As the World Day Against Child Labour approaches, child rights organization Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA) launched an India Action Week 2010 during which it has been conducting raids in various manufacturing units, restaurants and other work places to rescue child labourers.
‘While we routinely help the police and the labour department conduct raids in sweatshops and elsewhere to rescue child labourers, the aim of this week is to conduct as many of such raids in all the states of the country and then compile a report on the same at the end of the week,’ a BBA official told IANS.
‘Based on that report, we will file public interest litigation (PIL) in the Supreme Court on the challenge of eliminating child labour,’ he added.
The week began on June 5 with a raid in a sweatshop in the Sarai Rohilla Industrial Area in the capital that ultimately led to the rescue of seven child labourers who hailed from Bihar.
‘On June 7 there was a raid conducted on the roadside eateries in Pawta and Paragpura in Rajasthan. It comes as a shock that despite child labour in eateries being banned since 2006, the law is openly flouted. There was stiff resistance from the employers, but we ultimately rescued nine children employed in the eateries,’ the official said.
The rescued children hailed from Rajasthan and West Bengal.
In another raid on Tuesday, 31 child labourers were rescued from a shoe manufacturing unit in Nangloi in Delhi.
‘All the children were trafficked from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh and were made to work in the factory where fake branded shoes were made. The youngest child was just seven years old,’ the official said.
All the rescued children were given release certificates under the Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act, which entitles them to a rehabilitation package of Rs 20,000.