of Child Rights Act, 2005 has been contributing to the cause of elimination of child labour as well as protection of child rights.
The ILO AP State based project (Phase II) implemented during 2007-2009 had facilitated drafting of State Action Plan for Elimination of Child Labour 2009 and establishment of institutional frame work like State Resource Centre, District Resource Centers and development of web site for tracking child labour.
In the existing State Action Plan for Elimination of Child Labour announced in 2009, the Government of Andhra Pradesh resolved to address the issues of child labour in all aspects with a convergence and institutional approach towards prevention and total elimination of child labour which yielded significant results, but the task remained incomplete. Child labour is a complex global phenomena and A.P is no exception and the four years period of implementation of SAP 2009 witnessed sea changes in the legislation with the emergence of RTE Act, 2009 that translated the constitutional right to education into a statute mandating the state to provide free and compulsory education to all children in the age of 6-14 years which required amendment of Child Labour (P&R) Act, 1986 to provide for total prohibition of employment of children up to the age of 14 years, which is in active process.
The SAP for prevention and elimination of child labour 2013 aims at total prohibition of employment of children up to the age of 14 years by December 2015. The SAP 2013 approaches child labour with a wide definition that all children out of school are either child labour or potential child labour and the employers engaging the child labour as well as the public consuming the goods and services produced by the child labour abetting the offence, are employers.
Chapter - II
Magnitude of problem of child labour in A.P.
According to 1991 census the number of working children in A.P was 16.61 lakh which reduced to 13.63 lakh in 2001, which was the second largest number after Uttar Pradesh. Data of out of school children according to survey conducted by RVM indicates 6.2 lakh in 2003-04, 4.27 lakh in 2004-05, less than 3 lakh in 2007-08 and 1.09 lakh in 2013 indicating a study downward trend.
Incidence of child labour is more in the areas like agriculture, hotels and dhabas, domestic sector, construction activity, beedi making, shops and establishments, small factories, street vending, rag picking and such informal sector.
The State Action Plan for elimination of child labour 2013 envisages state wide survey for collection of data on child labour for targeting specific areas with priority to worst forms of child labour and child labour engaged in hazardous employments, to be followed up by other areas including agriculture.
Chapter – III
Vision, Objectives and Strategies of State Action Plan for Elimination of Child Labour 2013
The duality of prohibition and regulation which has been the theme of national policy on elimination of child labour formulated in 1987 in accordance with which Child Labour (P&R) Act, 1986 has come into force and NCLP Project organized, has been evolving in the direction of total prohibition of employment of children, following Right to Education Act, 2009. Accordingly the SAP ECL 2013 aims at total prohibition of child labour in all areas along with free and compulsory universal education up to the age of 14 years with thrust on protection of childhood and child rights which is non-negotiable.
Objectives of SAP 2013:
a) Complete elimination of child labour in all employments by December 2015.
b) Complete universalization of primary and elementary education.
c) Rehabilitation and integration of all children withdrawn from work, through education, nutrition, primary healthcare, skill training and socio economic empowerment of their families.
a) Wide Publicity by print, electronic and other media to impress on every citizen of the State the constitutional and legal mandate, the immediate need for total elimination of child labour and the social responsibility of every citizen to strive for the cause .
b) Stringent enforcement of child labour laws and other related laws by the concerned departments with convergence and co-ordination.
c) Special focus on worst forms of Child Labour, Child Labour engaged in hazardous employments and Girl and migrant child labour with distinct approach for each category.
d) Straight enrolment of children of 5 to 9 years age in formal schools, transitional education for children of 10 to 13 years age and vocational skill training for adolescent children of age 15 to 18 years.
e) Elaborate strategy for rescue, release and rehabilitation / repatriation of child labour.
f) Formation of Task Force and Rescue Teams.
g) Establishment of Transit Homes.
h) Planning for Action for undertaking rescue / release / rehabilitation / repatriation.
i) Post rescue operations such as medical examination, investigation and collection of evidence, producing the child before CWC, preparation and filing of charge sheet, measures for protection of the child.
j) Procedure for repatriation – Intra state and Inter state
k) Rehabilitation and Social integration of the child and his/her family.
l) Provision of Institutional support involving concerned Government Departments, NGOs and Civil Society.
m) Adoption of area and employment approach to make a village / mandal / ward / municipality / a specific employment, child labour free.
n) Provision of budget for implementation of SAP ECL 2013.
o) Activating existing institutional structures at state, district, mandal, village level.
p) Survey and mapping of areas and employments with incidence of child labour.
q) Publicity and awareness generation.
r) Training, orientation, sensitization and workshops for all stake holders.
Chapter – IV
Existing programmes towards prevention and elimination of child labour in Andhra Pradesh
Government of Andhra Pradesh have adopted integrated approach for the implementation of universal primary and elementary education and elimination of child labour initiatives. Every child out of school is viewed as potential child labour and convergent action is taken by School education department along with RVM(SSA) and Labour Department along with NCLP to address these two issues, supplemented by other Government Departments including Rural Development, Municipal Administration and Urban Development, Women Development and Child Welfare and Social Welfare departments as follows:
a. Rajiv Vidya Mission (SSA) targets out of school children through special training centers and strengthens infrastructural facilities of schools.
b. NCLP targets rehabilitation of working children through education, nutrition, family support and skill training.
c. Joint inspection teams with various departments including Labour, Factories, Revenue and Police for enforcement of all child labour laws.
d. Minimum wages special courts conducted by the Asst. Commissioners of Labour for settlement of claims of minimum wages of rescued child labour.
e. Mainstreaming programmes with schools having boarding facilities in social welfare, BC welfare and tribal welfare departments, A.P. Residential Educational Institutions Society, A P Social Welfare Residential Educational Institutions Society, Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalayas (KGBV) and Indira Kranthi Patham.
f. Rehabilitation of families of working children is also being attempted through economic support programmes of SC/ST/BC/Minorities Corporations, Mission for elimination of poverty in municipal areas (MEPMA) and Society for elimination of poverty in rural areas (SERP).
g. national Rural Employment Guarantee Programme (MGNREGA) with a guarantee of 100 days of employment to job seekers.
h. Anganwadis for early childhood education and development.
i. Rajiv Udyog Sree (RYK) for skill development.
Chapter – V
Institutional Framework existing, for Elimination of Child Labour.
1) Labour Department with all the field functionaries.
2) The institutional structures which emerged as a part of A.P State Based ILO Project for elimination of child labour, Phase-II.
3) State Level Monitoring Committee for monitoring, convergence and policy decisions on prevention and elimination of child labour.
ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE OF THE LABOUR DEPARTMENT
The A.P. state based ILO project for elimination of child labour phase-I was implemented during the period from 2001 to 2004. The objectives of Phase-I of the Project are conducting a public awareness generation programme and Providing orientation and training to the officers of the Labour and Employment Departments.
The Phase-II of the Project implemented during 2007-2009 had the following components:-
a) Establishment of State Resource Center in the Office of the Commissioner of Labour;
b) Establishment of District Resource Center in all districts;
c) Development of Child Labour Tracking System for maintaining a computerized data base on child labour at State and District levels;
d) Monitoring the pace and progress of rescue / release and educational rehabilitation of working children, economic rehabilitation of parents, legal and penal action against all offending employers and tracking the rescued children by all agencies of enforcement and rehabilitation.
The composition and structure of the SRC and the DRC and the various activities undertaken by them are as under:
1) State Resource Centre (SRC):
SRC was established on 18.3.2008 with the following objectives:
a) To finalise and update strategy for elimination of child labour;
b) To issue guidelines for conducting surveys / periodically updating the data regarding prevalence of child labour in hazardous occupations;
c) To approve action plans/programmes for release and rehabilitation of working children;
d) To monitor the enforcement of relevant labour laws relating to release of children from hazardous occupations;
e) To monitor programmes relating to educational rehabilitation of children who have been rescued / released from work with particular emphasis on implementation of National Child Labour Project and other ILO support projects in the State;
f) To issue guidelines and monitor the economic rehabilitation of the parents of working children as per the directions of the Supreme Court;
g) To monitor implementation of the other directions of the Supreme Court relating to setting up of District Child Labour Rehabilitation-cum-Welfare Fund;
The State Resource Centre was established with the following manpower:
Director (Joint Commissioner of Labour ex-officio, 2 Computer Experts, 3 Project Officers, 2 Project Assistants, 1 Assistant Commissioner of Labour,1 Superintendent, 2 Senior Assistants and 2 Junior Assistants.
A sum of Rs.1.94 crore was allotted for the ILO assisted Project to coordinate the various activities of the SRC.
District Resource Center (DRC):
23 District Resource Centers have been established in 23 districts with the following objectives:
a) from work and particularly implementation of NCLP;
b) To issue To finalise and update periodically the strategy for elimination of child labour in the district;
c) To issue guidelines for conducting surveys and periodical updating of the data regarding prevalence of child labour in hazardous occupations / processes;
d) To approve action plans/programmes for rescue/release and rehabilitation of working children;
e) To monitor the enforcement of relevant labour laws relating to rescue/release of children from hazardous occupations;
f) To monitor programmes relating to educational rehabilitation of children released guidelines and to monitor economic rehabilitation of parents of working children;
g) To monitor the implementation of the directions of the Supreme Court regarding setting up of District Child Labour Rehabilitation-cum-Welfare Fund;
h) District Resource Committee was constituted with the following to facilitate discharge of the above functions by the DRC:-
1) District Collector – Chairman
2) Project Officer, SSA, _ Dy. Chairman
3) Project Director, DRDA _ Member
4) Addl. Superintendent of Police _ Member
5) Asst. Director, MEPMA _ Member
6) Executive Director, S.C./B.C. Corporation _ Members
7) Project Director, NCLP – Member
8) Project Director, ICDS, WD & CW Dept. _ Member 9) District Educational Officer – Member
10) Dy. Director, Social Welfare/
B.C. Welfare/Tribal welfare _ Members
11) Dy. Chief Inspector of Factories – Member
12) District Employment Officer _ Member
13) Joint Director, District Industries Center _ Member
14) Representative of Trade Union, APFTUCL _ Member
15) Representative of NGOs/ CSO _ Member
16) District Medical and Health officer _ Member
17) Representative of Employers/CEASE – Member
18) Representative of CWC – Member
19) Municipal Commissioners _ Members
20) Deputy Commissioner of Labour – Member Convener.
State Action Plan (SAP) for elimination of Child Labour:
The Department of Labour & Employment in consultation with ILO, Centre for Good Governance, Hyderabad, Other stake holders and keeping in view the guidelines issued by the State Level Monitoring Committee formulated a State Action Plan for elimination of child labour in November, 2009 with the objective of complete elimination of child labour by October, 2010. The State Action Plan had the following components:
a) Establishment of Residential Bridge Course Schools by the Rajiv Vidya Mission (RVM);
b) Special Schools run by the NCLP societies;
c) Enforcement drive by joint inspection teams;
d) Conducting Minimum Wage Courts;
e) Skill development by Rajiv Udyog Sree (now rechristened as Rajiv Yuva Kiranalu);
f) Economic support from SC/ ST / BC / Minority Corporations and MEPMA.
The goals and objectives set out in the State Action Plan 2009 could not be reached within the prescribed time frame (October, 2010) on account of the following reasons:
a) The convergence and coordination among various stake holders especially government departments, envisaged in the SAP could not be achieved.
b) The total budgetary requirement for implementation of various activities like SRC, DRC, Implementation Committees at the Mandal, Municipal, Ward and Village level, Joint Enforcement drives, skill development, RBCs and economic rehabilitation of parents of the working children within Andhra Pradesh worked out to Rs.128.03 Crore which has not been made available by the Government. A sum of Rs. 1.94 Crore was released by the ILO which was utilized for conducting awareness meetings, establishing SRC, DRCs and developing child labour tracking system.
c) The SRC and DRCs (23) have been functioning with the meager funds allotted under the ILO A.P State Based Project for elimination of child labour (Phase – II) and the funds allotted by RVM in 2012 and 2013 (Rs.1.48 Crore).
d) DRCs of Hyderabad, Kurnool and Mahabubnagar were not provided funds due to implementation of UNICEF Projects in those districts in 2009.
State Level Monitoring Committee on elimination of Child Labour:
SLMC constituted in 2007 was reconstituted vide G.O.Ms.No.9, dt.12.01.2012 and G.O.Ms.No.18, dt.07.02.2012 of LET & F (Lab.IV) Dept.,
The following are Members of the SLMC:
Chief Secretary is Chairman of the SLMC & Principal Secretary, LET&F Dept. is member convener.
Other Members are Principal Secretaries of School Education, Finance, Law, Home, Social Welfare, BC Welfare, Tribal Welfare, Women Child & Disabled Welfare, Health Medical & Family Welfare, Panchayat Raj & Rural Development, Municipal Administration & Urban Development, Revenue, Industries & Commerce and Minorities Welfare Departments, Commissioner of Labour, Director of Factories, Commissioner Civil Supplies, State Project Director SSA, Director Juvenile Welfare, Child Protection Officer UNICEF, Regional Manager Aid-et-Action (NGO) & Save the Children (NGO).
The objectives of SLMC are:
a) Monitor enforcement of laws related to release of working children.
b) Monitor programmes of education including NCLP for children released from work.
c) Issue of guidelines and monitoring rehabilitation of families of child labour as per the directions of Supreme Court.
d) Monitor implementation of directions of Supreme Court regarding Child Labour Rehabilitation-cum-Welfare Fund.
Proposed Institutional Framework for SAP 2013
The existing institutional framework as enunciated above was created as part of the A.P. State Based ILO Project for elimination of child labour, phase-II. The institutional structure envisaged under the project at the State, District, Mandal and Village level could not be made fully operational due to non-availability of funds. The activities which are currently in operation under the State Action Plan for elimination of child labour are limited to those involving no funds. A joint enforcement drive by the members of the rescue team drawn from different departments involves expenditure on account of logistic support like mobility. Additional funds are needed for orientation and training of field level functionaries from time to time.
On the request of the department to sustain the momentum of the enforcement drive the RVM (SSA) had allocated Rs.23 Lakhs @ 1 Lakh per district during 2011-2012 against the requirement of Rs.2.78 crore, which was quite inadequate. During the year 2012-13 an amount of Rs.1.25 crore was provided by RVM for mobility of the enforcement officers.
The proposed institutional framework will have to be viewed in the perspective of (a) Non-operationalization of the State Action Plan 2009 due to inadequacy of financial resources (b) RTE Act, 2009 becoming fully enforceable all over the country w.e.f. 01-04-2010 (SSA as a scheme is required to be implemented for all children including working children in 06-14 age group under RTE Act, 2009). (c) urgent and imperative need for close inter-sectoral coordination between Labour and Employment and School Education Department. The proposed institutional frame work in the light of the above new perspective may be stated as under:
1. The State Level Monitoring Committee shall meet at least once in a quarter to meticulously review the performance of the role of each department under SAP 2013 and issue directions for further action. The detailed role of each department under the draft revised SAP has already been specified and communicated vide G.O. Ms. No.18 Dt. 07.02.2012 of Labour Employment Training And Factories (Lab-IV) Department.
2. State Resource Center (SRC) will continue from the office of the Commissioner of Labour as envisaged under SAP 2009, with the funds provided by RVM (SSA) and discharge the functions assigned to it. Review of performance of DRCs shall be held at least once in a quarter.
3. District Resource Center (DRC) will continue at the district level and the office of the DRC shall function from the office of the Deputy Commissioner of Labour under the control of DCL. District Resource Committee shall be convened at least once in a month and the minutes communicated to SRC. Implementation of district level activities under SAP 2013 shall be critically reviewed in the monthly meetings of DRC to ensure performance of every stake holder.
4. Implementation Committees at the Mandal, Municipal, Ward and Village level would function on the availability of funds to be provided by the Government.
5. Elimination of child labour and Right to Free and Compulsory Education of all children in 6 to 14 years age group are inseparable and require very close inter-sectoral coordination between the two departments. Labour & Employment Department is starved of plan funds where as there is no dearth of funds with SSA. Since realization of the Right of all children in 6 to 14 years age group (which is the responsibility of the School Education Department) cannot be a reality until and unless all children in 6 to 14 years age group have been rescued / released and brought to the fold of education through enrolment, the School Education Department should own all programmes relating to rescue / release of children from work as its own and should make available required funds for successful implementation of enforcement drives launched by the Labour Department and also all other activities proposed under the SAP 2013.
6. The budget requirement of the labour department for total implementation of the revised State Action Plan for Elimination of Child Labour 2013 for the year 2013-2014 is Rs.10.85 crore which shall be examined thoroughly in the next SLMC meeting and appropriate decision taken.
7. Secretaries of the two Departments i.e. Labour & Employment and School Education should meet as often as possible to sort out the problems of inter-sector coordination including requirement of funds needed for successful implementation of all programmes under SAP 2013.
8. At the District level a task force shall be constituted comprising of the following:
Collector and District Magistrate - Chairman;
Superintendent of Police - Member;
Chairman of the CWC under the JJ Act - Member;
District Social Welfare Officer - Member;
District Medical & Health Officer - Member
A NGO of the District which is
actively involved in rescue and
rehabilitation of children - Member;
District SSA Project officer - Member;
Deputy Commissioner of Labour - Member Convener
The Taskforce so constituted will be responsible for all operations i.e., conducting of raids, rescue / release of working children, repatriation in case of migrant children, rehabilitation of all children withdrawn from work.
a) Rescue / release of all children from work by way of conducting raids will be the responsibility of the District Level Rescue Team which will function under the overall direction of the District Level Task Force.
b) The rescue team shall be a small and compact body comprising of representatives of a few departments including labour, factories, revenue, police, school education/RVM (SSA) and medical & health and also dedicated social partners like NGOs, trade unions and other civil society members wherever available.
c) The activities of the District Level Task Force and those of the Rescue Team will be reviewed by the District Resource Committee every month and monitored by the State Level Monitoring Committee.
d) The committees constituted at the Mandal, Municipal, Ward and Village Level would function with the funds available with them. The tasks pertaining to rescue / release and rehabilitation activities at these levels would also be looked after jointly by the functionaries of School Education and Labour Departments who are in position at these levels. They will be required to report their activities in relation to rescue / release and rehabilitation of working children to the District Level Task Force.
The need for inter-sectoral coordination between a number of departments such as School Education, Labour and Employment, Health & Family Welfare, Women Development & Child Welfare, Urban & Rural Development, Home (Police), Law etc. and coordination among social partners i.e., employers’ and workers’ organizations, civil society organizations and NGOs is imperative.
Chapter - VI
Publicity and awareness campaign.
· That the elimination of the child labour is a non-negotiable issue has to be impressed on the employers, workers, parents, community and society at large and all means of dissemination of message shall be pursued allocating sufficient funds. RVM (SSA) shall allocate sufficient funds for the continuous publicity on elimination of child labour, by Information and Public Relations department.
a) Awareness meetings: Awareness and sensitization meetings on elimination of child labour have to be organized for all stakeholders including peoples representatives, judicial officers, Government Departments, Teachers, NGOs, Trade Unions, Employers, Parents, residents welfare associations, religious associations, employers of specific employments like automobile workshops, hotels, factories, shops and construction industry and civil society. Representatives of trade unions’ and employers’ associations may be involved in organizing the awareness meetings. A calendar shall be prepared by the labour department for conducting awareness meetings.
b) Audio visual:
· Make short films on elimination of child labour.
· District administration to pursue with the licensing authority for screening of these films in cinemas / theatre halls, local city cable networks, railway stations, bus stands and through video on wheels.
· Establish link with railway authorities at Hyderabad-Secunderabad, Vijayawada, Vizag, Guntur, Rajahmundry and all other important junctions, APSRTC authorities and other private transport authorities and arrange showing the films through internal circuit television at all major railway stations and bus stations in the State.
c) T V : Regular scrolling of warnings to employers on all important TV channels.
c) Print Media:
Publicity through pamphlets and brochures for distribution, stickers and posters to be pasted in all public places. Regular publication of the message in print media and publication of bulletins and calendar. The labour department along with the school education department/RVM (SSA) shall get the above publicity material printed and distributed/displayed throughout the state within three months. The message shall be published in the print media regularly at least once in three months.
d) Wall painting:
· Identify areas for wall painting in consultation with local authorities and civil society organization networks and NGOs.
· Design messages along with pictures and arrange to display paintings at vantage points by the road side in child labour endemic villages / panchayats / mandals.
· Get the art work painted on hoardings at major road junctions, railway stations, bus stations, bus stands and other public places.
f) Bus shelters and pillar boards:
· Get the art work painted on bus shelters and on the pillar boards in all the major municipal towns of the state.
g) Stage shows:-
· Organize stage shows in all the schools (Government, Private, Aided and Non-Aided) with the help of school management.
· Hold major events like marathon runs for one to two kilometers, signature campaign, children art and craft carnival with elimination of child labour as the central message for wide publicity.
Chapter - VII
RESCUE, RELEASE, REHABILITATION AND REPATRIATION OF RELEASED CHILDREN.
(1) Rescue operation:-
(a) The rescue operation may be divided into two stages namely pre rescue and actual rescue.
(b) Any person including NGOs, aware of the commission of any act involving child labour or the procurement and or abetment of a child to be used for labour or the likelihood of any child to be used for any form of child labour shall inform the responsible authority. Survey findings may also be a base for rescue operations. The authority receiving the information shall not insist on actual detailed information with regard to the alleged location or other specific details.
(c) In case of extreme urgency where it is apprehended that the children may be harmed or may disappear or there is a serious threat to their health, safety and wellbeing, the rescue operation should commence forthwith.
(d) The informant need not participate in the rescue operation in person unless he / she so desires. in that event he / she may be made a party to the information filed u/s 154 of the Cr PC, 1973 (FIR) or be made to participate as a witness;
(e) If it is apprehended that there is a serious threat in disclosing the specific location where the child is currently employed, the information may be withheld on the condition that the informant or his representative will accompany the police to the specific location at the time of actual release.
(f) The source of information may be entered in the records of the authority receiving information.
(g) Any rescue operation so designed has to include the details of location, entry and exit points, ways and means of removing the victim securely and preventing the disappearance of the accused. All entry and exit points must be sealed. There may be a need to carry out search of the place of rescue. An official conversant with the local language should be sent to the place in disguise. The help of a local NGO may be taken provided the information remains confidential. Ex working children of the area who are willing to cooperate may also be useful in the rescue operation. A sketch map of the area should be drawn up which should be used for briefing and for assigning specific duties to the officials who will be participating in the rescue operation. This includes (a) cordoning / guarding entry and exit points, locating the hide outs, identifying a safe place to keep the rescued children till completion of the rescue operation.
(h) The authority responsible for conducting the rescue operation is the Collector/District Magistrate or any officer authorized by the collector. The said authority on receiving the information will initiate planning for raid and rescue at the earliest but not later than 24 hours of receipt of the information without fail.
(i) The onus for sharing the information rests with the concerned officer who has received the information from the informant and not the informant himself / herself.
(j) The responsible authority should make a prima facie determination as to whether the information provided is true or not. The informant or the local NGO or any other party interested in facilitating the rescue of the child may help the responsible authority.
(k) The responsible authority shall simultaneously inform the authorities of the concerned Government departments / agencies like Women Development and Child Welfare, Child Welfare Committee, Police, local bodies etc., to ensure adequate preparations for interim care and protection and subsequent rehabilitation of the child.
(l) The District level taskforce and rescue team should have a list of all Juvenile homes, welfare hostels, transit homes and such other means of rehabilitation.
(m) Simultaneously facilities of food, clothing, shelter etc., are to be arranged. There will be need for educational intervention for some of the children through SSA till such time the rescued children are sent back home.
(n) All staff members are to be given orientation as to how to care for the children who will be housed in such homes with kindness, compassion and consideration so that the children feel completely at home.
(o) Transportation of rescued children to the home where the children have been assigned must be arranged at the earliest. Necessary arrangement for recording by the police and officers of the labour department should be made at the place where the children are located.
(p) A rescue team should be constituted to carry out the rescue operation. The actual number of members of the team will be determined by the estimated number of children to be rescued, the geographical area of operation and any other significant factor.
2. The rescue team shall comprise of the following:-
a) Representative of the department of labour in the district not below the rank of Assistant Commissioner of Labour;
b) Sub divisional Magistrate concerned or any other executive magistrate who has been vested with the power of a Judicial Magistrate U.s, 21(1) of the BLS (A) Act, as the case may be;
c) Head / Nodal officer of Specialized Juvenile Police Unit under the JJ Act;
d) District Project officer, RVM (SSA) or his authorized nominee;
e) A member of CWC;
f) At least one NGO actively involved in the rescue and rehabilitation of working children/in the same area or adjoining one;
g) The rescue team should ensure that the working children are rescued and brought to the Transit Home soon after the rescue operation and given necessary care and protection.
h) Being the Nodal Officer, the Asst. Commissioner of Labour as the case may be should be responsible for pre-rescue planning as also necessary coordination and liaison with all concerned.
i) A basic orientation should be provided to all persons who are involved in the rescue operation to ensure that the children are handled sensitively.
j) The rescue team member should be strategically placed in preplanned locations so that the actual employer in the area is identified and children are prevented from being pushed to the underground and remaining untraced.
k) The police personnel including women police officer shall accompany the rescue team wherever possible (this is necessary for handling working girl children). The police officer shall be in plain clothes.
l) During the rescue operation efforts should be made to separate the children from the employer as also to discourage the latter from communicating with the children as any such communication is likely to be prejudicial to the central objective of the rescue operation as also the safety and security of the children.
m) The members of the rescue team should simultaneously collect information in the form of a document and relevant photograph which can be used in prosecuting the employer. The Nodal Officer of the rescue team shall carry a digital camera for taking photographs for collection of evidence. The police officer (s) accompanying the rescue team should take possession of the legal and other supporting documents. This is intended to ensure that (a) the employer is made accountable for all acts of his omission and commission and (b) he is not allowed to escape with impunity.
n) Safety of the working child being rescued is of paramount importance and the children should be made to feel that whatever is being done is in their best interest.
o) The provision u/s 21 of Juvenile Justice (Care & Protection of children) Act 2000 as amended up to date shall apply for rules regarding confidentiality.
p) Special care shall be undertaken to ensure that the arrangements for food and transportation are made.
q) Immediately after the rescue operation is carried out the police shall file the information u/s 154 of Cr PC (FIR). The police shall ensure that the specific information on each child is recorded. The FIR should take cognizance of the offence under the appropriate criminal law as applicable.
r) The FIR must incorporate the details of every child. In case the rescue is conducted by the official(s) of labour department alone during the normal course of inspection or on any specific complaints, the responsibility of filing FIR of a cognizable offence under the appropriate criminal law, where ever applicable will be with the concerned labour department official.
s) In case the rescued child is found to be a bonded child within the meaning of Section 2 (g) of Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act, simultaneous action should be initiated by the authorities under BLSA Act, 1976.
t) Every rescued migrant or trafficked child has to be presented before the Child Welfare Committee constituted under Juvenile Justice (Care & protection of children) Act 2000 as amended in 2006. However, in case of bonded children they need to be produced before the Sub Divisional Magistrate for grant of release certificate.
3. Procedure for interim care and protection of rescued children and legal proceedings:-
(a) Soon after the rescue operation, the child should be medically examined by a competent Government medical officer to ascertain the health of the child and any symptoms of physical / sexual abuse for providing required medical care.
(b) The Child Welfare Committee shall be the competent authority for determination of the age of the child while the prescribed medical authority appointed u/s 10 of Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986 shall be the competent authority for resolution of disputes related to determination of the age of the child.
4. Investigation and collection of evidence:-
(a) The members of rescue team shall collect all necessary evidence which shall be used in the legal proceedings. This would include (a) documents of employment (b) attendance register or muster roll (c) photograph of work place (d) statements of children etc.
(b) The inspector under child labour laws shall file charge sheet under the child labour (P&R) Act / other appropriate Act. In case of bonded labour the following information may be ascertained:
Source state / district of the child, whether the child came on his/her own or brought by parents / agent / contractor, whether the child is accompanied by parents, hours of work the child is engaged, whether wages paid regularly, amount of wage paid and mode of payment, whether the child is attending any school, whether employer provided medical facilities and other facilities like residential accommodation if the child is residing in the work place, whether any advance was paid in respect of the child and whether the employment is voluntary and if so whether the child is free to leave the employment.
(c)In case of rescued child found to be a bonded child within the meaning of Section 2 (g) of Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act, simultaneous action should be initiated by the authorities under BLSA Act. u/s 16 & 18 of that Act.
Every rescued migrant or trafficked child has to be presented before the Child Welfare Committee constituted under Juvenile Justice (Care & protection of children) Act, 2000 as amended in 2006. However, in case of bonded children they need to be produced before the Sub Divisional Magistrate for grant of release certificate. On issue of release certificate, the Social Welfare Department which is entrusted with rehabilitation of released bonded labour has to take up rehabilitation.
5. Procedure relating to production of the child before the Child Welfare Committee:-
(a)Once the child has been rescued he/ she shall be produced before the child welfare committee which is the competent authority u/s 32 of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of children) Act, 2000.
(b)It shall primarily be the joint responsibility of labour and police departments.
(c)The CWC shall be the guardian of the rescued child; it has full powers to secure all relevant materials on record from any source and it is fully empowered to take decisions in the best interests of the child / children being produced before it. A permanent and meaningful rehabilitation – physical, emotional and psychological shall be the central objective of the proceeding before a CWC.
6. Preparation of charge sheet against every offending employer:-
(a) Investigation in to the FIR of all cognizable offences will be carried out by the police having jurisdiction over the case. The investigating officer while carrying out the investigation and thereafter shall take particular care to ensure the following:-
(i) All relevant evidence - material and forensic has been collected and analyzed to build a proper case for prosecution;
(ii) Reference in the charge sheet has been made to all supplementary sources of information (statement recorded by members of the rescue team, orders of the CWC, reports prepared by the members of the rescue team, NGO inputs etc.)
(iii) The charges against every offending employer are foolproof and there are no loose ends which may provide an escape route.
9. Compliance with the directions of the Supreme Court of India in CWA No.465 (1986) M.C. Mehta vs State of Tamil Nadu & Others dt. 10-12-1996
(a) According to the directions of the Apex Court a sum of Rs. 20,000/- per child is recoverable from every offending employer found responsible for employment of a child in hazardous work. For this the following procedure should be followed:-
(b) Issue a show cause notice to every offending employer violating section 3 of child labour (P&R) Act directing him to deposit the said amount into the Child Labour rehabilitation cum Welfare Fund of the respective district.
(c) If the offending employer does not comply with the direction issued through the show cause notice, a requisition should be sent to the Collector of the District to recover the amount under Revenue Recovery Act. If the employer denies liability, an opportunity may be given to explain as to why the amount should not be recovered from him, in order to fulfill the principles of natural justice.
(d)The Child Labour Rehabilitation cum Welfare Fund shall be invested in fixed deposit to yield maximum interest.
(e)The CLRW Fund shall be utilized for the welfare of the child labour rescued and rehabilitated.
(f) In case of migrant child labour who is proposed to be repatriated, CLRW Fund in respect of such child shall be transmitted to the CLRW Fund of his / her native district to be utilized for the welfare of the child.
8. Special measures for protecting the child:-
The Probation Officer appointed under the Probation of Offenders Act, 1958 or the honorary / voluntary Probation Officer shall prepare a plan specifically for each child for immediate rehabilitation as well as long term educational rehabilitation of the child and present it to the Chairman of the Child Welfare Committee for approval.
9. Procedure to be adopted for the repatriation of the child (relevant for migrant children only):-
(a) On the basis of the information provided by the child, the child welfare committee shall undertake a detailed assessment to verify the information provided and shall enter into a dialogue with the corresponding Child Welfare Committee in the relevant place of origin.
(b) Repatriation of the child shall be undertaken by the Child Welfare Committee if it is in the best interest of the child.
(c) For any child under the age of 14 years the CWC of the district in which the child is rescued shall coordinate with the CWC in the home district as to how and when repatriation exercise can be undertaken.
(d) For any child between the ages 15 to 18, the CWC shall have the discretion to determine the appropriate course of action, keeping the best interests of the child on a case by case basis.
(e) The CWC in the home district shall coordinate with the Collector / District Magistrate for tracing of the family of the child and inform the CWC of the other district where the child is rescued, about the course of action contemplated.
(f) In case of migrant child labour who is proposed to be repatriated, CLRW Fund in respect of such child shall be transmitted to the CLRW fund of his / her native district to be utilized for the welfare of the child.
10 Procedure for rehabilitation of migrant children (both inter-state and intra-state) and reintegration of the working child into the main stream of the family and the community:-
(a) The repatriation plan shall include 2 independent components i.e. (i) the educational rehabilitation of the child (ii) economic rehabilitation of the family. The Collector / District Magistrate shall be responsible for implementing the rehabilitation programme in case of intra state migration.
(b) In case of interstate repatriation a report shall be sought from the Child Welfare Committee in the home state to ensuring effective rehabilitation of the child.
(c) Such a repatriation plan should include measures which are sustainable and balance both the short term as well as long term rehabilitation of the child and its family.
(d) Rehabilitation through education in the formal school system for all children released from work is of paramount importance.
(e) Residential Special Training Centers established under RTE Act by RVM shall be integrated into the rehabilitation plan.
(f) Such Special Training Centers meant for migrant children should have all the facilities specifically required by such children.
11. Child Labour Tracking System:-
This system is meant to provide online information on child labour prevalent in the State. Data of child labour identified by the labour department is uploaded in the child labour tracking system. Details of each rescued child including age, sex and socio economic status, prosecution and minimum wage claim filed against the employer, collection of child labour rehabilitation cum welfare fund, admission to school etc., are uploaded. Data of children admitted to NCLP special schools also intended to be entered in the data base. Details of rehabilitation of rescued children is to be entered by rehabilitation agencies like school education department/RVM (SSA) which was not done. The web based Child Labour Tracking System developed by CGG was not fully operational and did not serve its purpose due to various reasons.
The CLTS is required to be modified and further developed in the wake of RTE Act and should become fully functional within three months, so as to be useful for all stake holders for successful implementation of all activities under the SAP 2013. RVM/ (SSA) has to provide the required funds for this purpose. The modified CLTS should hold all data of child labour rescued and released as well as data as per survey and mapping. Details including photograph of every child rescued and released by labour department and rehabilitated by the school education department/RVM (SSA)/NCLP society shall be entered by the respective departments and data up dated as and when required.
CLTS shall be totally revamped and maintained and used by all stake holders and administered by the labour department. Data of out of school children as per survey of RVM may also be entered in the website. The Deputy Commissioner of Labour of the respective district who is the convener of the DRC shall be responsible for the overall maintenance of CLTS and uploading of data of child labour rescued and released by the labour department and the joint inspection team/rescue team. The PD, NCLP shall enter all data of child labour admitted to the NCLP special schools and their mainstreaming. The Project Officer, RVM (SSA) has to enter in the CLTS, the data of out of school children and also the details of rehabilitation of all child labour.
12. Role of Transit Home:- Transit Home is where the rescued and released child is immediately lodged and prepared for admission to a regular school/special training center. Each child is provided with food and clothing and also play and study materials.
(a)This is essentially an institutional mechanism for intensively preparing all working children who have been released from work for their enrolment into the formal school system. Such transit homes should be established in every district by RVM and maintained by Women Development and Child Welfare department. The transit home shall provide counseling and medical check up to the child and ascertain levels of educational equivalence.
(b) The child prepared in the transit home shall be admitted to appropriate school or special training center.
(c) The concept of transit home had yielded significant results in the state. It is necessary to revive this concept and make it operational in all the 23 districts of the State for immediate rehabilitation of all children withdrawn from work.
(d) At least two transit homes should be established by RVM (SSA) in each district within three months and the number may be increased as and when required.
13. Special Training Centers (STC): Special Training Centers, both residential and non-residential shall be established by RVM (SSA) wherever required. The children released from work would first be lodged in a Transit Home for preparing for admission to a regular school or Special Training Center. The children who could not be admitted to a regular school will have to be admitted to a Special Training Center. Special Training Centers, both residential and non-residential have to be established in every district to provide transitory education to such children for mainstreaming in the regular school. The number of such Special Training Centers required to be established may continuously vary on the basis of the number of children released from work. RVM has to plan in close co-ordination with Labour Department, to establish the required number of Residential Special Training Centers in every district so as to admit all the children released from work in RSTCS. Since most of the working children are from downtrodden sections of the society it is desirable to admit such children only in a Residential Special Training Center.
Chapter – VIII
Role of various Departments of the State in rescue, release and rehabilitation of all working Children
(a) Elimination of child labour is not, cannot and was never intended to be the concern of one Ministry or one department, far less that of Labour and Employment Department. While the latter may function as the Nodal Department for the purpose of identification of areas, occupations and processes, working children employed therein, rescue and release of children from work and securing their rehabilitation through education, nutrition, check up of health and skill training as also monitoring and coordination of all these activities, there are a number of Departments and Agencies who are equally concerned as stake holders in accomplishing the task of elimination of child labour. Their role and contribution to elimination of child labour may be in shape of (a) providing intelligence to Labour Department about the location, occupations and processes where children are found working (b) logistic support by way of making available services of their officers to be appointed as Inspectors u/s 17 Child Labour (Prohibition & Regulation) Act, 1986, members of Task Force / Rescue Team, provision of Vehicular support, bringing the children from where they are released to the Transit Home for psychological counseling, check up of health and ascertaining levels of educational equivalence, production of children before the Child Welfare Committee constituted u/s 29 of JJ (Care & Protection of children) Act, 2000 and (c ) making available resource persons for orientation and training of large number of functionaries involved in rescue, release and rehabilitation of children so released from work.
(b) Since Labour Department has limited man power and is also starved of funds for taking up enforcement and other activities, it is necessary to pool resources from a variety of sources and integrate them imaginatively with a view to achieving the desired goals of convergence i.e., identification of working children, rescue and release of working children and rehabilitation of all children so released from work. The precise role of each department who can make a significant contribution to the task of elimination of child labour is outlined as under:-
- Labour and Employment Department
· Collection of information about the location of enterprises, occupations/processes where the children could be at work and sharing such information among the members of the District Level Task Force/Rescue Team for follow up action and activities.
· Constitution of Task Forces and Rescue Teams at the District level.
· Carrying out raids through the Task Forces and Rescue Teams to rescue / release working children from work.
· Take up regular Joint Inspection drives at least one day a week for enforcement of child labour laws in accordance with a time bound schedule to cover all areas and employments where child labour prevail.
· After completion of rescue and release operation, take up rehabilitation of the child by admission to a transit home/special training center/regular school.
· Recording statement of the offending employer and that of the children employed and to make use of the same for launching prosecution against all offending employers under the Child Labour (Prohibition & Regulation) Act, 1986 or other appropriate Act .
· Launching simultaneous legal and penal action against all offending employers.
· Ensuring that all working children are remunerated for the period for which they have worked by filing claim under Minimum Wages Act, 1948.
· Authorities under the Minimum Wages Act to conduct special Minimum Wages Open Court at least once in fortnight for expeditious disposal of the claims.
· Ensuring that a sum of Rs. 20,000/- per child is recovered from all offending employers for having employed the child in hazardous work and taking care to deposit the said amount in the District Child Labour Rehabilitation-cum Welfare fund.
· A computerized data base on child labour for the whole State should be in place. All data of child labour shall be uploaded in Child Labour Tracking System.
· A calendar of training for all enforcement and rehabilitation officers associated with prevention and elimination of child labour should be drawn up and implemented through the institutes like DR MCR Institute of HRD or the in house training facilities to be developed by the labour department.
- School Education Department:
· It is the primary responsibility of the Department to ensure that all working children who have been withdrawn from work should, without any discrimination what so ever, be enabled and facilitated to have smooth and uninterrupted access to the formal school system/and retention therein.
· In order that the department is in a position to accomplish this objective, the following activities are required to be undertaken by way of planning and preparation:-
Generating awareness amongst all sections of the civil society about RTE, 2009 through programmes like celebration of education week / fortnight or back to school programme, creation of an environment conducive to RTE, 2009 by harnessing print, electronic and folk media etc;
· Undertaking curricular reforms through the State Council of Educational Research and Training based on National curriculum Framework 2005, RTE 2009 and National Curriculum Framework for Teachers’ Education, 2010; finalization of syllabus and text books, printing and distribution of text books well in time before the commencement of the academic session;
· Joining the joint enforcement team at the district and mandal level for undertaking enforcement drives launched by Labour Department for rescue / release of children from work for their enrolment in formal school system;
· Continuous evaluation of the content, process and impact of the programmes for enrolment and retention of children so withdrawn from work and taking timely and appropriate measures so that the children who are enrolled remain in the school and attain the desired levels of proficiency;
· Establish and maintain transit homes in all districts to immediately lodge the rescued children to preparing them for admission to special training center/regular school.
· Establish special training centers especially residential for all out of school children at convenient places in each district so that the out of school children acquire the desired competency levels and then enroll them in the formal school system on the basis of outcome of the assessment;
· Creation of a computerized data base under the SSA;
· Ensure that opportunities and facilities are created to make childrens’ participation in all aspects of implementation of RTE;
· Care should be taken to make the entire process of learning joyous, exciting, interesting, innovative, relevant and worthwhile;
· Holding the Education Officer and the Principal of the school accountable for their failure to retain the children and in particular, out of school children and working children receiving education in the formal school system;
· Introducing regular programmes for counseling the parents of working children about the importance of enrolment and retention of all working children in the formal school system;
· Monitoring of academically weaker children in schools with the involvement of NGO’s;
· The department should ensure that all the lower and upper primary schools under it have the following irreducible barest minimum norms and standards for management of education as required under the RTE, 2009;
· All weather school buildings which are aesthetically pleasing, structurally safe and sound, functionally convenient with built in arrangements for furniture, repair and maintenance, play ground, uninterrupted supply of electricity, midday meal, potable water, conservancy facilities etc;
· One class room-one teacher; Teacher pupil ratio at 1:30; Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE); No corporal punishment; No detention, no failure; Remedial teaching; Having trained and full time teachers; Having an inclusive curriculum; Special teaching arrangement for children with special needs; Using mother tongue as means of social communication; Having full time schools teaching minimum number of hours and days each year;
3. Women Development and Child Welfare Department:
The Department is primarily concerned with protection of childhood and creating conditions which will ensure realization of the right of the child to survival and development which is achieved by implementation of ICDS services. The department is also responsible for rehabilitation of juveniles in conflict with law and children in need of care and protection (Orphans, destitutes, abandoned children, working children etc) under the Juvenile Justice (Care & Protection of children) Act, 2000 as amended up to date.
In the context of identification and enumeration of working children, their rescue / release and rehabilitation through education, nutrition, skill training and checkup of health, the department will have to play the following role:-
· The Department should designate a Nodal Officer at a senior level who can be part of the District Child Labour Task Force;
· The CWC of the District concerned should be asked by the Department to nominate a member who can be a part of the District Child Labour Task Force;
· Such a member can be a vital link between the District level Child Welfare Committee and the District Child Labour Task Force for all practical purposes such as:
· Attending all pre rescue planning meetings of the Task Force;
· Ensuring the interim care and custody of the rescued children;
· Verification of all relevant details pertaining to the children and their families in the Transit Home where the children may be lodged for a week to a fortnight for psychological counseling, check up of health and levels of educational equivalence;
· Keeping the observation Homes, Special Homes, Children’s Homes and Shelter Homes for reception of all rescued children and for their stay in the Homes till such period the inquiry being conducted by the JJB / CWC, as the case may be, is over and subsequently for the rehabilitation of the child through the Home;
· The Department is responsible for appointment and training of Probation Officers who have a very important role in promoting physical, economic and psychological rehabilitation of children released from work;
· The Department should introduce a scheme for screening the health of all children in school and out of school and create facilities for such screening at the school premises, Anganwadis, Children’s’ Homes as may be conceivable and practicable;
· The Department should pay particular attention to deal with nutrition of all children and in particular working Girl children who have been found to be malnourished.
· The Department may launch a massive programme of awareness generation for all sections of the civil society about (a) importance of nutrition in day-to-day life, (b) how to make food wholesome and nutritious within limitations of low income and pervasive ignorance and illiteracy of parents; (c) how to identify risks and hazards associated at the prenatal, early neonatal, late neonatal, neonatal, post natal, infancy and childhood phases of life and how to take preventive and corrective measures to ensure childhood survival and its development in its totality,
4. Health and Family Welfare Department:
· The Department is responsible for notifying a Medical Officer not below the rank of Government Assistant Surgeon as the prescribed Medical Authority u/s 10 of Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986; it transpired that such a notification has not been issued so far. This should be issued at the earliest.
· The prescribed Medical Authority is required to adjudicate disputes relating to determination of age of a working child. The decision of the authority is final and cannot be questioned in a court of law. It is imperative that such a responsibility is discharged with a lot of care and sensitivity.
· After working children have been rescued and released and brought to a Transit Home, they have to undergo medical examination within 24 hours. Necessary instructions may be issued by the Department to the Civil Surgeon of the District, so that the health check-up may be completed in time and corrective measures may be provided to the child if found to be suffering from any disease.
· Check-up of health of all children in school or out of school according to established norms should be squarely the responsibility of Health and Family Welfare Department. The place meant for check-up of health and norms to be adopted for such check-up should also be laid down by the said Departments.
· Properly planned and coordinated efforts may be made for providing orientation and training to all officers of the department for their sensitization. Labour Department should provide necessary academic and technical support for the training.
5. Rural Development Department:
The Department is in-charge of three major poverty alleviation programmes namely: (a) Mahatma Gandhi NAREGA Scheme (b) Mobilisation of BPL families into Self-Help Groups (c) Integrated Watershed Planning, Management and Development. With the help of Society for Elimination of Rural Poverty one crore households in the State have been mobilize and 10 lakh SHGs have been formed on the principle of thrift and credit. The Mahatma Gandhi NAREGA Scheme was launched in 2006. Wages under MGNREGA are being paid at a piece rate with average earnings going up to Rs.120 per day.
The above programmes are expected to ensure economic rehabilitation of poor parents. It has been recognized that adult parents push their children involuntarily to work as they themselves are not able to get avenues of stable and durable employment and in a large family size situation are required to feed a number of additional mouths. If economic rehabilitation of poor parents is assured it is fervently hoped that the incidence of child labour will come down. It should, therefore, be the endeavor of the Rural Development Department to intensify public works programmes in such a way that they ensure full, freely chosen and productive adult employment and adequate need based remuneration as an integral part of the employment so that in due course of time there will be no occasion for poor parents to push children to work.
Additionally the Department has a very large number of functionaries who need to be given orientation and training with a view to making them sensitive to the need for elimination of child labour. It should be the endeavor of the functionaries of the department to report instances of child labour detected by them anywhere in course of their field visits to the Officers of Labour and Employment Department. They should, along with such reporting assist the officers of Labour Department to do a proper mapping of the children who have been found working by them. These Officers can be trained either at the institute like NIRD.
6. Social Welfare Department:-
The Social Welfare Department is primarily responsible for promoting welfare of the members of the Schedule Caste. Education being one of the components of such welfare the department is running a network of hostels and residential schools for boys and girls belonging to the Schedule Caste. There are 2315 hostels and 288 residential schools being run by the department. 60% of the seats in the Hostels are reserved for girls whereas 75% of the seats in residential schools is reserved for SC and 25% for others. Orphans, destitutes, bonded labourers, working children and children of the prostitutes have a prior claim for getting admission into the hostels as well as residential schools.
The Department has very large number of functionaries who are in need of sensitization through orientation and training on elimination of child labour in Andhra Pradesh. A calendar for organizing such orientation and training could be prepared and the training provided in batches. The central objective of such orientation and training would be the following:-
· Functionaries of the Department own the programme of identification, rescue/release and rehabilitation of all working children as their own;
· They may help in collecting intelligence in course of their tours on prevalence of child labour in selected pockets and share the intelligence with officers of Labour Department so that raids can be conducted and children can be rescued / released;
· They may assist the process of rehabilitation of the children released from work as also the process of economic rehabilitation of poor parents;
7. Tribal Welfare Department:-
Like the Social Welfare Department, the Tribal Welfare Department is also running residential schools and hostels. While the number of residential schools is 554 there are over 300 hostels. Additionally there are 130 residential schools under Gurukulam Scheme and 3000 Girijan Primary Schools up to Class II. Unlike the residential schools of Social Welfare Department which are meant for students from class 6th to Class 12th, the residential schools of Tribal Welfare Department are meant for students from class 1 to Class 12th. Tribal parents are generally not inclined to send their children to day school. The residential schools and hostels have proved useful in improving the rate of enrolment and retention and reducing the rate of dropout. There is, however, no thinking at present to go in for general expansion of Ashram schools. The Tribal Welfare Department may obtain a list of pockets endemic from the point of prevalence of child labour from the officers of Labour department and make out a case for covering these pockets by residential schools/hostels on a selective basis.
Like the Social Welfare Department, the Tribal Welfare Department has also got a large number of functionaries numbering several thousands. All of them are not familiar with and committed to the task of elimination of child labour. A calendar for organizing series of orientation and training programmes has to be prepared and the training conducted with the help of MCR HRD Institute and such other institutes with a view to sensitising the officers of the department.
8. Home (Police) Department:
The Department may contribute to the task of rescue / release of children from work in the following manner:-
· Setting up Special Juvenile Police limits U/s. 63 of JJ (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000 as amended up-to-date;
· By joining as a member of District Level Task Force and providing protection to the members of the rescue team in the event of resistance from the employers concerned;
· By assisting the members of the team in interrogating the employers as well as the working children to get full details of the employment, arrangements for ensuring health and safety of the workers etc.,;
· Entertaining FIR and completing the investigation in time and filing prosecution against the offending employer for providing justice to the working children;
9. Urban Development Department:-
The Department may contribute to the task of elimination of child labour in the following manner:-
· The Corporations / Municipalities under the Department issue licences to all shops and commercial establishments, hotels / motels / restaurants in urban areas; a condition may be imposed in the said license that the establishments will not employ children below the age of 14;
· The Corporations / Municipalities permit private advertisers to put up hoardings at conspicuous locations within the city / municipal limits. Such advertisers may be directed to put up a few hoardings pertaining to the elimination of child labour; protection of child, childhood and childrens’ rights;
· The schools under the Corporations / Municipalities should provide access to free and compulsory education to all rescued working children irrespective of their age;
· To monitor the content, quality and impact of non formal education programme run by NGO in various slums with a view to bringing all out- of-schools in the area into the fold of mainstream education;
· Headmasters and Teachers of Corporation / Municipal Schools should hold a monthly meeting of all parents for sensitizing and counseling them about the education of their children;
· The Municipal Corporation Commissioner / the Chief Executive Officer of the Municipality may take the initiative of inviting the residential welfare associations within the Municipal area to hold a discussion with them and to persuade them to adopt a resolution to the effect that no apartment owner who is a member of residential welfare association would employ a domestic help below the age of 14 years as such employment already stands prohibited under Part-A of Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act with effect from 10-10-2006;
· The Department has an army of officials who are mostly discharging regulatory roles; a calendar for organizing orientation and training for sensitization of these officers may be prepared and the training conducted.
10. Food and Civil Supplies Department:-
According to the survey conducted by Aide-et-Action, South Asia Regional Office, Hyderabad more than 11 lakh people are migrating out of Andhra Pradesh and much larger number of persons are moving into Andhra Pradesh from the States of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh every year (The actual number of persons migrating into Andhra Pradesh – both intra and inter-state would be around 7 million. In majority of the cases children accompany the migrant parents and as they arrive at the work site they remain deprived of their access to the educational opportunity. Due to a number of factors such as (a) Payment of advance at the time of recruitment of the migrant families (b) irregular and erratic payment of wages at the worksite (c) non enforcement of minimum wage by the labour Law enforcement machinery, the migrant parents find it extremely difficult to eke out means of decent livelihood. They would find it equally difficult to meet the cost of education of their children by sending them to a good school. Since they don’t have any ration card they have to buy all essential food grains and other commodities from the open market at a much higher rate. All these add up to their plight. With a view to providing some measure of relief to such migrant families the Food and Civil Supplies Department should issue ration cards / coupons to such families or alternatively open retail outlets in the vicinity of the worksite to be managed by SHG groups on co-operatives, as the case may be so that the migrant families may have access to commodities. Labour Department should provide full details of the worksites, names of projects under execution, number and names of migrant families to enable the Food and Civil Supply Department to do the needful.
11. Revenue Department:-
There are five departments under Revenue Department entrusted with different responsibilities. The Department which controls the cadre of Tahasildars would be relevant for dealing with elimination of child labour in the following manner:-
- The Tahasildar should be a member of the Mandal Level Rescue Team as and when the same is constituted and proceeds to conduct raids of establishments in the mandal area to rescue / release of working children;
- The Revenue Department is responsible for grant of lease of minor minerals (such as sands in the river bed). In granting such lease a condition has to be stipulated that no child below the age of 14 would be employed in extraction of minor minerals;
12. Panchayat Raj Department:-
The Panchayats issue licence in rural areas for shops and commercial establishments, hotels / motels / restaurants / dhabas etc., In issuing all such licences a condition shall be imposed not to employ child below the age of 14 in any of these establishments.
Elimination of child labour should be included as an item in the curriculum and the syllabus of training for all officers and elected representatives of Panchayati Raj Departments. A calendar of such training has to be in place and the training may commence for the Panchayati Raj functionaries for their orientation and sensitization through institutes like NIRD.
13. Industry and Mines:-
The Department is responsible for grant of lease of quarries. Usually the lease is granted to private individuals who employ children in the quarry operations for a variety of reasons. The Department has to incorporate a condition that while granting lease of the quarry, children below the age of 18 year (which in the age of entry to the work in mines and quarries) should not be employed.
Role of other stake holders in rescue, release and rehabilitation of all working children:
1. Role of Employers & Trade Union Organizations:
Child labour totally disappeared from the organized sector and significantly reduced in the small scale manufacturing sector. Children by and large continue to be employed in agriculture and other non farm sectors in the country side which are largely scattered and fragmented.
If child labour is to be eliminated in such sectors of employment we have to identify the employer’s therein through survey and adopt a multi pronged approach to carry conviction to such employers that to employ children at a tender and formative stage of their lives is not in their interest nor in the best interests of the children. The employers should be impressed through their established channels such as Chambers of Commerce and Industry and other Associations that employment of children contributes negatively in the long run.
Trade Union Organisations are in existence for protecting and safeguarding the interests of labour. It may not be necessary to carry conviction to Trade Union Organisation that employment of children at a tender age at the cost of their health and education is violation of human rights of children to protection, survival and development and great loss to the nation. All that is required to be done is to have a meeting with representatives of all Trade Union Organsiations and to issue an appeal to them to keep elimination of child labour as an important agenda in all their trade union activities such as meetings of the annual general body and executive committee of the trade unions, meetings and negotiation with the employers and all other important conferences of trade unions. They should also be requested to share the intelligence about prevalence of child labour in certain occupations and processes with the officers of Labour & Employment Department so that necessary corrective action can be taken by the later. The Trade Unions may also be requested to give prominence to the issue of elimination of child labour in all their publications and publicity materials so that the central message of elimination of child labour could be disseminated amongst the rank and file of working class.
If there are representatives of Trade Unions who are first rate social communicators and good trainers, Labour and Employment Department has to enlist their services in all training programmes of the Department related to elimination of child labour.
Success stories emanating from involvement of Employers and Trade union Organisations in undertaking responsibility for elimination of child labour has to be used for such training.
2. Role of NGOs:-
NGOs work under difficult conditions in remote, interior and inaccessible areas. They can complement and supplement Government initiatives for more than one reason such as (a) Government does not have the outreach to all areas and all sections of the people on account of certain limitations whereas NGOs have such outreach (b) Government cannot shoulder responsibility for anything and everything and (c) NGOs have a flexibility of structure and operations for which they can execute programmes in an unconventional and unorthodox manner which produces the desired results in less time and cost.
NGOs can contribute to elimination of child labour which is one of our major national concerns in the following manner:-
· They can assist the District Administration in conducting a survey for identification and enumeration of working children in selected pockets which are endemic for elimination of child labour;
· They can assist the District Administration in creation of an environment through a series of unconventional and unorthodox ways (undertaking kalajathas, nukkad nataks, street theatre, role plays etc.,) to spread the central message about importance of a child as a precious human resources, importance of protection of childhood and child rights which would remove negative mind sets and help in sensitizing all sections of the civil society on the importance of elimination of child labour;
· They can assist the District Administration in conducting raids and in organizing rescue / release operations;
· They can take the responsibility for rehabilitation of children released from work through education, nutrition, skill training, checkup of health; the special schools of NCLPs where these activities are implemented are mostly being managed by NGOs in many parts of the country;
· They can help in mapping of interstate and intrastate migrant children who accompany the parents from one State to another or from one district to another; such mapping is an extremely useful exercise for the purpose of providing education for the migrant children;
· They can take up evaluation of the content, process and impact of both programmes relating to educational rehabilitation of children and economic rehabilitation of their parents which are closely interlinked;
· They can also bring to the notice of the concerned authorities in the SSA about the gaps, omissions and deficiencies in the UPE and UEE programmes at the ground level whith suggestion for qualitative improvement and change;
The Labour Department shall adopt the following strategies to enlist the close involvement and support of the NGOs in the task of elimination of child labour:-
· A small and compact consultative group under the Chairmanship of Principal Secretary Labour & Employment shall be constituted to have a very close liaison and coordination with NGOs who are either working in the field of elimination of child labour or related fields so as to have the benefit of their experience and ideas; the consultative group may comprise of NGOs with a track record of dedicated social service;
· The Principal Secretary of the Department should have from time to time a dialogue with a few selected NGOs who are active in the field of education and elimination of child labour and have an honest assessment of the ground level situation vis-à-vis his department from them;
· The NGOs with outstanding contribution to elimination of child labour and rehabilitation of children released from work through education should be recognized and acknowledged by the Department. Such NGOs should be involved in all important activities of elimination of child labour.
3. Role of Civil Society:-
Civil society is a heterogeneous entity. Citizens who are members of the society are born differently, think differently and live differently. There socio-cultural and economic backgrounds are different; so also are the life styles and standard of living. These differences notwithstanding, there are good, well meaning, diligent and socially conscientious individuals who have the urge, inclination and commitment to contribute to a cause like elimination of child labour which is an issue of major societal concern. The civil society members can lend their time, energy and resources to contribute to the cause of elimination of child labour and all those responsible for implementation of SAP should involve the civil society members like doctors, teachers, advocates, resident associations, students etc in all the activities of elimination of child labour.
There are many other sections of the civil society who can contribute in their own way to promote, protect and preserve childhood and childrens’ rights and who can enable and facilitate children to grow from childhood to adolescence, adolescence to youth and youth to manhood. What is necessary and desirable is that we carry the central message to these sections of the society who are not sufficiently aware and sensitive that children matter, childhood and child rights matter and it is the bounden and collective duty and obligation of the society as a whole to contribute to their promotion, protection and preservation. This process was carried out to a very large extent through the Andhra Pradesh State based project for elimination of child labour where all central employers and trade union organizations, rotary and lions club, media and communication outfits, red cross societies, religious bodies, local self governing bodies, professional associations (lawyers, teachers, doctors, engineers, architects etc.) were intensively involved; they thought, planned and worked together towards fulfillment of the common cause i.e., elimination of child labour which shall be continued.
4. Role of media – Print, electronic & folk:
Like training media is an outlet of information, communication and education. It is an outlet for revelation of truth against tyranny, injustice and oppression. It is also an outlet against fads, taboos, obscurantist ideas and practices. It is a weapon against cruel, degrading and inhuman treatment of man against man. This is why it has been said that even though globalization has many demerits and pitfalls, one of its major plus points is that it has enabled and facilitated through revolution in technology, exposure of corruption, deception, fraudulent and manipulative practices and indiscriminate and heartless exploitation of man and scarce natural resources by a few greedy, selfish and acquisitive people in the society.
Media has played a key role in all social movements and mobilization of woman and men for a good cause, be it deliverance of the State from the clutches of colonialism and imperialism, be it deliverance of human beings from subjugation and oppression of their captors, be it restoration of the natural dignity, decency and justice to all human beings.
Media can play a similar useful and affective role in elimination of child labour in the following manner:-
· It can help in dissemination of the central message that children matter, their childhood matters and it is the collective bounden duty and obligation of all sections of the civil society to promote, protect and preserve childhood;
· It can be instrumental in spreading the message that elimination of child labour and right of access of all children to free and compulsory education go together and inseparable;
· It can breathe hope, faith and conviction that elimination of child labour and realization of the universal right to free and compulsory education are not utopian, but possible, feasible and achievable;
· It can be used as a tool for dissemination of success stories of elimination of child labour and free and compulsory education; such success stories can be collected and compiled and sent to print and electronic medium for being published as also for being broadcast and telecast to create the desired impact.