New Delhi, June 13 :
Child rights advocacy group CRY Friday urged the government to streamline laws related to child labour and lay down a standard age limit for being classified as a child.
“While the social legislations define a child to be 18 years, most labour legislations define it as 14. There is a clear contradiction in the way we see our children, ready to compromise when they can be a source of cheap labour,” a statement from CRY (Child Rights and You) said.
“The issue of child labour cannot be seen in isolation. It is integral to the concerns of child protection, education and social security. While each ministry has its own mandate; it is imperative for different ministries to institutionalise mechanisms of working together to address multiple issues that result in child labour,” said Komal Ganotra, director, Policy and Research, CRY.
India has 12.6 million children engaged in child labour in the age group of 5-14 as per the National Census 2001. It is yet to commit itself to complete elimination of child labour.
“The New Government’s mantra of ‘less government and more governance’ is seen as the underlying philosophy that could drive merger of some departments and ministries to create more focused outfits. On similar ground we would like to demand that everything related to children also needs greater coordination,” said Babu Methew of National Law University.