Child Labour PolicyChildren are a valuable asset for any society. They constitute a very large segment of our population. As per 2011 Census, the persons below the age of 14 years account for 29% of the total population while persons between the age group 14-18 years account for another 10% of the total population. The child‟s natural place is at school and the playground. However many children are unfortunately denied these basic development opportunities in childhood. They instead get burdened with work because of poverty, irregular income streams for the family, economic shocks, ignorance, lack of access to social security, education, health facilities, food security etc. The 2013 World Report on Child Labour prepared by the ILO has observed that child labour can compromise the productive capacity of workers during adulthood and thereby constrain both national economic growth and efforts to reduce poverty.
Recognizing that child labour is the outcome of multiple causes and has multiple dimensions, Government of India enacted legislation (1986) and prepared the national policy on child labour (1987) to tackle the problem with a multi-pronged approach. The important pillars of the national policy on the elimination of child labour have been as under:
i) Legislative Action Plan--Strict and effective enforcement of legal provisions relating to child labour under various laws.
ii) Convergence of government developmental programmes – Focus on converging various developmental initiatives to alleviate poverty, provide access to social security, health and education, economic and social empowerment of the child workers and their families.
iii) Project based plan of action – Implementation of National Child Labour Project Scheme (NCLPS) in the areas of high concentration of child labour.