Church in India Urges Enforcement of Child Labour Laws

|TOP|The Church of North India has welcomed new laws that will restrict child labour but has reminded the Indian government that they have to be enforced.

Under new child labour regulations children will be banned from working as domestic helps or in restaurants as of 10 October, reports Ecumenical News International.

The laws are intended to prevent the exploitation of children and deal with juvenile delinquency.

They also provide for the establishment of state-level child protection units to prevent child labour and the harassment of children.

|AD|"We have many good laws that ban child marriage and other evils. Still, child marriages do take place," said Church of North India general secretary Rev Enos Das Pradhan.

"We hope this ban would not remain a paper tiger."

India has the largest number of child labourers in the world, with official figures acknowledging more than 12 million in the country.

Groups campaigning for the greater protection of children in India, however, estimate the number to be much higher at more than 50 million.

Children’s charity Save the Children called on the Indian government to go further with its new child protection laws by pushing the age limit covered under the laws from 14 years up to 18 years.

The ban is due to come into effect on 10 October and those found in violation of the laws could face up to two years in jail.