When I mentioned India’s child labor ban last year, I had many obvious questions about the implementation. One year on, this BBC report highlights on findings by Save the Children that the ban has not had much effect.
A year after India banned children under 14 from working as domestic servants or in food stalls, millions continue to be employed, a study says.
The study released by Save the Children says these children are routinely subjected to different forms of abuse and a lot still needs of be done.
Many of the child workers are denied food, and are beaten up, burnt or sexually abused, the study says.
According to official estimates, India has more than 12 million child workers.
Of these, about 200,000 are estimated to be working as domestic servants and in teashops, restaurants, spas, hotels, resorts and other recreational centres – the areas from where they were banned last year.
Well, one can’t legislate away decades of a widespread and prevalent practice with one law. This law was always going to be a beginning, a marker that improving social and economic conditions will eventually catch up to (one hopes). So, color me as not surprised at all. The point is to label something as legally unacceptable, work towards making it socially unacceptable, then finally, unnecessary.