|From WORK to SCHOOL Campaign
From WORK to SCHOOL campaign will be a month-long campaign from October 2006 to focus on elimination of child labour, especially child domestic labour and child labour in service industry, and ensure free quality and compulsory primary education for all children.
From WORK to SCHOOL campaign will be a nationwide campaign to create awareness on the plight of child labourers, child bonded labourers, children trafficked for forced labour especially CHILD DOMESTIC LABOURERS and CHILDREN WORKING IN TEA-STALLS, DHABAS, ETC.
The first step of the From WORK to SCHOOL campaign is to make “invisible” child domestic labour a visible and urgent issue. The main objective of the campaign is to create mass awareness and public action on child domestic labour with the aim to eliminate all forms of child labour and provide free quality and compulsory primary education to all children.
A comprehensive approach to eliminate child labour and replace it with universal education requires a focus on bringing to justice those responsible for this crime, and on carrying out effective measures to prevent it, while maintaining a humanitarian and compassionate approach in rendering assistance to its victims.
From Work to School Campaign to start on 6th October 2006
The recent notification coming into effect on October 10th will remain a toothless tiger until action is taken to implement the law by the authorities concerned- the labour department, the police and a sensitised society. At the same time, awareness must be generated among the public about the new law and the ban to employ children in homes and dhabas/restaurants etc.
It is with this view that BBA is planning a month long campaign in New Delhi, Rajasthan, Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh starting from October 6th, 2006.
(06- 13 October 06)
(14 - 21 October 06)
(22 - 28 October 06)
(29 Oct. - 03 Nov. 06)
House-to-house, person-to-person awareness is essential to end child domestic labour. Awareness activities involve
Campaign on wheels (FREEDOM CARAVAN)
Involvement of print and electronic media
Sticker campaign with the distribution of “This Home is Child Labour Free” sticker to lead not only to raise awareness but also to act as positive reinforcement.
Emphasis would be on the recent notification under the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, which has banned child domestic labour and child labour in service industry. From 10 October 2006, employing child domestics below 14 years of age is a CRIME
Post Awareness week, from 10th October 2006, people would be encouraged to file complaints on the employment of underage children as domestic helps or child labourers in service industry.
Child participation is at the core of our campaign. Student volunteers, former child labourers, and other children will be leading the way of campaign activities.
By educating children on the issue, we can educate their parents, communities, and the society as a whole.
Mass picketing would also be done in areas identified as prone to child labour and where child domestic labour is prevalent.
Following complaints and reports of child labourers especially child domestic labourers and children working in roadside dhabas, tea-stalls, etc., the direct action week would see large-scale rescue, withdrawal and repatriation of child labourers.
Liaise with the government and concerned departments for rehabilitation and repatriation of the rescued child labourers under the appropriate laws.
It is imperative that children who work in conditions that are life threatening, physically or psychologically disabling, morally degrading or which are detrimental to their physical or moral integrity must be removed and rehabilitated as top priority.
Follow-up through socio-economic rehabilitation, reintegration and education of children is integral to the success of any child labour elimination strategy. The government must create the trust and optimism in society that elimination of child labour is achievable!
Freedom Caravan is a folk team of 8 children who perform plays, skits etc. and move around the community to build awareness against child labour and other social evils. These former child labourers weave their plays and skits around their own experiences to effectively deliver the message to the village folk. Their stories not only prevent potential child labour in the villages and promote education, but also deliver hope that a bright life beyond servitude exists for the scores of children trapped in servitude.
Freedom Caravan, a mobile van would do rounds in the localities of Delhi raising awareness on the problem of child domestic labour and the latest ban coming into effect on 10th October 2006. Corner meetings will be held at several places in the capital city to raise awareness. Hotspots like Mongolpuri and Yamunapar which are the sources for child labour in the city on the one hand and Vasant Kunj, Defence Colony which are the areas where they are mainly employed will be covered by the Freedom Caravan. The Caravan will have a theatre troupe of 8 members who will spread the word through their plays and skits.
Meetings are on with Resident Welfare Associations to join the fight against child domestic labour and to make their RWAs child domestic labour free. All RWAs are invited to join BBA in its efforts to remove children from domestic help and in dhabas/restaurants cafes etc within their precincts.
Freedom Caravan in other states
With the support of PVR Nest of PVR Cinemas, the Mukti Caravan will travel from New Delhi to Mumbai covering a distance of 1400 km spreading the message on the law and banning child labour in homes and dhabas/restaurants as it covers the states of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra. This awareness drive would target the roadside dhabas that are present across the highway from Delhi to Mumbai.
BBA partners with PVR Cinemas for ‘From Work to School’ campaign
PVR Cinemas’s PVR Nest has joined hands with BBA to support the From Work to School Campaign. With this initiative, PVR Nest aims to create child friendly PVRs, i.e. to ensure that children are not employed in any of the businesses within its premises as well as the surrounding areas. This is in sync with BBA’s objective to build a child friendly society where no child is engaged in child labour and all are in school.
On the 6th October, “From Work to School” Campaign will be launched at PVR Priya Cinema, New Delhi in the esteemed presence of Mahesh Bhatt, film doyen and a noted social activist. Mahesh Bhatt would launch a poster besides exhorting the public to not employ children as domestic help in their homes. Sanjeev Kumar Bijli, the Executive Director of PVR would explain the PVR Cinemas social initiatives. Ashraf, the lodestar of BBA’s child domestic labour campaign would also be present for the program. School and college students who have become a part of the campaign through BBA’s college and school initiative would also lend their support for the cause.
The Mukti caravan team will perform in the premises before the general public. Children of PVR Nest’s Childscapes would also perform along with the Mukti Caravan team. Later, the caravan will be flagged off for its tour to the residential areas of the city.
Youth is the backbone of any social movement. They are the best advocates for their peers. To bring them into the fold of the campaign is thus a natural outcome. BBA’s young team has vigorously many colleges in Delhi have pledged their support to the cause. Several students from these colleges have come forward to volunteer their spare time to eliminate child labour in their vicinity.
The following are some of the responses obtained from some students.
“It is necessary to make the country aware of the bad plight of children in different exploitative forms of labour. Please tell the country of the people who are in bad condition. Enlighten whole country”
“I will keep up a watch on child labour in my neighbourhood. And I shall report to the police and will participate in your awareness campaign to make others like me aware.”
“We want to make a team of youngsters who will fight for children. I am really sure that with your wonderful work of generating awareness, a huge number of youngsters would join your movement”
“It is just an excellent job, so keep going. You are all saving the future of our nation and we are proud of you”
BBA activits have conducted 11 workshops in various departments of 6 colleges (Khalsa Evening, Deshbandhu College, Zakir Hussain College, Institute of Home Economics, Jamia Miliya Islamiya, Dr. B. R. Ambedkar College)
Peer Sensitization - Report (pdf)
Expression of Child Rights by college students during the intercollege competition
Child Domestic Labour
Child domestic labour refers to situations where children are engaged to perform domestic tasks in the home of a third party or employer that are exploitative. Whenever such exploitation is extreme - and includes trafficking, slavery-like situations, or work that is hazardous and harmful to a child's physical or mental health - it is considered one of the worst forms of child labour.
Domestic work undertaken by children under the legal minimum working age, as well as by children above the legal minimum age but under the age of 18 under slavery-like, hazardous or other exploitative conditions – a form of ‘child labour to be eliminated’ as defined in international treaties.
Child Domestic Labourers
Child domestic servants are children under the age of 18 who work in households that are not their own undertaking household chores such as cooking, cleaning, taking care of other children, and running errands.
Child Domestic Labour is Hazardous
Almost without exception, children who are in domestic labour are victims of exploitation, often of several different kinds. They are exploited economically: forced to work long hours with no time off, low or no wages. They are exploited because they generally have no social or legal protection, and suffer harsh working conditions. They invariably are deprived of the rights due to them as children in international law, including the right to play, health, and freedom from sexual abuse and harassment, visits to or from their family, association with friends, decent accommodation, and protection from physical and mental abuse.
Child Domestic Labour is one of the Worst Forms of Child Labour
Child domestic labour that is extremely hazardous to the child because of the tasks given, conditions of work or physical, emotional and sexual abuse; practices similar to slavery such as debt bondage or forced labour, and child domestic labour into which a child has been trafficked.Where a child under the age of 18 is engaged in domestic labour and works under conditions that are hazardous, then this constitutes a "worst form of child labour" and must be eliminated as a matter of urgency. This would also be true of situations where the child has been trafficked into domestic labour, or where debt bondage or other practices similar to slavery exist. The term worst form of child domestic labour is used for such exploitation, to reflect the extreme risk to the child and echoing the immediate elimination called for in the Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention, 1999 (No.182).Once a child is inside an employer’s home, s/he is effectively hidden from view. As a result, employers of children in domestic service have total control over their lives. This is a high-risk situation for the child. Violence and abuse (of many different kinds) can take place behind closed doors, unnoticed by the outside world, and in such cases the child is considered to be in a worst form of child labour.
Understanding Child Domestic Labour
Powerlessness and inferior status cause the child loss of self-esteem. The servility typically demanded in the occupation is one of the strongest violations of human rights. A sense of enslaved is reinforced when a child is not allowed to leave the house. Daily experience of discrimination and isolation is the strongest burden borne by the child domestic. The capacity to resist sexual advances or negotiate for fair treatment is non-existent, emotionally as well as practically.
- Domestic work is among the lowest status, least regulated, and poorest remunerated of all occupations, whether preformed by adults or children;
- Most child domestics live in, and are under the exclusive, round the clock control of the employer, they have little freedom or free time;
- About 90 percent of child domestics are girls, their powerlessness within the household renders them especially vulnerable to sexual abuse;
- The “invisibility” of child domestic labour also derives from the fact that the majority are girls. Doing domestic work in a household other than their own is seen as merely an extension of their duties and the concept of employment is missing.
- Since it is possible for very young children to undertake light household tasks, the age of entry can be as young as five;
- Most child domestics do not get paid, the meagre earnings of others are commonly given to parents or people often referred to as “aunties” or “uncles”, but who in reality are unrelated recruitment/ placement agents.
- The live in child domestic is cut off from her or his family, has little opportunity to make friends, almost no social exchange with peers and is invariably denied her or his right to education and development;
- In India, particular groups regarded as subservient have traditionally supplied others with domestic work. For example, children of low-status groups may be ‘bonded’ to an employer to work as domestic worker to pay off the debt incurred by their parents or even grandparents.
- Children tend to be moved from their rural villages to urban centres to cater to the growing middle-class need for domestic servants. Many ‘job placement agents’ have proliferated and driven the growth in trafficking. These agents pick up children on the streets or traffic them from villages to sell them into employment.
- Typically, there are no specific hours or tasks allocated to child domestics. They do what their employers ask them to do, at any time of day or night. Typical tasks include cooking, washing and ironing clothes, cleaning, shopping and looking after the employers’ children – including escorting them to and from school and carrying their bags.
- Sleeping and eating arrangements typically separate child domestics from other members of the household and reinforce their sense of inferiority. Child domestics rarely have a place of their own to sleep, and are expected to sleep on any available space, such as the kitchen floor or on the bedroom floor of their employers’ children. The often eat the leftovers after the entire family has eaten. Meals are regularly withheld as a means of punishment as well.
- The health risks and the risk to well-being are mainly related to the 24 hour x 7 days on call nature of the work. Accidents associated with the household tasks are also common – burning, branding, cuts, etc. In case of breakages or poor performance, the child domestics are severely and violently punished, often to the extent of beatings within an inch of their lives or sexually abused.
- Few child domestics attend school, and those that do drop out at an early age, as the demands of the household tasks takes precedence over school. Lack of schooling not only reduces skills and knowledge, but limits personal development.
Child Labour is a Crime
IPC section 374
According to this section that whoever unlawfully compels any person to labour against the will of that person, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to one year or with fine or both.
The Child Labour (Prohibition & Regulation) Act, 1986
The act prohibits the employment of children below the age of 14 in factories, mines and in other forms of hazardous employment (including domestic labour and service industry), and regulates the working conditions of children in other employment.
Government servants are prohibited from employing children as domestic servants. Through the recent notification effective from 10 October 2006, the government has imposed these restrictions on everyone.
Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000
Under this act any person responsible for abuse assault and neglect or causing physical or mental suffering can be punished for up to 6 months and/or fined.
Also any person who procure a juvenile or the child for hazardous work, keeps him in bondage and withholds the child's earnings or uses them for his own purpose is liable for imprisonment up to 3 years and also a fine.
Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act, 1976
Under this act any kind of forced labour including child labour is a punishable offence. There are many incidences where judiciary has acted for elimination of child labour and has dealt with it as forced labour or bonded labour.
Supreme Court Directions on Child Labour
The Supreme Court of India, 1996 has given certain directions regarding the manner in which children working in the hazardous occupations are to be withdrawn from work and rehabilitated, and the manner in which the working conditions of children working in non-hazardous occupations are to be regulated and improved.
The judgment of the Supreme Court envisages:
- Withdrawal of children working in hazardous industries and ensuring their education in appropriate institutions;
- Contribution of Rs.20,000 per child to be paid by the offending employers of children to a welfare fund to be established for this purpose;
- Employment to one adult member of the family of the child so withdrawn from work, and if that is not possible a contribution of Rs.5000 to the welfare fund to be made by the State Government;
- Financial assistance to the families of the children so withdrawn to be paid out of the interest earnings on the corpus of Rs. 20,000 or Rs. 25,000 deposited in the welfare fund as long as the child is actually sent to the schools.
In a nutshell, the recent notification regarding child labour simply means that any body employing children of 14 years of age, can be prosecuted as a criminal. It also means that government is accountable to deal with child domestic labour as a crime, and should make all efforts for its control and elimination. It should also make arrangements to provide justice, compensation and rehabilitation to the victim.
I Pledge...for Childhood
I pledge that I will not employ any child servants/ labourers in my home or business. I understand that child labour is a crime and a gross violation of a child's right to freedom and childhood. I will also try to create awareness to stop all forms of child labour.
I pledge to speak out against exploitation of children and in favour of education for all children.
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Child Labour Campaign
As part of the campaign against child
labour, a series of activities was organised.
A collaborative effort between SACCS/BBA
and National Human Rights Commission
which stated with the Ashraf case in
1996 and subsequently resulted in the amendment of
service rules of Central Government
servant which stipulates that employing
children below the age of 14 years is
Khatoon, 13, was at the
receiving end of her employer
for a long time. Her head
was oozing with blood and
the whole body was scarred
with nail injuries when
BBA activists rescued her
through a secret raid on
the house of Dolly, the
employer at Batala House
in New Delhi on 24th January'03.
What emerged was a tale
of horror, brutality and
cruelty of the worst kind.
She was brought from Jahanabad
district of Bihar to work
for Dolly as a domestic
child labourer six months
before her rescue. She was
hit repeatedly by her employer
on the head with an iron
rod for eating a slice of
bread without permission.
She was not given any medical
treatment. This was not
a day's incident but it
used to happen daily. Dolly
was arrested and her bail
was rejected for 6 months.
Hon'ble Judge directed the
police and the girl's family
to ensure full protection
and medical care for the
of Child Domestic Servants
NGO volunteers may work with local law
enforcement units to investigate cases
of child domestic servitude whenever
it is possible. Main purpose is to identify
cases and areas where children are being
exploited as domestic servants, and
to release the children in the worst
forms of child labour. In this regard, photo and video documentation of
the raids may be useful to educate
the village community to the
hardships of children working as domestic
of Child Domestic Workers
SACCS/BBA are in the process of establishing
an extensive listing of rehabilitation
resources meant for child labours. It
is also planned to push for rehabilitation
of children with the government authorities.
The involvement of NGOs is crucial at
Labour Free Home Sticker Campaign
Child Labour Free Home Sticker Campaign
is a door-to-door campaign against domestic
child servitude to help make communities
Child Exploitation Free. While investigating
the use of children as domestic servants
in different area, stickers are pasted
on the door whenever a child is not
found working, and the homeowner supports
the campaign. This activity can be carried
out by interested school children as
sensitise school-going children about
the hardship and suffering faced by
child domestic servants, theatre
plays can be performed at school. Mini-marches, rallies, wall-writings
and school competition(debate, painting,
etc.) can also be organised at public
places to generate awareness on the
issue. The aim of the school campaign
is not only for sensitising children
to the plight of child domestic workers,
but to encourage them to report on
cases of child domestic servitude.
Interest Litigation will be initiated
at the national level to bring justice
to the millions of children working
as domestic slaves in India. For that,
we are planning to document cases of
child domestic workers, in cooperation
with other NGOs, so that the case can
be argued to the Supreme Court of India.
build pressure against domestic servitude,
state-level NGOs will be encouraged
to approach the State Legal Board to
ensure that cases of domestic child
labourers are treated as Public Interest
governments that have not passed amendments
to the Civil Services Conduct Rules
for public servants will also be
targeted under this Campaign to ensure
that no government employee is using
any child as his or her personal servant.
State Human Rights Commission may be
of much help in this regard.
address the instances of brutality committed
against domestic child labourers, we
will encourage local NGOs to pursue
cases in court, or with the local
Juvenile Welfare Board.
In support of our judicial action, SACCS/BBA
have initiated a petition calling on
the Parliament of India to establish
and effectively implement a national
law protecting children from domestic
servitude. SACCS/BBA are also pressuring
the Parliament to ratify and implement
ILO Convention 182 and vigorously implement
the Civil Service (Conduct) Rules to
prohibit government officials from using
children as their personal servants,
and to allocate sufficient regular budget
for basic education, for the rehabilitation
of children rescued from domestic servitude,
and for income generating programs for
the families of children in domestic
from different groups among civil society
that they will not employ children as
their domestic servants
SACCS/BBAwould like to have ministers,
leaders of opposition parties, MLAs,
foreign diplomats, IAS and IPS
officers, public servants, celebrities,
and businessmen declaring that they
will not use children as domestic servants.
Following this, SACCS/BBA would like
to investigate some of them on their
use of domestic child labour.
of Domestic Child Labour
For preventing children from entering
domestic work, painting and photo exhibition
on domestic child labour issue, and
video documentation of the rescue missions
will be displayed to their parents,
especially in far-off villages. SACCS/BBA
also plan to link the parents of domestic
servants to training and income-generating
activities as an alternative to sending
their children to domestic work.