THE TIMES OF INDIA
GANDHINAGAR: The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR), looking into complaints of child labour and implementation of right to education ( RTE) across the country, has taken strong exception to “large-scale trafficking and child labour in the Bt Cotton seed farms of North Gujarat“.
In its detailed report, based on an NCPCR team’s field visit to villages in North Gujarat districts in October 2011, the top Central body has said that while Bt cotton production in Gujarat has been growing by leaps, there is a “social cost of the child labour” attached to it, which has gone unnoticed.
Called “Gujarat Visit Report to Assess the Child Labour & Child Trafficking Situation in the Bt Cotton Seeds Farms of Gujarat,” the report says that most of the children are “being trafficked to Gujarat (Banaskantha, Sabarkantha and Patan districts) from Rajasthan (especially Udaipur, Banswara, Dungarpur districts of Udaipur division) for engaging them as child labour in artificial pollination work in Bt cottonseed farms.”
These children aged between 8 and 15, and their problem needs an “interstate solution”. The team which visited the state was led by senior NCPCR member Dr Yogesh Dube. The report has been simultaneously submitted to both the state governments.
The team, which was accompanied by members of civil society who had made the complaint regarding large-scale prevalence of child labour in Bt cotton fields, found that threats were being issued against NGOs campaigning against the prevailing practice of trafficking.
The team found that the farms where child workers are employed “are fully fenced from the roadside and one cannot enter into the field easily.” During the field visit, the team members interacted with the children and adult members working in the cotton farms. An owner of a farm told the team that “the wage for an adult labourer is Rs 100 per day and for a child labourer it is Rs 50 only.”
The report wants that that a joint task force be formed by the bordering states of Gujarat, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh governments to “ensure repatriation of the migrant children to their state of origin after rescue, booking of employers under relevant labour laws”.
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- Child rights panel orders survey of child labour in UP (thehindu.com)
- NCPCR Issues Directives in wake of Dismal Condition of Child Labourers in Coal Mines (traffickingnews.wordpress.com)
- Offences Registered by NCPCR (equalityindia.wordpress.com)