Are the child labourers being rescued from the pathetic working conditions?
An application was filed with the Ministry of Labour and Employment under the Right to Information (RTI) Act seeking to get information about the number of child labourers rescued from different states across the country.
The reply to the application from the Ministry shows a small number of domestic child labourers have been rescued over last five years from different parts of the country. The reply states that only twenty one domestic child labourers have been rescued from Uttar Pradesh while the respective numbers for Maharashtra, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu are 17, 12 and 9. Similarly, only four children were rescued in Assam, three in Kerala, eight in Orissa and five in West Bengal over the past five years.
The RTI reply by the Ministry doesn’t provide data on child labour from states like Delhi, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Manipur, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand and Punjab. Karnataka is the only state where 392 children have been rescued depicting relatively better implementation of Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act.
The data in the reply also pertains to prosecution and conviction statistics of cases from the non-domestic sectors. It shows huge disparity between the number of people prosecuted for child labour and those convicted for the same. For instance, in Andhra Pradesh, 138 people were prosecuted but only 8 convicted for child labour in 2008. Similarly out of 581 prosecutions in 2010 in Delhi, only 8 were convicted.
Alas India – here lies your future.