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Q. Discuss international efforts made for welfare of children. Refer to various international conventions and recommendations pertaining to children.

First effort was UNICEF 1946.

In the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the United Nations has proclaimed that childhood is entitled to special care and assistance.

Most important effort - Convention on the Rights of the Child aka CRC 1989.

Built on varied legal systems and cultural traditions, the Convention is a universally agreed set of non-negotiable standards and obligations. These basic standards—also called human rights—set minimum entitlements and freedoms that should be respected by governments. They are founded on respect for the dignity and worth of each individual, regardless of race, colour, gender, language, religion, opinions, origins, wealth, birth status or ability and therefore apply to every human being everywhere. With these rights comes the obligation on both governments and individuals not to infringe on the parallel rights of others. These standards are both interdependent and indivisible; we cannot ensure some rights without—or at the expense of—other rights.

A legally binding instrument

The Convention on the Rights of the Child is the first legally binding international instrument to incorporate the full range of human rights—civil, cultural, economic, political and social rights. In 1989, world leaders decided that children needed a special convention just for them because people under 18 years old often need special care and protection that adults do not. The leaders also wanted to make sure that the world recognized that children have human rights too.

The Convention sets out these rights in 54 articles and two Optional Protocols. It spells out the basic human rights that children everywhere have: the right to survival; to develop to the fullest; to protection from harmful influences, abuse and exploitation; and to participate fully in family, cultural and social life. The four core principles of the Convention are non-discrimination; devotion to the best interests of the child; the right to life, survival and development; and respect for the views of the child. Every right spelled out in the Convention is inherent to the human dignity and harmonious development of every child. The Convention protects children's rights by setting standards in health care; education; and legal, civil and social services.
The Convention is the principal children's treaty encompassing a full range of civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights. The Convention aims at protecting children from discrimination, neglect and abuse. It grants and provides for the implementation of rights for children both in times of peace and during armed conflict. The Convention constitutes a rallying point and a useful tool for civil society and individuals, working for the protection and promotion of the rights of the child. In many respects, it is an innovative instrument.

  The Convention acknowledges that every child has certain basic rights, including the right to life, his or her own name and identity, to be raised by his or her parents within a family or cultural grouping and have a relationship with both parents, even if they are separated

Key Provisions

                    It is the first legally binding international instrument, which provides in a single text universally recognized norms and standards concerning the protection and promotion of the rights of the child.

                    It is the most rapidly and widely ratified international human rights instrument in the world. Such unprecedented wide participation clearly demonstrates a common political will to improve the situation of children.

                    The Convention emphasizes the spirit of complementarity and interdependence of human rights by combining civil and political rights with economic, social and cultural rights. It calls for a holistic approach in analysis and recognizes that the enjoyment of one right cannot be separated from the enjoyment of others.

                    It establishes a new vision of the child, combining provisions aimed at protecting the child through positive action by the State, the parents and relevant institutions, with the recognition of the child as a holder of participatory rights and freedoms.

                    In so doing, it establishes rights in new areas which were not covered by previous international instruments, such as the right of the child to freely express views and have them given due weight, and the right of the child to a name and nationality from birth. In addition the Convention established standards in new areas including the issue of alternative care, the rights of disabled and refugee children; and the administration of juvenile justice. The need for recovery and social reintegration of a child victim of neglect, exploitation or abuse is also set forth.

                    The Convention acknowledges the primary role of the family andparents in the care and protection of the child, while stressing the obligation of the State to help families in carrying this task. It calls for positive action by institutions and the State or parents.

                    It constitutes a useful tool for advocacy and greater awareness of the new perspective of children's rights, and attaches special importance to international cooperation and assistance as ways of achieving the effective protection of children's rights.

                    Four general principles are enshrined in the Convention. They express the philosophy it conveys and provide guidance for national programmes of implementation.

                    Key provisions focus on:


                            Best interests of the child;

                            Right to life, survival and development;

                    Views of the child.

                            Article 43 of the Convention establishes the Committee on the Rights of the Child, a monitoring body of ten experts, for the purpose of examining the progress made by States parties in implementing the Convention.

Optional Protocols to the Convention on the Rights of the Child
The Convention protects children from harmful work and the Optional Protocols offer additional protection from the worst forms of exploitation.

Optional Protocol on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography - Commercial sexual explSoitation of children—such as the sale of children, child prostitution, child sex tourism and child pornography—are prevalent all over the world.

UNICEF’s mission is to advocate for the protection of children’s rights, to help meet their basic needs and to expand their opportunities to reach their full potential. UNICEF is guided in doing this by the provisions and principles of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
The United Nations Children's Fund (or UNICEF) was created by the United Nations General Assembly on December 11, 1946 to provide emergency food and healthcare to children in countries that had been devastated by World War II. In 1953, UNICEF became a permanent part of the United Nations System and its name was shortened from the original United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund but it has continued to be known by the popular acronym based on this old name. Headquartered in New York City, UNICEF provides long-term humanitarian and developmental assistance to children and mothers in developing countries.

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations established on 16 November 1945. Its stated purpose is to contribute to peace and security by promoting international collaboration through education, science, and culture in order to further universal respect for justice, the rule of law, and the human rights and fundamental freedoms proclaimed in the UN Charter.

Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention 1999
Recalling the resolution concerning the elimination of child labour adopted by the International Labour Conference at its 83rd Session in 1996, and
Recognizing that child labour is to a great extent caused by poverty and that the long-term solution lies in sustained economic growth leading to social progress, in particular poverty alleviation and universal education, and
Recalling the Convention on the Rights of the Child adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 20 November 1989, and
Recalling the ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work and its Follow-up, adopted by the International Labour Conference at its 86th Session in 1998, and
Recalling that some of the worst forms of child labour are covered by other international instruments, in particular the Forced Labour Convention, 1930, and the United Nations Supplementary Convention on the Abolition of Slavery, the Slave Trade, and Institutions and Practices Similar to Slavery, 1956, and
Having decided upon the adoption of certain proposals with regard to child labour, which is the fourth item on the agenda of the session, and
Having determined that these proposals shall take the form of an international Convention;
adopts this seventeenth day of June of the year one thousand nine hundred and ninety-nine the following Convention, which may be cited as the Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention, 1999.

Article 3 For the purposes of this Convention, the term the worst forms of child labour comprises:
(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.

Child Labor and International Treaties
The ILO has a specialist programme addressing child labour, the International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour (IPEC).
ILO Conventions on Child Labor
There are two basic conventions on child labor adopted by the ILO, and one adopted by the United Nations. The ILO Minimum Age Convention, 1973 (No. 138) and its accompanying Recommendation (No. 146) set the goal of elimination of child labor, and the basic minimum age for employment or work (in developing countries at 14 years of age or the end of compulsory schooling,whichever is higher; and 15 or the end of compulsory schooling for developed countries). The Convention sets a minimum age of 2 years younger for “light work,” i.e., 12 and 13 years, respectively; and a higher minimum age for
dangerous or hazardous work (basically 18 years of age, but 16 in certain circumstances).

In June 1999, the ILO adopted the Worst Forms of Child Labor Convention (No.182) and Recommendation No.190, which target the worst forms of child labor as a matter of urgency. Convention No.182 applies to all branches of economic activity and requires immediate action, regardless of the level of
economic development of the ratifying country. It is a clear statement of the need to take immediate action to eliminate the intolerable conditions many children face and to help them recover and lead healthy lives. The “worst forms of child labor” are
(i) 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 labor—including forced or compulsory recruitment of children for use in armed conflict;
(ii) use, procurement, or offering of a child for prostitution, production of pornography, or pornographic performances;
(iii) use, procurement, or offering of a child for illicit activities, in particular for the production and trafficking of drugs; and
(iv) work that, by its nature or the circumstances in which it is carried out,is likely to harm the health, safety, or morals of children.
In addition, the Convention on the Rights of the Child, adopted by the United Nations in 1989, has been ratified by almost every country in the world, and applies also to child labor.

Child Labor Provisions in India

Constitutional Provisions

Child Labour is a perennial problem in India. It is deemed as the legacy of the old feudal system. The architects of the Indian Constitution were fully aware of this menace and incorporated Articles 15(3), 23,24, 39(e), (i) and 45 which mandate non employment of children and their induction into schools. Another mandate is provision of a free and compulsory elementary education for all children upto the age of 14 within a period of 10 years of adoption of the Republican Constitution in 1950. These were augmented with the Prohibitive Laws namely Bonded Labour System Abolition Act 1976 and Child Labour Regulation Act, 1986.

Indian Constitution provisions:
Article 24 Prohibition of employment of children in factories, etc.
 No child below the age of fourteen years shall be employed to work in any factory or mine or engaged in any other hazardous employment.

Article 39 Certain principles of policy to be followed by the State

The State shall, in particular, direct its policy towards securing

(a) that the citizen, men and women equally, have the right to an adequate means of livelihood
(b) that the ownership and control of the material resources of the community are so distributed as best to subserve the common good
(c) that the operation of the economic system does not result in the concentration of wealth and means of production to the common detriment
(d) that there is equal pay for equal work for both men and women
(e) that the health and strength of workers, men and women, and the tender age of children are not abused and that citizens are not forced by economic necessity to enter avocations unsuited to their age or strength
(f) that children are given opportunities and facilities to develop in a healthy manner and in conditions of freedom and dignity and that childhood and youth are protected against exploitation and against moral and material abandonment.
Article 45 Provision for free and compulsory education for children

The State shall endeavor to provide, within a period of ten years from the commencement of this Constitution, for free and compulsory education for all children until they complete the age of fourteen years.


Other Provisions

India has all along followed a proactive policy with respect to the problem of child labor, and has stood for constitutional, statutory and developmental measures to combat child labor. Six ILO conventions relating to child labor have been ratified, three of these as early as the first quarter of this century.

The first Act in India relating to child labor was the Enactment of Children (Pledging of Labor) Act of February 1933. Since then there have been nine different Indian legislations relating to child labor. The strategy of progressive elimination of child labor underscores India's legislative intent, and takes cognizance of the fact that child labor is not an isolated phenomenon that can be tackled without simultaneously taking into account the socio-economic milieu that is at the root of the problem.

This was followed by the Employment of Children Act in 1938. Subsequently, twelve additional legislations were passed that progressively extended legal protection to children. Provisions relating to child labor under various enactment such as the Factories Act, the Mines Act, the Plantation Labor Act etc. have concentrated on aspects such as reducing working hours, increasing minimum wage and prohibiting employment of children in occupations and processes detrimental to their health and development.

The Child Labor (Prohibition & Regulation) Act 1986 of India was the culmination of efforts and ideas that emerged from the deliberations and recommendations of various committees on child labor. Significant among them are the National Commission on Labour (1966-69), Gurupadaswamy Committee on Child Labour (1979), and the Sanat Mehta Committee (1984).

The Child Labor (Prohibition & Regulation) Act, 1986 of India prohibits the employment of children below the age of 14 in factories, mines and in other forms of hazardous employment, and regulates the working conditions of children in other employment. India has announced a National Policy of Child Labor as early as 1987, and was probably the first among the developing countries to have such a progressive policy. Through a notification dated May 26, 1993, the working conditions of children have been regulated in all employment not prohibited under the Child Labor (Prohibition and Regulation) Act. Further, following up on a preliminary notification issued on October 5, 1993, the government has also prohibited employment of children in occupations such as abattoirs/slaughter houses, printing, cashew de-scaling and processing, and soldering.

The Act,, in particular,

Under various specific acts such as Factories Act, Mines Act, Employment of children under 14 years of age is prohibited .
Main Provisions of Child Labour Prohibition (and Regulation) Act 1986

2 3 5 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14

Section 2 : Defines child as a person who has not completed his fourteenth year of age.

No child shall be employed or permitted to work in any of the occupations set forth in Part A of the Schedule or in any workshop wherein any of the processes set forth in Part B of the Schedule is carried on : Provided that nothing in this section shall apply to any workshop wherein any process is carried on by the occupier with the aid of his family or to any school established by, or receiving assistance or recognition from, Government

 The Child Labour Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) has been set up in accordance with the provisions of Section 5 of the Child Labour (prohibition & Regulation) Act, 1986.

7. HOURS AND PERIOD OF WORK. - (1) No child shall be required or permitted to work in any establishment in excess of such number of hours, as may be prescribed for such establishment or class of establishments.

(2) The period of work on each day shall be so fixed that no period shall exceed three hours and that no child shall work for more than three hours before he has had an interval for rest for at least one hour.

(3) The period of work of a child shall be so arranged that inclusive of his interval for rest, under sub-section (2), it shall not be spread over more than six hours, including the time spent in waiting for work on any day.

(4) No child shall be permitted or required to work between 7 p.m. and 8 a.m.

(5) No child shall be required or permitted to work overtime.

(6) No child shall be required or permitted to work in, any establishment on any day on which he has already been working in another establishment.

8 Weekly Holidays
9 Notice to Inspector
10 Disputes as to age
11 Maintenance of Register
12 Display of notice containing abstract of sections 3 and 14
13 Health and Safety

14. PENALTIES.- (1) Whoever employs any child or permits any child to work in contravention of the provisions of Sec. 3 shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than, three months but which may extend to one year or with fine which shall not be less than ten thousand rupees but which may extend to twenty thousand rupees or with both.

(2) Whoever, having been convicted of an offence under Sec. 3, commits a like offence afterwards, he shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than six months but which may extend to two years.

(3) Whoever - (a) fails to give notice as required by Sec. 9, or

(b) fails to maintain a register as required by Sec. 11 or makes any false entry in any such register; or

(c) fails to display a notice containing an abstract of Sec. 3 and this section as required by Sec. 12; or

(d) fails to comply with or contravenes any other provisions of this Act or the rules made there under, shall be punishable with simple imprisonment which may extend to one month or with fine which may extend to ten thousand rupees or with both.

However, due to cultural and economic factors, these goals remain difficult to meet. For instance, the act does nothing to protect children who perform domestic or unreported labor, which is very common in India. In almost all Indian industries girls are unrecognized laborers because they are seen as helpers and not workers. Therefore, girls are therefore not protected by the law. Children are often exploited and deprived of their rights in India, and until further measures are taken, many Indian children will continue to live in poverty.


Any occupation connected with - (1) Transport of passengers, goods or mails by railway;

(2) Cinder picking, clearing of an ash pit or building operation in the railway premises;

(3) Work in a catering establishment at a railway station, involving the movement of a vendor or any other employee of the establishment from one platform to another or into or out of a moving train;

(4) Work relating to the construction of a railway station or with any other work where such work is done in close proximity to or between the railway lines;

(5) A port authority within the limits of any port.

(6) Work relating to selling of crackers and fireworks in shops with temporary licences.

(7) Abattoirs/slaughter Houses.


(1) Bidi-making.

(2) Carpet-weaving.

(3) Cement manufacture, including bagging of cement.

(4) Cloth printing, dyeing and weaving.

(5) Manufacture of matches, explosives and fire-works.

(6) Mica-cutting and splitting.

(7) Shellac manufacture.

(8) Soap manufacture.

(9) Tanning.

(10) Wool-cleaning.

(11) Building and construction industry.

(12) Manufacture of slate pencils (including packing).

(13) Manufacture of products from agate.

(14) Manufacturing processes using toxic metals and substances, such as, lead, mercury, manganese, chromium, cadmium, benzene, pesticides and asbestos.

(15) "Hazardous processes" as defined in Sec. 2 (cb) and dangerous operations as defined in rules made under Sec. 87 of the Factories Act, 1948 (63 of 1948).

(16) Printing as defined in Sec. 2(k) (iv) of the Factories Act. 1948 (63 of 1948).

(17) Cashew and cashew nut decaling and processing.

(18) Soldering processes in electronic industries.

Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women


Provisions of the Constitution of India having a bearing

Part Title Article / Schedule Title


Fundamental Rights 13 Laws inconsistent with or in derogation of the fundamental rights
    15 Prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth

Right to education

[Inserted by the 86th Amendment in December, 2002, but yet to be brought into force.]

    28 Freedom as to attendance at religious instruction or religious worship in certain educational institutions
    30 Right of minorities to establish and administer educational institutions


Directive Principles of State Policy

37 Application of the principles contained in this Part
    38 State to secure a social order for the promotion of welfare of the people
    39 Certain principles of policy to be followed by the State
    41 Right to work, to education and to public assistance in certain cases

Text in force –
Provision for free and compulsory education for children
Amended Text as per the 86th Amendment of December, 2002, but yet to be brought into force-

Provision for early childhood care and education to children below the age of six years


Promotion of educational and economic interests of Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and other weaker sections

    47 Duty of the State to raise the level of nutrition and the standard of living and to improve public health

IV A Fundamental Duties


Fundamental Duties

IX The Panchayats 243B Constitution of Panchayats
    243G Powers, authority and responsibilities of Panchayat
    Eleventh Schedule  

IX A The Municipalities 243Q Constitution of Municipalities
    243W Powers, authority and responsibilities of Municipalities, etc.
    Twelfth Schedule  


The Scheduled and Tribal Areas


Administration of Scheduled Areas and Tribal Areas
    Fifth Schedule Provisions as to the Administration and Control of Scheduled Areas and Scheduled Tribes
    Sixth Schedule Provisions as to the administration of tribal areas in the States of Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram


Relations between the Union and the States

246 Subject-matter of laws made by Parliament and by the Legislatures of States
    Seventh Schedule

List I – Union List
List II – State List
List III – Concurrent List

    254 Inconsistency between laws made by Parliament and laws made by the Legislatures of States

XVII Official Language 344 Commission and Committee of Parliament on official language
    Eighth Schedule Languages
    350A Facilities for instruction in mother-tongue at primary stage


Directive for development of the Hindi language

XXI Temporary, Transitional and Special Provisions 371 E Establishment of Central University in Andhra Pradesh