August 1, 2021 8:12:44 am
As many as 71 minors, including girls, were rescued from child labour in the seven months in 2021 battering the figures of rescued minors in the last five years.
The 71 rescued minors included 29 girls. They were found working at various places, including hazardous places.
A member of the rescue team said, “The job losses of parents, economic losses during COVID-19 pandemic is one of the reasons why the number of children in the child labour has increased this year. The counselling of most of the rescued children suggests that their parents, brothers lost their jobs in the COVID-19 which forced them to work in various industrial units, eating joints.”
These children were rescued by the joint teams of District Child Protection Team, NGO Bachpan Bachao Andolan and Anti-Human Trafficking Wing of UT Police.
Yadwinder Singh, coordinator with Bachpan Bachao Andolan of Nobel peace prize winner Kailash Satyarthi, said, “The closure of schools during the pandemic is also one of the main reasons why more children are being found at the workplaces than earlier. Besides, government agencies are tough on child labour these months. Hence, the number of rescued children has increased. As per a resolution of International Labour Organization (ILO), the world will be free from child labour till 2025.”
The heavy industry units, including steel manufacturing, liquor/bottling plants, coal depots, plants related to petroleum products, falls in the category of hazardous professions. The age group of rescued children ranges from 10 years to 18 years. Most of the rescued children were reunited with their parents/guardians. A few of them are in the protection of UT Social Welfare Department. As per the number of rescued children, 27 children were rescued in 2017, 21 children were rescued in 2018, 59 were rescued in 2019 and 28 were rescued in 2020.
Tabassum Khan, a leading counsellor with District Child Protection Team, said, “The job loss of parents, elder brothers and sisters has emerged as one of main reasons behind child labour. The number will increase in the coming months. We are receiving information about child labour from various sources. The majority of information is being received from phase-1, phase-2, Industrial Area, Hallo Majra, Mani Majra and even from the residential sectors, where residents use underage children as domestic help.”
As many as 27 underage children were rescued from Ambala Railway Station on Friday. These children were being brought from Katihar district of Bihar to Ludhiana to work in industrial units.
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