On June 13, 2017, India ratified two important core conventions on child labour – pertaining to minimum age for admission to employment and worst forms of child labour – at the International Labour Conference in Geneva, Switzerland.
Core Conventions of International Labour Organization (ILO):
The two core conventions signed by India are Convention 138, which sets minimum age for admission to employment and Convention 182, which penalises and prohibits the worst form of child labour.
- The Instruments of Ratification were handed over to ILO in Geneva by Union Minister of State for and Labour and Employment (Independent Charge), Bandaru Dattatreya.
- Including these two core conventions, India has so far ratified six out of eight core ILO conventions. Four other conventions are related to abolition of forced labour, equal remuneration and no discrimination between men and women in employment and occupation.
- Countries which ratify any of the ILO conventions have to go through a periodical reporting system every four years.
Child Labour in India and Measures Taken by Government:
As per 2011 data, there were 35 million child workers between the ages of 5 and 14 years in India.This number is significantly lower as compared to 6 million child workers revealed by 2001 Census data.
- As per the provisions of Child labour (Prohibition and Prevention) Amendment Act, 2016, Government has banned employment of children below 14 years of age in all occupations and processes.However, it permits children to help in family occupation.
- The act also prohibits employment of adolescents (14-18 years) in hazardous occupations and processes.
- Under this new act, the age of admission to employment has been linked to the age of compulsory education under Right to Education Act (RTE), 2009.
- Bandaru Dattatreya has mentioned that India has adopted stringent legislative measures and is also pursuing project based approach to eliminate child labour from the country.
International Labour Organization (ILO):
- Formation: 1919
- Head: Guy Ryder
- Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland