GUWAHATI: Chief Justice of India Altamas Kabir flagged off a 300-km march against of child labour and trafficking in the city on Saturday. The march was organized by the Bachpan Bachao Andolan and Global March against Child Labour in association with the state government and Assam State Legal Services Authority.
“Mere enforcement of laws will not help reduce the problem of child labour and trafficking. The mindset of people has to be changed to remove these problems from the society,” the chief justice said.
Despite the Right to Education Act, which makes education a fundamental right, many children are still deprived of education. This is because the act has not been implemented properly, Kabir said. According to the Child Labour Abolition Act, 1986, children below 14 years of age cannot be engaged in work, but there are several households, offices and food joints where children are engaged. “Laws will not bring about any change. It is the people who should take the responsibility to bring about a change in the prevailing custom,” he said.
“Trafficking is also becoming a curse in the region. The trafficking of the elder girl child is the worst as these girls are trafficked, forced to work as bonded labour and even engaged in prostitution,” he added.