State

Kohima Police releases video on child labour

Correspondent KOHIMA, JUN 11 (NPN) | Publish Date: 6/11/2019 11:50:26 AM IST

Considering the growing incidences of child abuse and child labour in the State, Kohima Police has initiated in producing a video on child labour and released here on Tuesday evening on the eve of World Day Against Child Labour. This year, the theme for the World Day Against Child Labour will be “Children shouldn’t work in fields, but on dreams”.

The six-minute 59-second video clip portrays an adamant government officer and his wife abusing a 12-year-old domestic help without realising about its legal consequences.

The video has been produced by Dreamz Unlimited and its concept was given by North Kohima SDPO M Yambemo Humtsoe.

India is sadly home to the largest number of child labourers in the world and though most children begin work at a young age due to economic reasons, doing so allows them to break from some social constraints as.

As per reports, there has been a growing demand for household help and use of children for doing domestic tasks urban areas where these children are forced to perform all sorts of work even as they lose all their freedom and essentially become slaves.

According to the officer, many child labour and child abuse cases go unreported In Nagaland.

Meanwhile, the SDPO said minor children from rural areas were brought to towns on the pretext of ensuring them better education and life, but they ended up as domestic helps with a wretched living condition, even as most parents of these kids did not realise the reality and the hardships faced by their loved ones. He said there were instances of cases being registered in the State regarding abuse of domestic help, mostly children.

A prominent person working for child welfare, but did not wish to be named, observed that in other States, domestic help were brought from neighbouring States. However, she said Nagas ill-treated their own children in Nagaland by keeping Naga domestic helps and made it a tribal issue between the guardian and the children’s parents whenever any issue arose.

Despite various Acts for child protection, she regretted that only about 40% of them were actually implemented, adding that judiciary system too could no longer be trusted as it was manipulated. She said many child labour and child abuse cases were not even reported, except for few rape or sexual abuse cases.

It may be mentioned that Child and Adolescent Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986 prohibits employment of children below the age of 14 years in any job, including as a domestic help. 

The Act also prohibits employment of adolescents, i.e., between 15 and 18 years of age, in any hazardous occupation and processes, and it is a cognisable criminal offence and punishable with imprisonment up to two years or fine up to Rs 50,000 or both. Further, Article 24 of the Fundamental Rights mentioned in the Constitution of India under Right Against Exploitation prohibits employment of children below the age of 14 years in any factory or mine or engagement in any other hazardous job.

Further, the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection) of Children Act, 2015 has made it a crime, punishable with a prison term, for anyone to procure or employ a child in any hazardous employment or in bondage.

Similarly, the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986 defines a “Child” as any person below the age of 14 and prohibits employment of a child in any employment, including as a domestic help. It is a cognisable criminal offence to employ a child for any work and shall be punishable with imprisonment up to one year or fine up to Rs 20,000 or both.

Child rights activists observe that there is an urgent need to change the mindset of people who employ young children, especially the middle-class and the affluent section of the society, as the long-term harm done to children in terms of depriving them of opportunities like going to school and developing their capabilities ultimately leads to creation of a section in the society who forever remains deprived. 

 

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