Dalit child labour violations

Child laborers are still employed in tea shops, restaurants, salt pantries, workshops, garbage collection, cleaning, construction, dyeing factories, drum playing and dancing, match factories and firework construction. Though there are various reasons for the prevalence of dalit child labor, caste, untouchability and atrocities are the main factors. Due to the untouchability and violations imposed on dalit children, they are affected both physically and psychologically.

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child states that child labor should be abolished. Only when children’s rights to life, protection, development, and participation are established can we build an equal and dignified society. This treaty was established in 1989, signed shortly after by the Indian government in 1992. According to Article 24 of the Indian Constitution, children should not be employed to work. Every child below the age of 14 should be provided with standard, free, compulsory and safe education. A special law, the Child Labor (Prohibition and Regulation) Act was established in 1986 to abolish child labor. Aside from this law, other special acts such as the Factories Act of 1948, the Motor Transport Workers Act of 1961, the Beedi and Cigar Workers act 1966, and the Tamil Nadu Shops and Establishment Act of 1947 have been formed and implemented to abolish child labor.

The Tamilnadu government has announced that the districts of Madurai, Sivagangai, Ramanathapuram, Tanjore, Perambalur, Cuddalore, Pudhukottai, Villupuram and Kaniyakumari are child labor free districts. Social activists have questioned the truth of this announcement. Is child labor abolished in these above mentioned districts? On what basis has the Tamilnadu government decided to announce these districts as child labor free districts? Is there any proper research backing up this claim? Is there any committee functioning to monitor child labor? Is this committee functioning properly? What are the limitations of child labor according to the government? What is the position of child laborers, who are restricted from these limitations?

Objectives and research procedures
State and national level research studies on atrocities against children and child rights have been conducted previously. These research studies have revealed the prevalence of violations such as child labor, kidnapping, sex trafficking, and bonded labor. When we analyzed these studies, we found that most affected among these children are dalit children. No one could deny this statement. Though there are various reasons for the prevalence of dalit child labor, caste, untouchability and atrocities are the main factors. Due to the untouchability and violations imposed on dalit children, they are affected both physically and psychologically. Untouchability is a social injustice which violates the rights of the child. Our EVIDENCE organization wishes to convey to the government that dalit children face not only physical abuse, but also social discrimination…

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