Successful National Consultation on Child Labour Free Zones in India
In August, Stop Child Labour organized the National Consultation ‘Stepping Stones for creating Child Labour Free Zones’ in New Delhi, India. The purpose of the consultation was to share best practices and the concept of the area based approach towards creating child labour free zones with different stakeholders and to explore avenues of collaboration in addressing the issue of child labour.
With the participation of 135 delegates from 16 states, the Consultation was a big success. These delegates represented diverse stakeholders who are engaged in eradicating child labour – social activists, government officials, business executives, international organizations, NGO’s, labour unions, journalists, academics, and others.
During the consultation the participants concurred that poverty is not the sole cause of child labour; they insisted that child labour is not caused by parents who don’t care about their children. Based on their experience, study and analysis, the delegates asserted that child labour is caused by multiple structural inequalities, including caste, gender, class, and disability. The delegates pledged to work for the total abolition of child labour in all its forms.
Given its timing, the Consultation also critiqued the recently enacted Child and Adolescent Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act Amendment 2016 (CLPRA). The Consultation combined speaker-led sessions, moderated discussions, informal conversations over breaks and resulted in the development of the Delhi Declaration on Child Labour Free India. This declaration will be submitted to the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) once it is finalized.