ANSWER: Child Labour
- The Government of India finally decided last week to ratify the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention 182 on the worst forms of child labour and Convention 138 on Minimum Age of Employment.
- The main bottleneck in the way of India ratifying Conventions 182 and 138 was addressing forced or compulsory recruitment of children and appropriately raising the age of employment in hazardous occupations from 14 to 18 years.
- Consequent to the passing of the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2016 by the Indian Parliament, prohibiting the employment of children up to 14 years of age, and children up to 18 years of age in hazardous occupations, we could ratify Conventions 182 and 138.
- Moreover, our failure to ratify the two conventions, which are two of the eight core labour conventions, despite being a founder-member of the ILO, reflected poorly on us as a nation.
- However, under the provisions of the ILO Conventions 182 and 138, India will not adhere to a fixed deadline by which the worst forms of child labour must be eliminated.