BBA is known for its innovative and multifaceted initiatives and campaigns that target the abolition of trafficking and forced labour.
Victims’ Assistance Database - A BBA initiative
BBA was first in initiating an organised and standardized approach to designing and developing a database for child labour in 2008. There was no predecessor to fall back on for reference and the scattered thoughts were painfully collated to finally come up with the present version that encapsulates the entire life cycle of children in need of care and protection, with special focus on child labour. The life cycle starts with the identification of child labour and goes on to capture complaints lodged with legal authorities, raid and rescue operations, short term and long term rehabilitation and case studies of the victims. Over 200 parameters are recorded for each child and in October 2013, the database comprised information on over 13,000 child/bonded laborers. This also includes information on
- 2800 offenders
- Over 300 copies of registered cases (FIR)
- More than 5000 identified source points of trafficking and close to 100 destination points across India
- Close to 800 cases of raids, withdrawals and legal intervention details
- Rehabilitation details of thousands of victims of trafficking and child labour
- Hundreds of photographic and media evidences of interventions and close to a thousand identification details
The database has proven to be a treasure trove not only for internal reporting, research and operational decision making but has been valuable for third party research as well. It has also played a crucial role in the work of BBA’s legal team and has paved the way for several landmark judgments by the Supreme Court of India and the Delhi High Court. In many cases, the database has helped securing government rehabilitation money for victims and has proven to be the only source of reliable data.
The All India Legal Aid Cell on Child Rights is a bilateral collaboration between the National Legal Authority Services of India and Bachpan Bachao Andolan. In view of the urgent need for initiating legal action for the prosecution and punishment of violators of child rights and to uphold all child rights, including access to rehabilitation and other social integration schemes, this legal aid cell is envisaged as a one-point stop. The Legal Aid Cell not only extends support by providing free legal aid and advice but also makes recommendations to the victims and other appropriate authorities to ensure effective and proper implementation of the laws.
The unique intervention model Child Friendly Villages (Bal Mitra Gram) is universally accepted as an innovative development model and as one of the best tactics for combating child labour, protecting child rights and ensuring access to quality education for all.
Policy Advocacy Campaigns
Through its innovative campaigns, BBA has been at the forefront of creating the demand for a child friendly society, in which all children are free from exploitation and exclusion.
BBA has led some of the largest public awareness and policy advocacy campaigns in the world. This includes the 80,000 km long Global March Against Child Labour in 1998 that supported the adoption of ILO Convention 182 on the worst forms of child labour. More than 10 million people joined the march in 103 countries and the campaign resulted in over 72 million people signing the petition for an international law on child labour.
BBA’s campaign on education Siksha Yatra included a six-month long march that spread over 15,000 km.
In 2007, BBA led the biggest campaign against child trafficking for forced labour in form of the 1500 km long South Asian March Against Child Trafficking for Forced Labour. Former victims of trafficking marched from Kolkata to Delhi, thereby crossing the borders of Bangladesh, Nepal and India and spreading awareness about trafficking and forced labour of children.
In 2012, the Child Labour Free Campaign resulted in the Government of India announcing a proposed amendment to the Child Labour Prohibition and Regulation Act, accepting BBA’s demand for a total ban on child labour till the age of fourteen years and a ban and prohibition on the employment of children in hazardous applications and processes till the age of 18 years.
BBA frequently organizes public awareness campaigns across the country, thereby highlighting the difficulties faced by children in getting access to quality education. These campaigns range from organizing public hearings and marches to specific campaigns such as the Global Education Week.
In the BBA led Mica Campaign, more than 300 bicycles were distributed to girls from the mica mining areas of India, who faced problems travelling to school. The 2003 Zari Campaign was dedicated to the problem of child labourers in the Zari (embroidery) units in the capital. Following the campaign, raids were conducted by BBA, government departments and other NGOs, which resulted in the rescue of over 1805 children from the Zari industry between 2004 and 2006.
The Child Labour Free India Campaign, organised by BBA in 2012, demanded the total ban on child labour in India.
Since 2008, BBA has annually organised a nation-wide campaign called the India Action Week.
Another on-going campaign, Mukti Caravan, has been launched in 2006. It is a “campaign on wheels” by former child labourers, trained in folk’s art and street theater. Since BBA has send off the first Mukti Caravan, the activists have visited many villages, where they have created a better understanding of the need for education and the evil of trafficking and child labour.
The founder of BBA, Kailash Satyarthi, has also been among the founding members of the Rugmark labeling scheme. Rugmark has raised consumer awareness on child labour in the carpet industry and had a ripple effect across global supply chains. The Rugmark logo has been awarded to carpet manufacturers that followed the certification criteria of Rugmark and had undergone inspection through Rugmark officials, proving that they are child-labour free. Rugmark is nowadays known under the label GoodWeave International.