The commission reaches out to child rights commission heads of four states — Jharkhand, Bihar, West Bengal and UP — with letter
The Maharashtra State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (MSCPCR) has been consistently fighting to put an end to child labour in Maharashtra for quite some time now. Taking into consideration the number of children from other states being rescued in Mumbai and other parts of Maharashtra off late, the commission has now written to the heads of child rights commissions of four states —Jharkhand, Bihar, West Bengal and UP — seeking help to put an end to the issue.
Children are lured to cities like Mumbai on the promise of fake jobs. File pic
In the letter, the commission noted that most of the children rescued from Maharashtra are brought from these four states for employment by a gang of traffickers who operate in the said states. A local study conducted by the MSCPCR authorities only reconfirmed this. “Kids mainly from Jharkhand, Bihar, Assam and other north eastern states, UP as well as Nepal are being trafficked. Fake promises of marriage, employment and education are given to most of these children who are brought to bigger cities like Mumbai,” states the letter.
The commission has requested the state heads to put in place a mechanism to crack such trafficking networks. The letter stresses on the need for a meeting of state authorities to discuss the issue in detail.
Jaipur, Hyderabad lure young children “The constitution clearly states that children below the age of 14 should not be employed for work in mines, factories or as domestic help. But in the recent past, many cases have been registered where young children have been rescued from factories, small scale industries, and so on. This is a clear violation of the law,” said AN Tripathi, secretary, MSCPCR.
In November 2014, the commission had conducted a conference addressing the issue of child labour and sought help from local NGOs working towards betterment of kids. In the conference, these NGOs had highlighted how rescued children often end up coming back to cities like Mumbai, and had emphasised on the need to increase employment and education opportunities in the said states to end trafficking. “We have also put forth other suggestions for awareness programmes, counselling of parents, taking help of religious and social leaders, NGOs and the civil society to reach out to the masses,” adds the letter. It also highlights that apart from Mumbai, cities such as Jaipur and Hyderabad are also attracting such young children.
“The need of the hour is to ensure that children are not made targets time and again. Once rescued, the child should get a chance to lead a normal life and not be pulled back into the vicious circle of employment and child labour,”
Put perpetrators behind bars for long The commission had previously written to the central government, urging them to put in place stringent rules against such perpetrators and to ensure that once caught, the traffickers or employers will get arrested and put behind bars for a longer period of time.
“We have also discussed this matter with the central government Department of Women and Child Development and Labour and requested them to take measures in this regard,” added Tripathi.