“In 2017, India made a significant advancement in efforts to eliminate the worst forms of child labour,” the US Department of Labor said in its annual ‘Child Labour and Forced Labour’ report.
This year, the report uses more stringent criteria to assess the efforts of 132 countries and territories to address child labour, the report added.
The Department of Labor said the Indian government ratified both ILO Convention 182 and Convention 138 and amended the Child Labor Act to prohibit children under the age of 18 years from working in hazardous occupations and processes.
The government also launched the ‘Platform for Effective Enforcement for No Child Labour’ to more effectively enforce child labour laws and implement the ‘National Child Labour Programme’.
In addition, the government released a new ‘National Plan of Action for Children’ that implements the ‘National Policy for Children’, which includes a focus on child labourers, trafficked children, and other vulnerable children, the report said.
“However, children in India engage in the worst forms of child labour, including in forced labour producing garments and quarrying stones,” the report said, adding that children also perform dangerous tasks of producing bricks.
The report urges the Indian government to collect and publish national-level data on labour law enforcement, including funding, number of labour inspectors, number of violations found and the penalties imposed and collected for child labour law violations.
Recent International Labor Organization estimates show there are still over 152 million child labourers – one in every ten children – and 25 million forced labourers worldwide, he said.