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New laws legalise child labour in India: Activist in UN

New laws legalise child labour in India: Activist in UN

New York: During a high-level meeting in the United Nations on Wednesday, an Indian representative told members of the UN General Assembly that some of the recently enacted laws have legalised child labour in many sectors in India.

Ruchira Gupta, while representing Apne Aap Women Worldwide, an award-winning organisation that works against sex trafficking in India, addressing the General Assembly said, there are two laws “which are very very problematic” and will have a very dangerous impact on poorest of the poor girls, reports India.

One law was passed in September last year, she said. “That law has legalised child labour in my country in many sectors like family-based enterprises and audio-visual entertainment. It has also removed the ILO-IPEC list of hazardous industries that children should never be employed in,” she alleged.

The second law in the works is trying to delink trafficking from sexual exploitation, Gupta said.
“Both laws together will make 80 percent of victims of human trafficking for sexual and labour exploitation invisible,” she said.

The new laws collectively will create data with a decreased percentage, but in reality, it will increase the numbers of child labourers and prostituted children, Gupta said.

“Trafficking is for both sexual and labour exploitation and we need to combat both as we implement the Global Plan of Action to combat trafficking,” she said.

Gupta was one of the few representatives from the NGO sector who were allowed to speak at the meeting.