DIBRUGARH, April 4 - Deputy Commissioner of Dibrugarh, Laya Madduri today said that the district administration will be compelled to take stern action against those families and individuals who have been engaging children below 18 years of age as domestic help, babysitter, labourers or exploiting them by exposing them to hazardous situations. Addressing a consultative meeting of various line departments, police officers, NGO workers, organization leaders, heads of schools and representatives from women organisations on ‘prohibition of child labour’, the Deputy Commissioner said that district administration was making an effort to prohibit child labour in the district. She underscored the need on the importance of coordinated effort to eradicate the child labours. “It is shame that government employees, doctors and even respectable citizens were engaging children as domestic help in their homes. The district administration will be forced to launch action as we are not going to tolerate any violation of child rights. Children below 18 years of age cannot be engaged for work under the existing laws,” she said. She also urged upon all the citizens to be instrumental in checking all forms of violence against children and women in the society.
“There are reports that children are made to clean toilets and exploited by putting them in other hazardous situations,” Superintendent of Police Gautam Borah said.
He said that police mainly focuses on three Acts with regard to the children. The Acts are Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015, Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) and the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Amendment Act, 2016. Any written complaint on violation of these laws, will invite swift police action, said the top district cop.
Dr Chiranjib Kakoty, Director, Childline and NESPYM, in his power point presentations described ‘child’ and the ‘broad areas of child rights’ like right to survival, development, protection and participation etc. He said that child labour violates all the broad areas of Child Rights. He also urged upon the public to report any violation of Child Rights to Childline .
Eminent litterateur Dr Nagen Saikia who attended the meeting as the chief guest said that unless the passion and zeal to work for the welfare of the children is generated in everyone’s heart, child rights will continue to be violated by and large.
“We must make a collective effort to change the mindset of the people towards children. We ought to have the missionary zeal and love for the children to ensure that child rights are not violated,” said Dr Saikia. He also administered an oath to the gathering, that each one would play a part in ensuring the rights of the children wherever they are.
Others who spoke during the meeting included Assistant Labour Commissioner Kanpai Das, District Legal Service Authority secretary Imdad Ahmed and District Child Protection Officer Pulin Borah. Jyotsona Sonowal, a social worker and representatives from Child Welfare Committee, District Social Welfare Department, Assam Chah Mazdoor Sangha and UNICEF also attended the programme.
The programme was organised by the district administration in collaboration with the Childline and supported by UNICEF.