TITLE>Rescue, Recover, Rehabilitate - The 3 R's to ensure safe childhood to all child labourers Global March Against Child Labour - From Exploitation to Education
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Global March Against Child Labour - From Exploitation to Education
 

Rescue, Recover, Rehabilitate - The 3 R's to ensure safe childhood to all child labourers

The consultation saw the participation of over 150 delegates from over 15 states

 
Lamp lighting by I. P. Anand, Justice V.S. Malimath, Nitte Adyanthaya (INTUC), Ms. Panudda Boonpala (ILO), Ravi Prakash Verma (MP), Dilli Choudhary (BASE), Kailash Satyarthi (GMACL), Khairuzzaman Kamal (BMSF), Dr.L. D. Mishra (NHRC), Sangeeta Dhingra Sehgal (DLSA) and Child Participant Amarlal
   
 
 
Amarlal addressing the guest and putting children's point of view.
   
 
 
Kailash Satyarthi explaining the meaning of good practices and purpose of the Regional Consultation
   
 
 
Honourable Justice M.K. Sarma, Chief Justice of Delhi High Court closing the session
   
 
 
From right Ravi Prakash Verma (MP), Amodh Kanth (Prayas), Kailash Satyarthi (GMACL), Ramesh Gupta (President BBA), Justice M.K. Sarma (Chief Justice of Delhi High Court closing the session ) , Kailash Gambhir ,justice High Court, Prof B.N Juyal and R. S. Chaurasia (Chairperson, BBA)
 
 
The closing session of consultation

New Delhi, 27 September 2007: “Every child has the right to good quality education; every child has the right to play” resonated Amarlal’s words in the SCOPE complex as the regional consultation on good practices in the elimination of child labour and trafficking of children for forced labour. This young boy of 12 outlined the programme as a platform for all participants to share their practices on various strategies. The consultation was the first ever effort by any civil society organisation in the South Asian region to identify and collate the good practices of organisations for wider dissemination. Organisations spoke of their strategies in direct action and legal intervention; education; rehabilitation; child participation; mass mobilisation and advocacy; and Corporate social responsibility and ethical trade practices in the elimination of child labour and trafficking of children for forced labour.

In his keynote address, Justice V.S. Malimath spoke of his association with Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA) through the first case of child domestic labour that came to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) where the latter directed the government to change service rules of government employees that they cannot employ children in their homes. He said- “parents, society and state are the three main agencies that need to take care of children. If children are not taken care of by parents, society should, if society doesn’t then the State should. But the presence of child labour is in fact a failure of all the three agencies and sensitising them and making them responsible forms the crux of the solution to ending this malady.”

Panudda Boonpala, Deputy Director (a.i) ILO Sub Regional Office, Delhi, a long time friend of the Global March said the atmosphere of the consultation reminded her of the days of the Global March in 1998 when she and her ILO colleagues received marchers at the ILO office in Geneva in July 1998. Addressing the audience, she said that though there is progress, much still needs to be done to reduce child labour. The favourable thing she said was the slight increase in political will to take action against child labour which is a reason for hope, she mentioned. “What we now require are good practices that are innovative creative, effective, replicable, sustainable, relevant, responsive and efficient in to be implemented.”

For the first time, the Indian National Trade Union Congress formally announced its support to BBA to jointly fight against child labour. “If a child is working then an adult is out of work. It is important to provide employment skills to an adult so that a child can go to school”- he said addressing the audience. I.P. Anand of the Indian Employers’ Council also expressed his solidarity with the cause. Dr. Lakshmidhar Mishra, Special Rapporteur, NHRC clearly stated that we should speak out in one voice and in one conscience for the complete prohibition and elimination of child labour, not regulation.

Kailash Satyarthi, the Chairperson of Global March in his address outlined three C's – Creative solutions to the problems faced, Coordination between intergovernmental agencies; within the various departments of government and most importantly Compassion towards the children, that are necessary to eliminate child labour and trafficking of children for forced labour.

The brain storming sessions on 6 topics, saw the active participation of over various speakers from across India and especially the participation and support of ILO representatives.

The closing session was graced by the Honourable Chief Justice of Delhi High Court, Justice M.K Sarma; Justice Kailash Gambhir, Delhi High Court; Ravi Prakash Verma, MP; Professor B.N. Juyal; Ramesh Gupta, President, Bachpan Bachao Andolan.

Shri Ravi Prakash Verma, Member of Parliament and President, National Coalition on Education, said questioned –“how can we call ourselves sensitive, when there are thousands of children living on streets and working in hazardous industries? What is necessary is political will and strict implementation of laws.
Honourable Justice M.K. Sarma, Chief Justice of Delhi High Court said that we have to remember 3 Rs to combat child labour and child trafficking for forced labour rescue - to take out children from hazardous situations, recover - to counsel them and recover their childhood and rehabilitation - proper rehabilitation to bring them back to the normal environment. The police should penalize the employer under the appropriate laws and the Rs. 20,000 that is the rehabilitation package should be used for rehabilitation of rescued children. It is important to see that all children go back to school. He spoke of the efforts of the legal fraternity in activating the National Commission and constituting of the State Commissions of Child Rights. Thanking all the speakers and dignitaries for theire enthusiastic participation, Ramesh Gupta, President BBA in his note of thanks said- “children are not just leaders of tomorrow, but leaders of today. We need to act now to make them leaders of today. They cannot wait anymore.”  

The Best Practices ON ELIMINATION OF CHILD LABOUR AND TRAFFICKING OF CHILDREN FOR FORCED LABOUR shared with all the organization and esteemed guests would be compiled as a information book for all the organisation working for child rights. So that we can make this place a better place to live for children.

 
Press Clipping

Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bangalore, London
Friday, September 28, 2007

Practices to abolish child labour discussed

By OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT
New Delhi, Sept. 27: "Every child has the right to good quality education; every child has the right to play," said 12-year-old Amarlal, a former bonded child labourer from Rajasthan, at the regional consultation on good practices in the elimination of child labour and trafficking of children for forced labour held on Wednesday here.

This young boy outlined the programme as a platform for all participants to share their practices on various strategies. The consultation was the first ever effort by any civil society organisation in the South Asian region to identify and collate the good practices of organisations for wider dissemination.

Organisations spoke of their strategies in direct action and legal intervention, education, rehabilitation, child participation, mass mobilisation and advocacy, and corporate social responsibility, and ethical trade practices in the elimination of child labour and trafficking of children for forced labour.

In his keynote address, Justice V.S. Malimath spoke of his association with Bachapan Bacchao Andolan, an NGO working for rights of children, through the first case of child domestic labour that came to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) where the latter directed the government to change service rules of government employees that they cannot employ children in their homes.

He said, "Parents, society and state are the three main agencies that need to take care of children. If children are not taken care of by parents, society should, if society doesn't then the state should. But the presence of child labour is in fact a failure of all the three agencies, and sensitising them and making them responsible forms the crux of the solution to ending this malady."

The Deputy director of International Labour Organisation, sub regional office, Delhi, Panudda Boonpala, said that though there is progress, much needs to be done to reduce child labour.

The favourable thing she said was the slight increase in political will to take action against child labour which is a reason for hope, she mentioned. "What we now require are good practices that are innovative creative, effective, replicable, sustainable, relevant, responsive and efficient in to be implemented."

For the first time, the Indian National Trade Union Congress formally announced its support to Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA) to jointly fight against child labour. "If a child is working then an adult is out of work. It is important to provide employment skills to an adult so that a child can go to school," he said, addressing the audience. Mr I.P. Anand of the Indian Employers' Council also expressed his solidarity with the cause. Special rapporteur, NHRC, Dr Lakshmidhar Mishra, clearly stated that we should speak out in one voice and in one conscience for the complete prohibition and elimination of child labour, not regulation.

Kailash Satyarthi, the chairperson of Global March in his address outlined three Cs — creative solutions to the problems faced, coordination between inter-governmental agencies; within the various departments of government.

 
   
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Background

  • The ILO places the number of child labourers at 218 million. South Asia has the largest number of child labourers with 21.6 million children aged between 5-14 years engaged in child labour.1
  • As per the Indian Census 2001, there are 12.66 million children engaged in child labour. 39% of children in Nepal, 13.4% children in Bangladesh were engaged in child labour.2 Children work mainly in agriculture, carpet weaving, sporting goods, stone quarrying, mining, brick kilns, domestic work

Most of the children in worst forms of child labour are also victims of trafficking. Trafficking is largely understood in the context of commercial sexual exploitation. More efforts are required to understand child trafficking for forced labour. Since trafficking is a mode of recruiting children for exploitative work, any effort to eliminate child labour must also address trafficking for forced labour.

  • An estimated 200,000 persons are trafficked into, within or through India every year as per the U.S. Dept. of State, and this doesn’t include trafficking within the country. No concrete figures on trafficking from Nepal and Bangladesh are present. Yet thousands of children from these countries and within the country are trafficked to work in zari embroidery sweatshops, jewellery units, domestic child labour, forced beggary and other unorganised sectors.

While child labour must be viewed with the additional perspective of child trafficking, the other intricately linked dimensions must not be neglected. Child labour, illiteracy and poverty exist in a triangular relationship where each is a cause and consequence of the other two leading to a vicious downward spiral. Child labour not only denies children of their present but also robs them of their future, by perpetuating illiteracy and poverty. Education is the bridge to a brighter future and a prosperous life and thus overall development, as laid down in the 8 Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The MDGs related to children’s education (MDG 2 and 3) necessarily require the elimination of child labour for their achievement. In fact, education is the single most important factor that hastens the achievement of the other goals related to poverty and health. It is thus a necessity to ensure that children are redirected to school from work.

South Asian region has been the leader in evolving diverse strategies and developing models to eliminate child labour and provide education for all. From the initiation of mass mobilisation, networking with partners, coordination of government efforts, interlinking child labour

elmination, education for all and poverty alleviation measures to promoting consumer awareness and ethical trade practices, South Asia has shown the way to combat child labour.

This is being accomplished by various organisations and agencies including governments and the civil society. In this context, Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA) and Global March Against Child Labour want to initiate a two stage process of identifying and sharing the good practices prevalent in the field. In the first stage, a Regional Consultation on the “Good practices in the elimination of child labour and trafficking of children for forced labour” on 26 September, 2007 is being organised by BBA and Global March with The support of Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC).

Objectives

The Regional Consultation has the following as its objectives:

  • To promote and reinforce the good practices, success stories, case studies and achievements in the elimination of child labour and child trafficking for forced labour and in providing education for all.
  • To promote partnership among the various stakeholders on child labour, child trafficking and education
  • To promote the replication of the good practices.

Good Practices

Any good practice, in this context, is that which enables a child to be removed from a situation of child labour and puts and keeps him/her in school. Any practice that not only facilitates this but also targets the underlying problems of poverty, sustainability is also a part of the solution. The broad categories of intervention that have been identified for the sake of the good practices are:

  1. Direct action for victims’ assistance & Legal enforcement and intervention: Child labourers could either be rescued from work or withdrawn through persuasion or government directives. Direct action involves networking with various stakeholders, detailed planning and timely implementation. Prosecution through the various legal measures is the first step of any direct intervention. Thus direct intervention is not possible without legal enforcement. Legal measures are the first step for the removal of children from work. It takes away the right of the employer to employ a child and also obliges them to stick by the law, which would act as a strong deterrent measure. The linkage with rehabilitation (statutory as well as centre based) is as important. It is necessary for organisations to learn about these tactics related to the withdrawal/rescue of child labourers.
  2. Rehabilitation: Rehabilitation could be divided into various components- statutory and centre based being the primary ones. Centre based rehabilitation is the focus of this theme. In the intial stages of withdrawal/rescue, child labourers need psycho-social counseling. This coupled with education/vocational training leading to empowerment is the focus of rehabilitation. Similarly, strong reintegration measures are required.
  3. Education: Education is the most important tool to eliminate child labour. It is also the basic rehabilitative measure provided to child labourers. Formal education, non-formal and bridge courses are all means of rehabilitation. The success of the various education measures would enrich the knowledge base of all organisations.
  4. Child participation: Creating an atmosphere that facilitates children to express their views on issues related to them and their immediate environment enables them to become responsible citizens. Practices that enable this are carried out by several organisations and the consultation aims to be a platform for sharing these practices to help build networks besides enriching the knowledge base.
  5. Corporate social responsibility and ethical trade practices of businesses: Increasingly, Corporate Social Responsibility has taken various forms of community benefit. For the purpose of identifying good practices, we could CSR into two: a) how can businesses and industries that employ child labour at any point in the supply chain evolve child friendly measures? How can these be replicated to come up with an industrial code of conduct? b) What are the various measures that businesses are undertaking with respect to elimination of child labour and providing education for all?
  6. Mass mobilisation: Organisations mobilise the necessary target groups that they work with in a manner that the results are sustained by the groups and replicated by others. The more the reach of an organisation, the wider its influence and acceptance of its practices. This is the goal towards which organisations work in order to widen their reach and effect.  

In the second stage, we are proposing a second conference on the good practices within 3-6 months of the Regional Consultation, where the success stories and practices in the aforesaid 6 areas would be rewarded. In this process, we would be inviting the case stories and practices from all stakeholders in each of the 6 areas (or a combination of the areas or any other exemplary practice). We are requesting a 3-member jury of outstanding individuals with a long track record and experience in this field to examine these practices. They will then select one best practice from each of the 6 areas. These chosen practices would then be rewarded in the second conference, published and widely disseminated. 

Participants

NGOs, state government officials, inter-governmental agencies, corporates and organisations working on the issue of child labour, bonded labour and child trafficking, would take part in this consultation. With the regional nature of the problem of trafficking for forced labour and similar situations of child labour, regional network of organizations in Nepal, Pakistan and Bangladesh would also be invited.

Date

Wednesday, 26 September, 2007

Venue

Conference Hall,
SCOPE COMPLEX
7, Lodi Road,
New Delhi-110003
Ph: 011-24361745

Contact

Bachpan Bachao Andolan
L-6, Kalkaji,
New Delhi 110 019
India
Tel: +91 11 2622 4899, 2647 5481
Fax: +91 11 2623 6818
Email: info@bba.org.in
Website: www.bba.org.in

 
   
 
   
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