On the occasion of United Nation’s ‘World Day Against Child Labour’ (12th June) and in continuation of its efforts to protect the rights of children, Delhi Police and leading child rights organization CRY (Child Rights and You) joined hands for a campaign to raise awareness on this issue.
As part of the collaboration Delhi Police and volunteers from NGO CRY will be reaching out to the general public to create awareness about child labour. It will involve holding awareness drives in housing societies and other establishments in the weeks beginning June 12. The idea is to educate and encourage people to take proactive steps to ensure that rights of the children are protected and honored. They can take a pledge to never employ children, speak up against it and not consume brands or frequent places where children are employed
This was followed by a symbolic event at India Gate where close to thousand people formed a human chain to stand up against child labour. The human chain involved personnel from the Delhi Police, Border Security Force, CRY communities and the general public
Speaking on the occasion Chief Spokesperson, Delhi Police Sh. Dependra Pathak said, “Delhi Police has many concerns pertaining to children in distress and children being forced to work . Also, locating missing children is a high priority area for police. Delhi Police is committed to make the city developing, encouraging and protective for its children.” He further added that Delhi Police will extend all out support to C.R.Y. to finish child labour, both by mobilising public opinion and also by using legal provisions to make a safe and inclusive atmosphere for children. He said that Delhi Police is committed in making Delhi a safer place for children through operations like ‘Muskan’ and ‘Smile’, but all the stakeholders including public and concerned wings of administration need to have a professional approach towards this issue.
Ms. Vatsala Mamgain, Director- Resource Mobilization, Child Rights and You said, “High level of poverty and unemployment coupled with a lack of adequate social security net compel parents to allow children to work and not go to school. While child labour is often viewed as a necessary evil, it is critical to realize that every child in labour means a childhood lost. She further added, “while the government should ensure proper implementation of the law, eliminating this social problem will also require a collective effort from all stakeholders. Small sincere efforts on our part can go a long way in bringing about a sustainable change like not employing children as domestic help or hired laborers, not patronizing dhabas or stalls that employ child labour and most importantly by speaking about it and dissuading people from employing children. Every child deserves a childhood – and child labour robs them of that.”
India is home to more than 33 million working children below the age of 18, 10.13 million of whom are below 14 years. Census figures show that the working children between 5-14 years in the country have decreased by a mere 2.2% per year over 2001-2011 despite all efforts. However what is concerning is that the percentage of working children between 5-9 years have increased by 37% between 2001-2011