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Sunday, November 05, 2006

Strategies to eradicate child labour reviewed at Tuticorin

The Collector, R. Palaniyandi, reviewed the strategies adopted to eradicate child labour in the district after the State Government prohibited child labour in `home and hospitality sectors' from October 10, at a meeting of officials from various departments here on Friday.

He asked officials from National Child Labour Project (NCLP), Labour Department and other line departments to step up the vigil and prevent employment of children below 14 years in houses, resorts, road-side eateries, spas and other recreational centres across the district, with the help of a detailed action plan.

"The notification for the ban on child labour in these sectors was an important step since youngsters employed in these occupations have long working hours and live in extremely difficult conditions without basic amenities like toilet facilities and place for resting," he added.

Such employment forces the children to undertake many hazardous activities, which would affect the psyche and health of them.

"At times, they were even subjected to physical violence, psychological trauma and sexual abuse, which otherwise might go unreported," Dr Palaniyandi said.

Reiterating the need for convergence of services to achieve the newly set goals in the eradication of child labour, he said departments of Education, Labour, Factories, Social Welfare and Rural Development should join hands to conduct awareness campaigns on a massive scale.

The Collector instructed the officials to enforce the Child Labour Act, Factories Act, Catering Establishment Act, Minimum Wages Act and Motor Transport Workers Act, more stringently without any impediment.

He also gave directions to them to conduct exclusive meetings for flat owners associations, NGOs, and hotel owners associations, to sensitise them to the provisions of Child Labour Act.

"A survey on child workers in respect of domestic employment should be conducted, to find out the prevalence of children in such occupations, if any," he said.

Dr. Palaniyandi warned that a fine of Rs 20,000 and imprisonment would be awarded to those who employed children below 14 years in the `home and hospitality sectors'.

The Collector urged the public to report the cases of child labour to the special cell set up at the Collectorate. (Telephone numbers: 0461-2340606 and 2335095)

M. Nallaperumal, Project Director, NCLP, and senior officials from various departments attended the meeting.

Source: The Hindu

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