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Berhampur Children federation celebrated ‘World Day Against Child Labour’ to STOP child slavery 

Berhampur,12/06/19: Members of Berhampur children federation celebrated ‘World Day Against Child Labour’ today in eight slums in Berhampur city and appealed citizens to STOP child labour and let all children to go to school.

Bala Das and Amit Das of Gaudabandha Street, Ankooli appealed “please don’t buy anything those businesses that employ children as child labour and let all children go to school and read”. Today the whole world is appealing to STOP child labour under the theme “Children Should Not Work on Field But on Dreams”. Along with Amit, Smruti and Bala more than 100 children in Berhampur voiced to STOP child labour. Ganjam district is prone to child labour as per 2011 census, 25,665 children (under the age group of 5 to 14 years) are engaged in various types of works spread over duration of less three months to more six months in a year. These children are working in various sectors like agriculture and allied, collection and processing of minor forest produce, domestic work/help, hotels/motels/roadside dhabas, automobile workshops and various other hazardous sectors. The schools dropout rate also a serious concern in the district.

The recent amended “Child Labour Prohibition and Regulation Act, 1986” in 2016, that prohibits the employment of children below the age of 14 years except in non-hazardous family enterprises or the entertainment industry, on the condition that such work does not interfere with their  education.

The District Level Task Force on Child Labour (labour department) and the District Child Protection Unit (DCPU) is the major stakeholder including the and Child Welfare Committee has been responsible to stop child labour including rescue, rehabilitation, reintegration of children engaged in work with a coordinated efforts. The district child protection unit (DCPU) has rescued child labour 135 in 2015-16 and 171 in 2016-17 through ‘Operation Muskan’. Child Line has also been assigned with a helpline i.e. 1098 to report and create awareness in the district.

To stop child labour and various other type of slavery the administration seriously in need of a detailed census of vulnerable children in the district for this they have to conduct specials census. Coordination and convergence between various departments need to be organised, rescue, rehabilitation of children should be done in a war footing manner, training of various staff engaged in service delivery to the protection children need to conducted and the gap in staff engagement need to fulfil, creating awareness among citizens, business community and law enfacement agencies and other stakeholders need to done to strengthen responsibility and accountability and protect children from various types of slavery.

Noted here Youth for Social Development (YSD) has been working on issues of children and protection of their rights since 2007 with more than 30000 children in two districts (Ganjam, Nayagarh and Gajapati ). In this occasion YSD team Chandan, Abhiram, Prakash has coordinated the campaign.

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