In an endeavour to combat the menace of child labour, trafficking and sexual abuse Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday launched portal namely ‘PENCIL’ (Platform for Effective Enforcement for No Child Labour) here on Tuesday. Singh along with Minister of State for Labour and Employment Santosh Kumar Gangwar, Nobel Peace Laureate Kailash Satyarthi launched ‘PENCIL’. Singh at the event also assured that the Centre will soon pass the anti-trafficking bill. “No developed society in the world can exist along with Child Labour, and it’s sad that we have not been able to eliminate it in the last 70 years of independence. Child labour and trafficking are grave crimes against humanity and the Government of India is committed to eliminate all forms of trafficking. Nobel Peace Laureate Kailash Satyarthi is responsible for taking the issue of child labour to a global platform and I will ensure that the anti-trafficking bill you are fighting for will be passed soon,” said Singh.
The Labour Ministers from ten states were also present at this event. Speaking about the growing issues of child sexual abuse, trafficking and labour, Satyarthi, said, “There should be exclusive courts for issues related to children, it is a demand we are making through the Bharat Yatra as well. POCSO is a good law, but the implementation and subsequent conviction are very poor. We must have a holistic outlook towards the protection of children, which is why, I request the Home Minister, to ensure that the Trafficking Bill that is yet to be passed is passed at the earliest.”
According to 2015 National Crime Records Bureau report, the number of cases filed for child trafficking was 3490, and the number of victims of the cases amounted to 3905. The total number of human trafficking cases amounted to 6877 and the victims for these cases totalled to 9127.
“Kailash Satyarthi is on a Bharat Yatra to raise awareness about child sexual abuse and trafficking. I request him to create awareness on the PENCIL portal as well, through the Yatra, across the country. Kailash Satyarthi is also key to reassuring the entire world that India has the capability to fight against child labour and for this menace to be combated. I am encouraged because of the state participation in this program because there is power in a vision like this. With resolve if India could get its freedom in 5 years, then in less than that, 1 crore Child Labourers can gain that freedom with this vision,” added Singh.
PENCIL is launched to foster the creation of a child labour free India, which will seamlessly integrate implementing and monitoring mechanisms for both, enforcement of the legislative provisions and effective implementation of the National Child Labour Project (NCLP).
India is home to the largest number of child labourers in the world. This platform is going to pave the way for effective enforcement of the new child labour law and also ensure accountability of enforcement agencies. Today’s national consultation was a landmark occasion where the Home Ministry and the Labour Ministry have come together to ensure effective collaboration and convergence of efforts and mark a policy shift for India.
The Union Labour Minister Santosh Kumar Gangwar thanked Satyarthi for taking the time off his Bharat Yatra to attend the launch as it showed true commitment to the issue of eradicating child labour from India. He emphasised that child labour is a growing menace in the country and that the labour ministry will look to tackle this issue with strong solutions in the near future.
The Bharat Yatra is the launch of the three-year campaign against child rape and child sexual abuse which is aimed at increasing awareness and reporting of the cases, strengthening intuitional response including medical health and compensation, ensuring protection for victims and witnesses during trials and increasing convictions of child sexual abuse in a time-bound manner.