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End the enslavement of millions of Indian children

Update May 13, 2015: The Indian Cabinet has approved a proposal to ban employment of children under 14 years in all kinds of commercial enterprises with an exception for work done in family enterprises and on farmlands provided it is done after school hours and during vacations. Employment of adolescents (14 to 18 years) in hazardous occupations and processes will also be barred, and the changes will provide for harsher punishment for violation. 

Every day, millions of children in India wake up with nothing to look forward to except hours of back-breaking labour working everywhere from stone quarries to carpet factories to rice mills. Children as young as 5 years-old are kept from school, forced to work 7 days a week for up to 18 hours a day and end up with crippling injuries, respiratory disorders and chronic pain.

Because these children are often left illiterate and plagued with health problems, they are – in a cruel twist of fate – less likely to find employment once they reach adulthood. This continued enslavement of children traps generations of Indians in a vicious cycle of slavery, illiteracy and poverty.

Thankfully, the Indian Parliament is considering legislation called the “Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Amendment Bill,” which:

  1. Prohibits the employment of children up until 14 years of age,
  2. Outlines harsher sentences for violators of child labour laws and
  3. Provides for monitoring of suspected instances of child slavery.

This legislation would put an end to the enslavement of children in India but it risks not passing without a demonstration of mass public support. For every day the bill is delayed, several children remain at risk of being bought and sold to work in unimaginable conditions of sex slavery, bonded labour and domestic servitude.

Any further delay in the passage of this historic law ending the enslavement of children in their country is simply unacceptable and we need to build massive public pressure that leaders in India cannot ignore.

Call on the Indian Parliament to immediately pass the “Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Amendment Bill” and end child slavery in India.

In partnership with

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Global March Against Child Labour is a worldwide movement of trade unions, teachers’ and non-governmental organizations for strengthening international efforts to protect and promote the rights of all children with a special emphasis on their freedom from economic exploitation and their right to full-time quality basic education.