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RIGHT TO EDUCATION AND CHILD LABOUR

INTRODUCTION Ayesha is eighteen years old and lives with her older sister. When Ayesha was only 13, her father became sick and soon passed away. She was forced to drop out of school and to start working alongside her older sister rolling tobacco into thin cigarettes, called beedis. Sitting in the same position for hours, many children develop chronic back problems. Due to the environment, many start smoking and become addicted to tobacco. Breathing in fi ne organic dust, invisible to the naked eye, can trigger allergic reactions, such as asthma. After two years of backbreaking work, at the age of 15 Ayesha was able to leave the beedi sweatshop and attend an educational and training programme supported by an ILO project, hosted by the Centre for Entrepreneurship Development and sponsored by the Madhya Pradesh government and Central financial institutions. Through this project, Ayesha attended a tailoring course and she now works as a tailor. She has not only gained professional skills and financial independence but also confidence and a sense of empowerment, a feeling that she is the master of her destiny. Now, she dreams of setting up her own small business with her sister.1 We wish to state that this could only be the glimpse of the alarminng situation of child labour and the breathtaking situation of not just Ayesha who are trashed into child labour due to lack of education.

What is Child Labour? There are many definitions and interpretations of child labour even tough it has been refered to as any work that subjects a child to economic exploitation or is hazardous, or interferes with the
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ILO Report, Quality Education Is the Right Response To Child Labour, a resource to teachers and educators. https://www.google.co.in/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=2&ved=0CEQQFjAB&url=http%3A%2F %2Fdownload.eiie.org%2FDocs%2FWebDepot%2FILO%2520EI%2520ClassroomResource%2520EN%2520v4.pdf&ei=mKwdUqn 7Dcb9rAfQ2YD4Ag&usg=AFQjCNEvoTLtZtGvuEEEELJfHuAulloZUA&sig2=thmBcDXn-rJ0UV-9G-O0aA, Accessed on: 28th August 2013

childs education, or is harmful to the childs health or physical, mental, spiritual, moral or social development. This practice is considered exploitative by many international organisations. It is work that children should not be doing because they are too young to work, or if they are old enough to work because it is dangerous or otherwise unsuitable for them.2 It is the practice of having children engaged in economic activity, on part or full-time basis. This practice deprives children of their childhood, and is harmful to their physical and mental development. The circumstances which encourages child labour are poverty, lack of good schools and growth of informal economy. It is conventionally defined as a working child between age of 5 to 14 years who are doing labour or engaged in economical activity either paid or unpaid or underpaid. 3 But this definition is inconsistent with the definition of Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act of 1986, which defines child as a person who has not completed his fourteen years of age. The International Labour Organisation (ILO) states that child labour may be defined in a number of different ways, and a different definition yields a different estimate of child labour in India as well as other countries. According to ILO, children or adolescents who participate in work that does not affect their health and personal development or interfere with their schooling, is not child labour; rather it may generally be regarded as being something positive. UNICEF defines child labour differently. A child, suggests UNICEF, is involved in child labour activities if between 5 to 11 years of age, he or she did at least one hour of economic activity or at least 28 hours of domestic work in a week, and in case of children between 12 to 14 years of age, he or she did at least 14 hours of economic activity or at least 42 hours of economic activity and domestic work per week.Some child rights activists argue that child labour must include every child who is not in school because he or she is a hidden child worker. UNICEF, however, points out that India faces major shortages of schools, classrooms and teachers particularly in rural areas where 90 percent of child labour problem is observed. About 1 in 5 primary schools have just one teacher to teach students across all grades. Laws on Child Labour in India Since the independence from the colonial rule, India has given number of constitutional protection and laws on child labour. he Constitution of India in the Fundamental Rights and the Directive Principles of State Policy prohibits child labour below the age of 14 years in any factory or mine or castle or engaged in any other hazardous employment. 4 India being a federal form of government, and child labour being a matter of both the central government and state governments, can legislate, and have major national legislative developments include the following:

Child Labour, What is Child Labour, http://www.un.org/en/globalissues/briefingpapers/childlabour/ Accessed on 28-08-2013 3 Kumar Vijay, Child Protection Challenges and initiatives, icfai University Press 2008, Pg. 19 4 Article 24, Constitution of India

The Factories Act of 1948: The Act prohibits the employment of children below the age of 14 years in any factory. The law also placed rules on who, when and how long can preadults aged 1518 years be employed in any factory. The Mines Act of 1952: The Act prohibits the employment of children below 18 years of age in a mine. The Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act of 1986: The Act prohibits the employment of children below the age of 14 years in hazardous occupations . The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection) of Children Act of 2000: This law made it a crime, punishable with an imprisonment term, for anyone to procure or employ a child in any hazardous employment or in bondage. The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act of 2009 : The law mandates free and compulsory education to all children aged 6 to 14 years. This legislation also mandated that 25 percent of seats in every private school must be allocated for children from disadvantaged groups and physically challenged children.

Despite all these efforts by the government time to time, child labour remains a major challenge for India. THE WORST FORMS OF CHILD LABOUR Whilst child labour takes many different forms, a priority is to eliminate without delay the worst forms of child labour as defined by Article 3 of ILO Convention No. 182: (a) all forms of slavery or practices similar to slavery, such as the sale and trafficking of children, debt bondage and serfdom and forced or compulsory labour, including forced or compulsory recruitment of children for use in armed conflict; (b) the use, procuring or offering of a child for prostitution, for the production of pornography or for pornographic performances; (c) the use, procuring or offering of a child for illicit activities, in particular for the production and trafficking of drugs as defined in the relevant international treaties; (d) work which, by its nature or the circumstances in which it is carried out, is likely to harm the health, safety or morals of children. Labour that jeopardises the physical, mental or moral well-being of a child, either because of its nature or because of the conditions in which it is carried out, is known as hazardous work. Where does most child labour occur Of an estimated 215 child laborers around the globe: approximately 114 million (53%) are in Asia and the Pacific; 14 million (7%) live in Latin America; and 65 million (30%) live in subSaharan Africa.

CHILD LABOR CAN BE FOUND NEARLY IN EVERY INDUSTRY Agriculture An estimated 60% of child labor occurs in agriculture, fishing, hunting, and forestry. Children have been found harvesting Manufacturing About 14 million children are estimated to be directly involved in manufacturing goods Minning and Quarring Child laborers suffer extremely high illness and injury rates in underground mines, opencast mines, and quarries. Children as young as 6 or 7 years old break up rocks, and wash, sieve, and carry ore. Nine-year-olds work underground setting explosives and carrying loads. Unconditional form of Child Labor Millions of children are involved in work that, under any circumstance, is considered unacceptable for children, including the sale and trafficking of children into debt bondage, serfdom, and forced labor. It includes the forced recruitment of children for armed conflict, commercial sexual exploitation, and illicit activities, such as producing and trafficking drugs. In 2005, an estimated 5.7 million children were in forced and bonded labor.

RIGHT TO EDUCATION Education is a human right and a key factor in reducing poverty and child labour. Knowledge is such a property which solves and gives all the human aspirations. It produces and develops consciousness by which we understand the difference between duty and non duty, religion and the non religion and right and wrong 5 . Education has a vital role in empowering women, safeguarding children from exploitative and hazardous labour and sexual exploitation, promoting human rights and democracy, protecting the environment, and controlling population growth6. Education is a fundamental right of every human being. It lays the foundation for the development of society. In 1950, India made a Constitutional commitment to provide free and compulsory education to all children up to the age of 14, by adding this provision in article 45 of the Directive Principles of State Policy. The Constitution (Eighty-sixth Amendment) Act, 2002 inserted Article 21-A in the Constitution of India to provide free and compulsory education of all
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Atma Prakash, A review of Right to Education, http://www.innovativelawcollege.com/right-to-education.html, accessed on 25-08-2013 6 Special Rapporteur on the right to education, United Nation Human Right, http://www.ohchr.org/EN/issues/Education/SREducation/Pages/SREducationindex.asp, accessed 25-08-2013

children in the age group of six to fourteen years as a Fundamental Right in such a manner as the State may, by law, determine.7 The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009, which represents the consequential legislation envisaged under Article 21-A, means that every child has a right to full time elementary education of satisfactory and equitable quality in a formal school which satisfies certain essential norms and standards. The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act finally came into force on 1st April 2010. With the implementation of this Act, it is expected that issues of school drop out, out-of-school children, quality of education and availability of trained teachers will be addressed in the short to medium term plans.8. Education promotes individual freedom and empowerment and yields important development benefits. Yet millions of children and adults remain deprived of educational opportunities, many as a result of poverty. An estimated eight million children aged between six and 14 do not currently attend school in India9. The title of the RTE Act incorporates the words 'free and compulsory'. 'Free education' means that no child, other than a child who has been admitted by his or her parents to a school which is not supported by the appropriate Government, shall be liable to pay any kind of fee or charges or expenses which may prevent him or her from pursuing and completing elementary education. 'Compulsory education' casts an obligation on the appropriate Government and local authorities to provide and ensure admission, attendance and completion of elementary education by all children in the 6-14 age groups10. With this, India has moved forward to a rights based framework that casts a legal obligation on the Central and State Governments to implement this fundamental child right as enshrined in the Article 21A of the Constitution, in accordance with the provisions of the RTE Act11. The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR)- External website that opens in a new window has been designated as the agency to monitor provisions of the Act. Main provisions of the Act: Every child between the ages of six to fourteen years shall have the right to free and compulsory education in a neighbourhood school, till completion of elementary educationExternal website that opens in a new window.

No child shall be liable to pay any kind of fee or charges or expenses which may prevent him or her from pursuing and completing elementary education. Where a child above six years of age has not been admitted to any school or though admitted, could not complete his or her elementary education, then, he or she shall be admitted in a class appropriate to his or her age.

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Right To Education, Department Of School Education & Literacy, http://mhrd.gov.in/rte,accessed on 15-08-2013 Right To Education Of India, india.gov.in national portal of India http://india.gov.in/spotlight/right-education-act0, accessed on 15-08-2013 9 National Law and Policies on fee or for free- India, Right To Education Project http://www.right-toeducation.org/country-node/353/country-fee, accessed on 28-08-2013 10 Right To Education, Department Of School Education & Literacy, http://mhrd.gov.in/rte,accessed on 15-08-2013 11 ibid.

The appropriate government and local authority shall establish a school, if it is not established, within the given area in a period of three years from the commencement of this Act. The Central and the State Governments shall have concurrent responsibility for providing funds for carrying out the provisions of this Act.

As per the provision of the Act, the Central Government has authorised the National Council of Educational Research & Training (NCERT)- External website that opens in a new window as the academic authority to lay down the curriculum and evaluation procedure for elementary education and develop a framework of national curriculum12. WHETHER RTE IS ACHIEVABLE AND A REALISTIC PROGRAMME? Yes, it is realistic and achievable goal because by the direction of the government private schools have to reserve 25% seats for children from economically weaker sections(EWS). Another favourable condition, is the school will be recognized one ,it means that there will be no shortage of teachers. Many private schools also charge students more for extra-curricular activities, these charges are not covered by the Bill13. This will help the poor children literate as well as it encourage the girls to do something in their life as the government has also focused on girls education by instituting several programmes, which directly and positively effect the literacy rate led to development of country. CHILD LABOUR DENIES CHILDREN THE RIGHT TO EDUCATION Education and child labour go hand in hand. When we think about poverty how often do we consider how much this affects children? In extreme poverty children do not usually attend school because, from as early as five or six, they are required to work. School costs money, maybe not a lot, but more than what most poor parents can afford. In rural India most of the child workers belong to poor landless and semi-landless families whose income is otherwise insufficient to keep the family going. The children are, therefore, made to work to supplement the meagre income of the family. Male children (though not exclusively male) are often indentured or bonded as child labourers. Some of them are paying off their fathers debt to a money lender, others are merely sold, so that they are no longer a burden on the family budget. Their life is little short of slavery, as the wage they receive is usually less than what they owe for food and board, not to mention any the interest on a loan. They only way they can leave is to run away. But run away to what?

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Right To Education Of India, india.gov.in national portal of India http://india.gov.in/spotlight/right-education-act0, accessed on 15-08-2013 13 Educationists express concern over Right to Education Bill, The Economic Times, July 12, 2009 http://infochangeindia.org/education/news/educationists-express-concern-over-right-to-education-bill.html, accessed on 28-08-2013

For the female child it is the burden of household duties that befalls them. This can jeopardise not only their physical growth but also their psychological and social growth. In rural areas girls are responsible for looking after younger siblings, cooking, cleaning, fetching, and carrying, which releases adults for productive work. For the child, in all of this, the importance of education is neglected and replaced with the necessity of providing food and shelter. Children work to supplement meagre family income or otherwise to help the family business. In doing so, they are being denied basic rights, such as the right to education, to freedom from abuse, and to proper health14. CHILD LABOUR AND RIGHT TO EDUCATION All children have a right to education. Education being the elementary right of the human and yet 72 million primary aged children and a much larger number of secondary aged children, are not in school 15 . The ILOs International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour (IPEC) provides technical cooperation to member States in finding solutions to the problem of child labour16. Child labor is notoriously difficult to document and measure. And because education is central to tackling child labour it has been a central part of IPECs strategy since its creation in 1992. Education can give knowledge and skills that empower people economically and socially; on the other hand, a lack of access to education can deepen poverty, widen inequity and take away the opportunity to live17. The importance of education for development cannot be underestimated. On an individual level, an education significantly increases a persons earning power, but also increases the capability to improve his or her quality of life. Education increases life expectancy through enabling people to increase their knowledge of healthcare and nutrition issues.

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Child Labour Denies Right to Education, http://willourworld.org/?p=97, accessed on 28-08-2013 ILO Report on "Combating "child labour through education", https://www.google.co.in/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=7&ved=0CHAQFjAG&url=http%3A%2F %2Fwww.ilo.org%2Fipecinfo%2Fproduct%2Fdownload.do%3Ftype%3Ddocument%26id%3D7850&ei=mKwdUq n7Dcb9rAfQ2YD4Ag&usg=AFQjCNEYKszpsy645vRu4cSufN5pkMebqw&sig2=H5c1qv0qQHN9dycBKrYaJw, accessed on 28th August, 2013 16 ILO Report on "Combating child labour through education", https://www.google.co.in/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=7&ved=0CHAQFjAG&url=http%3A%2F %2Fwww.ilo.org%2Fipecinfo%2Fproduct%2Fdownload.do%3Ftype%3Ddocument%26id%3D7850&ei=mKwdUq n7Dcb9rAfQ2YD4Ag&usg=AFQjCNEYKszpsy645vRu4cSufN5pkMebqw&sig2=H5c1qv0qQHN9dycBKrYaJw, accessed on 28th August, 2013
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Global March Against Child Labour Report on "From Exploitation to Education" https://www.google.co.in/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=11&ved=0CFEQFjAAOAo&url=http%3A %2F%2Fwww.globalmarch.org%2Fimages%2FGM-Position-Paper-on-Child-Labour-andEducation.pdf&ei=C64dUq2dNYn7rAfIkoGABQ&usg=AFQjCNEaY2OeOr4vo0aXfJRdE1HU7Gt9w&sig2=KkiZbpTNfvyJ9qjxEujyoQ, accessed on 28th August, 2013

A child who is in school full time is more likely not to engage in child labour. Hence, expanding access to free and compulsory education is crucial to reducing child labour, as is the provision of quality education while on the other hand, many out-of-school children are engaged in child labour and their work can act as a barrier to accessing education. REASONS FOR THE CHILD LABOUR Poverty is undoubtedly a dominant factor in the use of child labour; families on or below the poverty line force their children into work to supplement their household's meager income.18 Over population, poverty, parental illiteracy, lack of proper education, urbanisation, availability of cheap child labour are some common causes of wide-spread child labour19. Parental ignorance regarding the bad effects of child labour, the ineffectiveness of child labour laws in terms of implementation, non-availability and non-accessibility to schools are some of the other factors which encourages the phenomenon of child labour. Illiterate and ignorant parents do not understand the need for wholesome physical, cognitive and emotional development of their child. They are themselves uneducated and unexposed, so they do not understand the importance of education for their children. Orphanage is an another reason of child labour. Children born out of wed-lock, children with no parents and relatives, often do not find anyone to support which forces them to work for their own survival. Employers prefer children as they constitute cheap labour and they are not able to organize themselves against exploitation 20 . Ineffective enforcement of the legal provisions pertaining to child labour. The laws and regulations concerning child labor are far from perfect. Factors like caste and gender discrimination, demand of cheap labor and superstitions etc are also responsible for widely prevalent practice of child labour. Many a times, children are forced into work by their own family. Lack of earning members pushes poor families to make their children work in appalling conditions. Insecurity and lack of resources worsens the situation. No space for collective bargaining is also one of the reasons of child labour. Accident of working members of the family, illness, single parenthood, nonworking of the parents, drinking habits etc in these entire case the child voluntarily enters to work to protect his family from starvation but we know that the exploitative child labour is a evil it cannot be uprooted overnite as it is deeply entrenched in the problems of poverty, illiteracy and overpopulation21

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About Child Labour, ECLT Foundation Adressing the challenge of child labour in tobacco growing http://www.eclt.org/about/overview.html, accessed on 27-08-2013 19 Origin And Causes of Child Labour And Its Possible Solution, Law Relating to Women and Children by Dr. Tripathi and Arora, http://www.lawyersclubindia.com/articles/Origin-and-Causes-of-Child-Labour-and-itsPossible-Solutions-3194.asp#.Uh4L2JI3CSo, Accessed on: 18-08-2013 20 Causes Of Child Labour, State Child Labour Rehabilitation Cum Welfare Society http://www.tnchildlabour.tn.gov.in/causes.htm, Accessed on: 18-08-2013 21 Institute for world congress on human rights January 1997, new Delhi

CONSEQUENCES OF CHILD LABOUR Child labour is the concrete manifestation of the voillation of the children, especially the right to education anf development. workinng at young age has many adverse and direct consequences and also the below mentioned consequences: Child labor often harms the physical, mental or social development of children. Child labour deprives various rights that are constitutionally guaranteed by states to its children. For instance, in the case of India, specific provisions are laid down in the Constitution to protect children from economic exploitation and education, viz, right to free and compulsory education to all children of the age of 6 to 14 years, prohibition of traffic in human beings and forced labour, and prohibition of employment of children in factories, mines or other hazardous employment. child labour is the primary cause of poverty, as it pushes children early to premature work thereby denying children the opportunity to acquire the education and skills they need to obtain decent work and incomes as adults. Children are deprived of their right to play, leisure and healthy growth and in fact we can say that children are deprived of their right of childhood itself. Child labour does more than deprive children of their education and mental and physical development - their childhood is stolen. Physical injuries and mutilations are caused by badly maintained machinery on farms and in factories, machete accidents in plantations, and any number of hazards encountered in industries such as mining, ceramics and fireworks manufacture Pesticide poisoning is one of the biggest killers of child labourers. In Sri Lanka, pesticides kill more children than diphtheria, malaria, polio and tetanus combined. The global death toll each year from pesticides is supposed to be approximately 40'000 Growth deficiency is prevalent among working children, who tend to be shorter and lighter than other children; these deficiencies also impact on their adult life HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases are rife among the one million children forced into prostitution every year; pregnancy, drug addiction and mental illness are also common among child prostitutes Exhaustion and malnutrition are a result of underdeveloped children performing heavy manual labour, working long hours in unbearable conditions and not earning enough to feed themselves adequately Child Labour shifts the interest of the child from education and can increase the criminal nature of the child. This can exploit the future generation. So in short we can say that Work at too early age take their right to education,, exerts physical and psychological stress, work and life on the mines on the bad working conditions, inadiquate pay and work also undermines children's dignity and self esteem which is detrimental to full

social and psychological development take away their right to play and enjoy childhood and is also main cause of putting them as underpaid worker throughout the life.22 GUIDING PRINCIPLES TO STOP CHILD LABOUR Child Labour is work performed by a child that is likely to interfere with his or her education, or to be harmful to their health or physical, mental, spiritual, moral or social development23. Since child labour is the denial of a childs right to education it is the duty of all Governments, International Organisations and Corporate Bodies to ensure that they do not perpetuate child labour. Furthermore they have a duty to ensure that state agencies, corporate bodies as well as their suppliers and trading partners worldwide, are fully compliant with the Convention on the Rights of the Child and other international agreements protecting the rights of the child.24 Ratify and implement ILO Convention 138 on the Minmum Age of Employment, ILO Convention 182 on the Worst Forms of Child Labour, and the Convention of the Rights of the Child and its two optional protocols, within a timeline25. Raising Awareness on Child Labour- There is the need to develop campaigns at local levels employing traditional forms of culture and languages to convey to the communities the importance of education and the health hazards related to child labour. Awarenessraising and advocacy help change social norms and cultural justifications of child labour: from denial to action. Improving Access To Education- The education of children is a vital component in the fight against child labour. Extending and improving schooling for the poor especially girls is the most effective way to reduce the number of child labourers. Accessible: systems should not discriminate and positive steps should be taken to reach the most marginalised26.

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Y.S. Reddy Anmol Publication Pvt.ltd. New Delhi ed.I, 1999,p.4 Convention on the Rights of the Child, Article 32.1. 24 Guiding Principles of Stop Child Labour Campaign, Stop Child Labour, https://www.google.co.in/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=2&ved=0CFAQFjAB&url=http%3A%2F %2Fwww.stopchildlabour.eu%2Fcontent%2Fdownload%2F73455%2F641186%2Ffile%2FGuiding%2520Principle s%2520of%2520the%2520Stop%2520Child%2520Labour%2520Campaign.pdf&ei=35IfUoWfGIbnrAe1loGABw& usg=AFQjCNFjYiuKtviB5NTyb4R0jTMxrhQ7hQ&sig2=k71EikRqDwal0YToOqEP5A, Accessed on: 29-08-2013 25 From Exploitation To Education Global March Position on Child Labour And Education, Global March On Child Labour, https://www.google.co.in/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CC0QFjAA&url=http%3A%2F %2Fwww.globalmarch.org%2Fimages%2FGM-Position-Paper-on-Child-Labour-andEducation.pdf&ei=RJkfUsD8FIj8rAfqmYCoCw&usg=AFQjCNEaY2OeOr4vo0aXfJRdE1HU7Gt9w&sig2=72UqNH5oxKJsVz9ltBrylQ, Accessed on: 28-08-2013 26 Promoting Rights in Schools: Providing Quality Public Education, Actionaid Internationalhttps://www.google.co.in/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=2&ved=0CDUQFjAB&url=ht tp%3A%2F%2Fwww.actionaid.org%2Fsites%2Ffiles%2Factionaid%2Fprs_-_englishfinal__4_may_2011_2_0.pdf&ei=spYfUpeQEsj_rQfomIGACw&usg=AFQjCNGEIj7N01DXWCeWJSYItHG5oam dig&sig2=5vQMhtBoxesUCmsVX6FITA, Accessed on: 29-08-2013

Make education compulsory up to the age of 16 years and Make education free for all, including uniforms, syllabus books, school meals, transportation, and any other hidden cost of education27. Give a second chance to child labourers and other out-of-school children who have missed out on their opportunities to begin compulsory education at appropriate age, by giving them necessary tuitions to mainstream them back to formal school or giving older children, above the age of compulsory education, necessary vocational training. Core Labour standards must be respected and enforced to effectively eliminate child labour. Like the right to organise and collective bargaining, freedom from forced labour, child labour and discrimination. A living wage, health and safety at work, and the absence of forced excessive overtime are also crucial. Child labour undermines the opportunities for adult employment and decent wages. Experience has shown that child labour is highly unlikely to exist when a free trade union is present and where core labour standards are respected.

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Human Rights And Child Labour By Kailash Satyarthi, Global March Against Child Labour, Accessed On 28-082013