New Delhi, June 12 (IBNS) Union Women & Child Development Minister Krishna Tirath on Wednesday said that healthy and educated children are the foundations of a country and they help in its progress.
She said the Resident Welfare Associations, Non- Governmental Organisations (NGO), Police and all other Government Departments need to work together for support and protection of these children in the country.
The Minister urged every citizen to be vigilant and ensure that no child below the age of 18 years is part of any economic activity.
She said this is the time for collective efforts to counter the challenges posed by this social malaise of domestic child labour in the country.
Tirath was the Chief Guest at the 'World Day Against Child Labour' organized by National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) in collaboration with International Labour Organisation (ILO) and United Nations Children`s Fund (UNICEF).
The World Day Against Child Labour this year focuses on children engaged in domestic labour with the theme "Ensure Entitlements to Children- Say No to Domestic Child Labour".
Speaking at the occasion, Tirath said, the problem of Domestic Child Labour is gigantic and according to National Sample Survey Organisation(NSSO) Report 2009-10 nearly 50 lakh children in the age group 5-14 years are engaged in economic activities.
This is despite the fact that the Child Labour (Prohibition & Regulation ) Act prohibits employment of children as domestic workers in eatries, restaurants, hotels, motels, tea shops, resorts, spas or other recreational centres, she said.
Tirath said that the Ministry has adopted the convergence model for linking up various departments at the District and Block levels to have a multi-pronged approach under the Integrated Child Protection Scheme (ICPS).
She said that Ministry has also put in place institutional mechanism to ensure the security of children particularly in urban context where Domestic Child Labour is prevalent.
Naming some of these mechanisms like a dedicated CHILDLINE, MIS and Child Tracking System, she said that the Ministry has also enacted the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012 which is historic and unique as it defines child as a person below the age-group of 18 and provides stringent punishment against all types of sexual offences and abuses.
Speaking on the occasion, Kushal Singh, Chairperson NCPCR highlighted two important aspects of child labour in the country.
She said that today need of the hour is to destroy the myth that child labour is a necessary evil.
Singh said Child Labour is an outright evil which should not be accepted in any form.
The NCPCR Chairperson emphasized that missing or nowhere children who were either child labour or potential child labour need to be sent to schools.
On this occasion of World Day Against Child Labour various children who fought and came out from clutches of child labour were felicitated.
Cultural Programmes were also presented by children from NGO's Asha Deep Foundaton and Chetna Foundation.
Nita Chowdhary, Secretary WCD and other senior officers of WCD Ministry along with the Representatives of UNICEF and ILO were also present on the occasion.