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Around 444 million children, or 37 per cent of India’s population, are below the age of 18 years (Census 2011). However one in four children of school-going age are out of school and about 99 million children in total have dropped out of school. Census 2011 indicates that there are over 8.2 million child labourers in the country.
Poverty, unemployment / under employment, caste and gender discrimination, low level of education, inaccessibility to social security measures are the main causes of child labour. The increasing gap between the rich and the poor, privatisation and the economic reforms have adversely impacted children.
The Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Amendment Act, 2016 (CLPRA), by the Government has made the situation worse for these children who work as domestic workers, in hotels and eateries, as rag pickers, helpers in shops, labour at construction sites in urban areas and engaged in agriculture and allied occupations like cattle rearing, mining related activities, family based enterprises, in the rural areas.
In this context a two day National Consultation on Child Labour was organised with 65 children from 14 states and union territories in the Capital on 29-30 April, 2017 – an initiative of the Time to Talk Campaign (a joint initiative of CACL and various networks and organisations supported by terre des hommes Germany) and Campaign against Child Labour (CACL). The video is on the consultation and the interface of working children with the government and other authorities.