Introduction and Background
The National Coordination Committee (NCC) is the highest policy making body of “Campaign Against Child Labour (CACL)”. The committee is represented by four CACL members from each state and includes the Executive Committee members of CACL. Every year the national Coordination Committee sits once in nine months, for two and half days, to review the campaign and decide on the future campaign focus and strategies. The national leadership of the campaign has shifted from Peoples’ Curltural Centre-Orissa to Society for peoples’ Awareness – West Bengal form January 2008 and Mr. Prabir Basu has assumed the responsibility of being the National Convener subsequent to the decision taken by the National Coordination Committee in the year 2006 at Pune. This is the first National Coordination Committee meeting after the shifting of the National leadership and secretariat. This year the National Coordination Committee meeting 2008 held in Kolkata, at Proggaloy, during 25th to 27th September 2008.
The agendas of this year National Coordination Committee meeting was the following:
Children together Against Child Labour - The 4th National Convention of children under the banner of children together against child labour was organized in Bhubaneswar in November 2007. The program was actually to promote a platform at national level for the informed and willing participation of the children. This NCC supposed to review the children process taken place in this program at the states and National Levl and also also to decide on the follow up actions in this regard.
Children’s Perspective on Implementation of CRC in India – This year the government of India is going to submit the 3rd country report to the CRC committee and UN. CACL with few other national network decided to facilitate children forums to write the alternative report on CRC implementation challenging the government report. The facilitation process is going on and NCC need to be report about the progress and also decide on the future program.
Right to Education – CACl belives that until and unless right to free, compulsory, quality and equitable education is ensured for all children of this country upto their 18 years of age, total eradication of child labour is not possible. Thus, CACL, from it’s inception, struggling hard on this issue. This year the government has freshly drafted a bill on right to education bill and going for public-private partnership in school education. The NCC need to derive CACL position on government’s new as well as existing policy on education and also need to strategise future campaign on the issue of right to education.
Legislations and recent amendments on child labour – CACL’s Position - Discussion on legislations and recent amendments, which impact on the child labour situation in the country (Art 24, CLPRA and draft protocol on the rescue and rehabilitation) – to enumerate on CACL’s position. – A presentation by Mr. Mathew Philips and will follow an open forum discussion.
Freeing the girl child labour – Freeing girl child labour as a focused campaign has been continued by CACL for last few years. Now time time has come that NCC should review the out come of the campaign and decide on it’s future strategy.
Strengthening the State Chapters - A presentation holding out the viewpoints on the essentiality of surfacing this particular agenda as an issue in today’s context by Mr. C.J. George. Open forum discussion will follow on the following points.
Presentation of Activity Report and financial report from CS (Mr. Ranjan Mohanti and Mr. Prabir Basu)
Decision about the CACL Advocacy Unit at Delhi
Review the structure of CACL NCC – Inclusion of children, reducing the number of representation from each state.
Follow-up of capacity building of Hulchul group.
State Chapters’ Presentation
The program schedule of the NCC Meeting 2008, to incorporate all this agendas, was as follows:
1st Day – 25/09/08 Thursday
9.30 a.m -10.30 p.m
Welcome Note from CS/Confirmation
10.30 a.m -11.00 a.m
11.00 a.m -11.15 a.m
CS and State Presentation
11.15 a.m -1.30 p.m
1.30 p.m -2.30 p.m
State Presentation (Contd.)
2.30 p.m – 4.30 p.m
4.30 p.m – 4.45 p.m
State Presentation (contd.)
4.45 p.m – 6.00 p.m
2nd Day- 26/09/08 Friday
Children together against Child Labour
9.00 a.m – 11.00 a.m
11.00 a.m – 11.15 a.m
Children’s Perspective on Implementation of CRC in India
11.15 a.m – 12.30 pm
Right to Education
12.30 noon – 1.30 p.m
1.30 p.m – 2.30 p.m
Right to Education (Contd.)
2.30 p.m – 3.30 p.m
Freeing the girl child labour campaign
3.30 pm – 4.30 pm
4.30 p.m – 4.45 p.m
Legislation and Recent amendments on
4.45 p.m – 6.00 p.m
Child Labour- CACL’s Position
3rd Day- 27/09/08 Saturday
Strengthening of the Network
9.00 a.m – 11.00 a.m
Strengthening the State Chapter
Decision about national advocacy Unit
Review the structure of CACL-NCC
Follow-up of Capacity Building of Hulchul Group
11.00 a.m – 11.15 a.m
Strengthening the Network (Contd.)
11.15 a.m – 1.00 p.m
Forty two (42) participant from fifteen (15) states participated in the National Coordination Committee Meeting of 2008.
The Proceedings of the Meeting
1st Day – 25th September 2008
The session started with few melodious Tagore Songs from Ms. Aditi Basu and Ms. Shuvra Mukherjee Paul. Then the session formally opened with the welcome note from Mr. Prabir Basu, National Convener, and he did welcome all the participants and also informed the forum about the tentative agendas and program schedule of the NCC which, in fact, was unanimously approved.
The first session of the NCC was to Review the Campaign of last year since last NCC. That prompted stated one after the other to present their reports. CS also presented last year campaign actions.
Mr. Mathew Philip chaired the first session of State Presentation (Pre-lunch session). The presentation in brief was as follows.
Andhra Pradesh - Presentation by Mr. K Nimmaiha
The State Secretariat of CACL Andhra Pradesh shifted to HELP this year and Mr. Rammohan becomes the new state convener. CACL – AP vibrantly participated in the 4th National Convention of Children – “Children Together, Against Child Labour”. CACL-AP organized, together with CACT – CS, the Facilitators Training program, for the facilitation of children alternative report to CRC, in May 2008. The state chapter also organized the State Children Consultation on CRC Reporting with 50 children and in that consultation 10 Children were selected for further investigation and research on CRC. CACL-AP has regular campaign program on child labour in coastal area (6 coastal districts) with 30 NGOs, covering 300 coastal villages.
Tamil Nadu – Presented by Cap. Antony
There are lot of differences regarding the number of child labourers in the state of Tamil Nadu, between Census, NSS and SSA data. 64 % of the child labourers are engaged in agriculture while 36% are engaged in manufacturing unit. The total number of members in Tamil Nadu Chapter is 209, Total district covered by the campaign is 30 and total number of district conveners is 21. Sixty children from Tamil Nadu have participated in the National Event Children Together, Against Child Labour in November 2007.Panel and fact finding team have been constructed by CACL – TN to investigated the child right violation incidents in the different unregistered orphanages. Focused campaignis going on in the state on the employment of children in hotel and domestic sectors highlighting the recent prohibition brought in CLPRA, 1986. CACL-TN also filed petition in Chennai High Court on the death of four child labourers in the match industry of Shivakashi.
Uttarakhand – Presented by Raghu Tiwari
CACL in Uttarakhand started functioning very recently, in the month of September, 2007. Now the number of member in the state campaign is fourteen. CACL Uttarakhand has participated in the National Event “Children Together Against Child Labour”. In the mean time the state campaign has also advocated for the release of two children who were illegally detained by the police. The advocacy effort was successful in releasing the children and also in punishing the concerned police officer.
Karnataka – Presented by Mahesh
Karnataka CACL reported that there are 15 lakh child labour according to the estimation of different NGOs while government figures are as usual much less than this estimation and contradicting each other. In recent days SSA is organizing child census in every villages which is suppose to identify the children who are not in school. CACL-Karnataka was not satisfied with the child census data of SSA and challenged the government data in unique way. They have conducted door to door survey soon after the child census conducted, in some sample villages, and compared their data with the SSA data of the same villages. They discovered that their number regarding the out-of-school children and the working children are different than the government data. At this point they advocated on the issue to highlight the incompleteness of the SSA conducted child census.
In Karnataka the number of CACL members is 450, which includes NGOs, Networks and individual. The campaign present in 29 districts of the state. 62 children from Karnataka were participated in the National event “Children together, Against child Labour”. CACL Karnataka also organized mass campaign on child labour at grassroot level through Puppet Show in the districts. There is one Public Interest Litigation pending before the state high court on the issue of bonded child labour. When asked regarding the resource mobilization strategy of CACL-Karnataka, in the open forum discussion, Mr. Niranjan Aradhya explained that it is true for the strengthening of the campaign fund is necessary but the fund mobilizing can make the campaign a mere fund driven project. So the campaigner must be very cautious regarding the resource mobilization strategy. CACL is more than an organization, even more than a network, it is a social movement. We must go for issue based campaign and than start issue based resource mobilization. Once the name of CACL established in the state as social movement group, the agencies themselves come to collaborate with CACL on different issues.
West Bengal – Presented by Mithu Rani Das
The number of child labourer in the state of West Bengal according to the census 2001 is around eight lakh fifty seven thousand while children working in agriculture, domestic, hotel, bidi rolling, brick cline and different other sectors. CACL West Bengal has it’s presence in 10 districts among 19 with 104 members. In the year 2007 CACL-WB were busy in promoting a state children platform through the willing and informed participation of children. The children process was organized in zones and state and almost 150 children were directly involved. Among them 62 children were selected to participate in the National Event “Children Together - Against Child Labour”. In the year 2008 CACL-WB organized children process for the facilitation of Children’s Alternative Report on CRC Implementation and state children consultation were organized with around 60 children. The state consultation selected 10 children for the further research and investigation on CRC. Besides children process, CACL-WB organized state level meetings with the member to strategise the future campaign. The future plan includes massive campaign on child labour in domestic and hotel sector, mobilizing college student on child labour and district level consolidation.
Kerala – Presented by Deepak
According to the census 2001 the number of child labour in Kerala is ZERO. But the NGOs argued that children are working in Hotels, construction sites, domestic sectors. Five children from Kerala were participated in the National event “Children Together Against Child Labour”. All together 56 members are associated with CACL in Kerala, which besides NGOs, includes MSW students and individuals. CACL Kerala in the last year filed litigation on the issue of child labour, organized mass campaign and rally and published study on the issue of child rights violation.
The 2nd Session of the State Presentation (Post Lunch Session) was chaired by Mr. Ashok Kumar.
Bihar – Krishna Nandan Giri
Bihar CACL was to some extent inactive for the time being, but at the time of “Children Together - Against Child Labour” Process, in the year 2007, the Bihar CACL started functioning with new enthusiasm and participated in the national children convention in Bhubaneswar, 2007. 25 children were prepared to participate in national program but due to resource constraint ultimately 17 children were participated. CACL Bihar also took active role in facilitation of children Report on CRC implementation in India and organized State children consultation in Bihar with 60 children. The State chapter also in the mean time was able few local level awareness program on Child Labour.
Jharkhand - Sanjoy
CACL Jharkhand was vibrantly involved in the National Event – Children Together Against Child Labour. The State campaign also organized the state consultation with children on Children’s Alternative Report on CRC Implementation. Besides this CACL Jharkhand organized meeting with members to plan the campaign action for the future and organize mass campaign and event on the issue of girl child labour.
The discussion followed the presentation instigate debate on the strategy of broad basing the campaign in the state. Ms. Dipannita Biswas from TDH (Germany) suggested that it is a good idea to involve the TDH-Germany Partners in the CACL campaign. She explained that the TDH-Germany partners always have some funds for campaign activity which could help the campaign. She also informed that TDH partner from Jharkhand, particularly from Deogarh, complained her that CACL state chapter is not involving them.
On this point Mr.Vinod Kumar (Convenor, CACL-Jharkhand) explained that the state-CACL always keep informing all the old and new members about it’s actions. But due to resource constrain travel reimbursement for attending programs is not possible always and that might prevent some of them in attending the program. Mr. Umesh Purohit (Ex-Convenor, CACLoOrissa) commented that many organization join CACL to access funding and in many occasions they withdraw fromCACL when that purpose get fulfilled. Mr. Niranjan Aradhya Strongly objects on the Suggestion of Ms. Dipannita and commented that this kind of suggestion is not acceptable from a Funding Agency in this forum. There should be a clear demarcation between social movement and project work. Too much intervention of funding agencies is not good for any social movement. In addition he also clarified that he is not at all against any funding agencies.
Maharastra – Presented by Manish Shrof
According to the census 2001 there are 7,64,075 child labourers in the states and they are engaged mostly in domestic, agriculture, bidi rolling stone queries, brick clins, dairy and Zari units. There are around 100 members in the Maharastra CACL but among them 40/50 members are active. The campaign is divided in 6 revenue zones, covering 20 districts. CACL Maharashtra Chapter has 1 State Convener and 6 Co-convener, i.e 1 in each zone/region. 120 numbers of children were made involved in the Children together against Child Labour program in last year at the state level. Besides the state CACL organized Mass-Enrolment drive in 4 districts covering 77 villages, organize regular raid together with government for rescue of child labourers. Conducted a research a published a document on the child labourers in waste collection. CACL maharastra achieved the following milestone in the last year campaign.
Two Villages, Gunafawadi in Sangola Taluka and Zakle in Mahada Taluka of Sholapur District, are now Free of Girl Child labour.
Pursued the labour Department in Solapur to create Awareness through posters, prompting them to Print 25,000 posters, which was distributed in 1200 villages in western Maharashtra.
One CACL member Organization, opened 11 centres under Hungami Niwasi vasti Gruh Scheme under SSA for children of Sugarcane worker, hence stopping the Migration of around 550 children and probable Child Labours. (Sangola)
Gujrat – Presented by Mr. Vala Bharat J
The number of child labour in Gujrat is around 8 lakh 50 thousand. The number of members of CACL is Gujrat is 150 and the Gujrat CACL is decentralized campaign in seven zones. Gujrat CACL organized focused campaign last year on the employment of children in B.T. Cotton firms. The state CACL was succed to engage the government officials in patrolling highway for the trafficking children to the B.T. Cotton firms of Gujrat and Rajasthan. The government is now regularly organizing inspection for child labourers in the B.T. Cotton firms. Another success of the campaign was it’s advocacy for the adequate provision for the education of the children of those families who are engaged in salt firms. The government has allocated extra seven crore rupees in the state budget for the education of these children. CACL Gujrat has also organized big mass program in different zone on the occasion of No-Child Labour Day (30th April, 2008). The state campaign is also engaged in capacity building of the government officials, teachers and panchayet level workers on the issue of child labour. The state campaign is now preparing for a big padayatra on th child labour issue which target to reach 3000 villages of the state.
The 3rd Session of State Presentation (Post Tea Session) was chaired by Ms. V. Shusheela.
Delhi – Presented by Mr. Ashok Kumar and Mr. Jitendra Singh
The composition of CACL Delhi is that it includes 22 NGOs, three trade Unions, three women groups and 9 individuals. Delhi CACL was actually organized all the national level campaign and edvocacy program of CACL central secretariat initiated at Delhi. Few of them are Rally on girl child labour, March to parliament on right to education, consultation with MPs on right to Education, Dharna at Parliament and memorandum submission on right to Education. Besides these CACL – Delhi actively participated in the National Event “Children Together, Against Child Labour” and organized School Dakhila Aviyan. The state chapter also took up several child right violation cases and fought for justice. CACL-Delhi also reported that the state chapter need badly resources to run the campaign activity and also suggested for ful fledged national advocacy unit of CACL at Delhi.
In the open house discussion the Delhi chapter informed that the plan for a state level meeting of the CACL members and they also told that they demand that CACL-CS must present in that meeting where the strategy of future action and resource mobilization could take place.
Orissa – Presented by Mr. Umesh Purohit
The Campaign initiated in 1992.There are more than 600 members in CACL-Orissa, which includes CBOs, NGOs. Students, Trade-Union members, women groups, media people, academician and PRIs members.
The campaign has spread in 30 districts of Orissa and one of the largest dominant child Rights Network in the state. In the state more than 10lakhs children are out of school, the school drop-out rate is 40 % and CACL demands there are more than 40 lakhs child labour in the state. CACL Orissa was participated vibrantly in the 4th National convention of children (Children Together against Child Labour after serial state children process. CACL Orissa also organized follow-up and sharing meeting with the children who were part of the national event. One of the most successful campaign of CACL Orissa was the Red Card Campign which resulted in to make government new orders for the accountability of district level officials and government constituted Task Force in every district on child labour. CACL Orissa also took part in facilitation of children’s report on CRC and organized state children consultation. Besides these CACL Orissa relentlessly working on building children platform (Bal-Sansad) in Orissa and continuously lobbying and advocating with the MPs, MLAs and political Parties to make child labour part of the political Agendas. CACL Orissa observed that Recent trend of the engagement of children is that children are employed now in BT cotton firms, mining areas and children migration is rampant.
Mizorum – Presented by Mr. Freddy Lalramnghtta
Mizoram CACL started in 2005. CACL is well linked with the police as well as other govt departments. There is no child labour or street children in Mizorum, neither the children are involved in arm conflict. The working children are only visible in the Burmese communit, who infiltrate through the border in search of work in Mizorum.
Uttar Pradesh – Presented by Mr. Sunil Kr. Pundey
The number of child labour is highest in Uttar Pradesh and that is 19 Lakh. Children are working in different sectors for example in Mirzapur, Muradabad in carpet / bangles industries. The state chapter is working on the issue of child labour in few blocks adjacent to Benaras with TDH support. In recent days the CACL-UP rescued few bonded child labour from Allahabad who are originated from bihar. The children are sent to home with help of Bihar CACL. The state chapter feels incapable without resources. They are to organize a meeting with CS in coming days.
Presentation of CACL Central Secretariat for the period from January – September 2008
Mr. Biplab the National Coordinator of the campaign presented the report on behalf of the CS. While presenting the report he explained that in view of the absence of the ex-National Convener Mr Ranjan Mohanty, who was actually supposed to present the report till December 2007, hence the period covered for such report would be from January 2008 only.
Campaign on Right to Education
• Dharna at Parliament
• Memorandum submission, in demand of central legislation on right to education, up to ten standard, through common school system, to Prime Minister, HRD Minister and political Parties
• Organised consultation on Right to education bill together with Teacher’s Union, other networks on right to education, academicians on right to education bill 2008 under the banner of “National coalition on right to education through Common school system”.
Facilitation of Children’s Perspective on CRC Implementation in Eastern region of India
• Organised NGO consultation at four eastern regional states.
• Organising and monitoring Sate Children consultation in Bihar, Orissa, Jharkhand and West Bengal.
• Fund raising for this program.
Presenting CACL in different National Forum
• CACL and CEC presented strong suggestion and demand for right enumeration on child lanourer in Census in forum on the “Successful Conduct of Census 2011” organised by Ministry of WCD at New Delhi.
• CACL presented its view point on the Citizen’s Alternative CRC Report drafting at the meeting titled “Citizens’ Collective Country Review of India’s CRC Performance” organized at New Delhi.
• CACL presented its viewpoint about the child labour issue and against employing children in different sectors in a consultation of Traders at Tiruppur of Tamil Nadu, organised by Business Social Compliance Initiative (BSCI).
• CACL presented the campaign in “The National Convention on Rights of the Child” organized by Open Forum at Delhi.
• CACL was involved as Resource organisation by the “National Commission for the Protection of the Rights of Children(NCPRC)” for organising the Regional level consultation on Child labour, in West Bengal and North Eastern Region.
Consolidation of network an d alliance building
• Regular sharing of Information and collecting feed backs.
• Meeting of the National Executive Committee.
• Organising state meeting at Bihar for the selection of new state convenor.
• Alliance building and regular communication with other networks on child rights and human rights.
• Submission of PIL, as co-petitioner with Griha Adhikar Manch, in demand of including urban homeless people in the BPL list, at Kolkata High Court.
At this point the first day of the NCC concluded.
2nd Day – 26th September 2008
Children Together, Against Child Labour – The 4th National Convention of Children
CACL wants to visualise children as protagonists of their own rights. Thus CACL wants to promote a nationwide platform for the informed and willing participation of the children. Under the banner of “Children together, Against Child Labour”, CACL, in the last year, went on a nation wide children process, based on the issue of child labour in specific and child rights in general which zeroed down in a National Convention of the children of a massive strength in Bhubaneswar, November 2007, in the shape of 4th National Covention of Children. Children of all category, from 18 states of India, have participated in the programs. The total number of children and adult was around 1400 in that massive program which was inaugurated by the honourable governor of Orissa and graced by the presence of the government officials from the different department of the state.
Ms. Jyoti Mahapatra, in absence of ex-National Convener of CACL Mr. Ranjan Mohanti, presented the report of the program. In the discussion over the presentation and the report it has been pointed out by the NCC members that the report does not include the information of formation of a National Children’s Committee which emerged from that program and names of the members of the National children’s committee were also absent in the report. The next action, it was decided regarding “Children Together Against Child Labour” is to organize the National Children’s Committee Meeting (Children’s NCC) along with but separately with the Adult NCC. It’s relevant to mention here that the children NCC could not be organized this time because the names of children’s NCC members were not available, in particular. It was felt urgent to collect the names of the children members in the National Committee from different state chapters as soon as possible and the Children NCC at Regional level will be organized with the Regional Children consultation on CRC reporting (which is scheduled to take place soon) adding an extra day to the consultation. In the case of Northern Region the Children NCC would be organized Separately in May 2009. The target would be to organize another children NCC (at national level) along with Adult NCC 2009.
A reporting on follow-up at the state level with children forums after the National Event was made after it was enquired on the same. It was reported that follow up workshop took place in Orissa with children forum, in Kerala children group visited hotels to find out child labourers and stuck posters on child labours in hotels, in Gujrat The children group –Balsena – after returning from Bubhaneswar, surveyed villages for out-of-school children. In Maharastra – those four children, who has gone to Bhubaneswar, get involved in CRC process. One girl from Mumbai – Sarita – who has gone to Bhubaneswar – took active role when one girl of her school fall in accident.
Mr. George Chira (Member of CACL National Executive Committee) expressed that CACL’s objective behind organizing this process was to come out with a group of children who will fight against child labour, take part in advocacy. Thus we must evaluate all our actions against this objective before a program of this stature could be called as successful.
Facilitation of Children’s Perspective on CRC Implementation in India
Government of India is preparing to submit the 3rd country report to UNCRC and preparation of Citizen’s Alternative Report to UNCRC is also planned. In this situation CACL, Bal Adhikar Aviyan, CACT, CR4WSF and TDH-Germany perceived that the children’s forum must be asked and facilitated for their alternative Report to CRC committee and there are functional children’s forums in the various part of country. It was planned that the facilitation process would be organized in the regions and the responsibility will be shared region wise. Mr. Prabir Basu , National Convener of CACL, reported NCC about the progress so far in this program and informed that the state children consultations were completed in 14 states and now the selected child researchers are further investigating about the CRC implementation in their local areas. The organizers are waiting for the submission of government report and only after the submission and publishing of the government report children can go for final state and regional report drafting and publishing through state and regional process. It has been decided in NCC that CACL and other organizer must wait for the submission of government report. When the government report come out that need to be translated again in the children’s language and then the children would read the government report, compare the report with the data they have already collected and write the state and regional report. In the mean time few states, like government of Bihar has already their State Report published in the web site in the name of ‘Sankalp’. Now state children can take the effort of writing their state Report.
In the mean time the Mid-term review meeting of the organizing committee of this program could take place, which is the responsibility of CACL CS.
Right To Education
The discussion followed after a brief presentation on the context and importance of having an exercise on the ‘Right to Education’ Bill Mr. Prabir Basu, where he reported that education is now fundamental rights for the children of 6-14 years, but corresponding law is not framed yet. SSA, which is a time targeted scheme in addition to the existing school education system, has failed to achieve it’s target. Government, in spite of the failure of SSA, is continuing with it and coming with other similar schemes. Government talking in recent days about public-private Partnership in building limited number of model schools while the demand of common school system, which was recommendation of government appointed commission, has been continuously side-lined and denied. The fundamental right to education bill 2008, which is going to be introduced in parliament soon, has many such provisions, which, expert says, will further curb the available rights, will pave the way of privatisation in education and encourage different quality of school education which leads to further stratification of society based on education available.
Mr. Basu also added that as CACL believes that for the total eradication of child labour, right to free, quality and equitable education up to 18 years, for all children, is a pre requisite, the campaign has been struggling long to make education fundamental right. The struggle includes effort of alliance building and collaboration with all unions, movement groups and networks, mass mobilisation, campaign, advocacy with MPs, submission of deputation, massive signature campaign. In spite of all these effort, from all movement groups, government has adapted an indifferent attitude and has amended constitution, as they proposed in 93rd constitutional amendment. The Right to Education bill has been drafted several times and government has never considered the demand of either CACL or other movement groups in drafting this bill. CACL is still organising movement and alliance building together with social movement groups and unions. But, considering the results of the earlier movements and the attitude of the government, CACL feels to re-strategies it’s campaign on right to education. At This Point Mr. Basu asked Dr. Niranjan Aradhya to make a presentation and share his thoughts on the issue and appeal to the NCC to discuss about the future strategies of right to Education Campaign.
Dr. Niranjan Aradhya, in his presentation, vividly described the history of the movement in India on right to education, which started much earlier, in the British era and he clearly established that the right to Free compulsory, quality and equitable education was the demand during Independence struggle, wherein the peoples of India put forth this as mandate for the free India and is considered much higher than any law and constitutional provision. He also explained that the Common School System is the only way to achieve it and the government of India, either it is lead by foreign or Indian administrators, always denied right to education. He mentioned that only the Supreme Court, in its historical judgment of 1993 has made it Fundamental right at least for the children of less than fourteen years old. He also clarified that after six years of the constitutional achievement the right education still not considered by the government as fundamental right as it still not has notified in the official gazette. The New bill he clarifies has numbers of flaws and meant for the dilution of the right given to the children by the Supreme Court judgment Way back in 1993. The New bill, Fundamental Right to Education bill 2008, in no way matches with the CACL demand as the bill excludes the children of age group 0-6 and 14-18. The bill keeps the provisions for different quality of schools, denies equity in education, do not make mandatory the minimum infrastructural provision, and make provisions if the right to education, denied, could not be challenged in regular court. Dr. Aradhya pointed out clearly that CACL must not propose for the amendment of this bill and rather reject the bill The same will help coming up with an alternative bill from the civil society front. Dr. Aradhya suggested that the alternative model bill of the civil society could be pushed for one of the prime election agenda in forth coming parliament election. (This is actually a summery of Dr. Aradhya’s Presentation. The full original presentation, if required, can be procured from CS).
An intense interaction followed immediately after Dr. Aradhya’s Presentation and many members substantiated Mr. Nirajan’s point with grassroot level experiences. Later the NCC decided that CACL must Demand for a central legislation but whether the campaign reject this bill and go for an alternative bill or suggest for amendment, what would be the CACL position on this bill etc, would only be decided by an expert committee. The Committee on right to education was constituted involving, Mr. Prabir Basu, Mr. Ranjan Mohanti, Dr. Niranjan Aradhya, Mr. Osie Farnandes, Mr. Arun Das and Ms. Mini Shrinibasan. The committee is asked to develop a two-page position paper of CACL on recent development on Right to Education within one Month. Meanwhile CACL will of course continue alliance with “National Coalition on Right to Education Through Common school system” and plan for campaign at grassroot as well as at national level targeting the state and central election.
Freeing the Girl Child Labour Campaign
CACL focused on the issue of girl child labour and organised National Convention of Girl Child Labour in the year of 2003 at Mysore where 1000 girl child labourers from the different corners of the country shared their agony and dream. CACL decided to help these girls to escape to school and thus started a very focused campaign through out the country – ‘Freeing the girl child labour’ Campaign. This focused campaign targeted to see girl child labour free villages to be declared by the direct effort of the Local Self government. The objective was to create “girl child labour free village” and the primary target was to send all the girls of that village (who are less than 14 years old) to school. Campaign to bring back the children to school, advocacy and awareness building and full utilisation of government schemes like SSA, Balika samridhhi Yojona, laws, etc were amongst the strategies. Few results achieved by this campaign are
• 2004 -2006 declared as Freeing the Girl Child Labour Year“
• 1045 villages have been identified to be declared as girl child labour free
• Focused Campaign on 300 villages
• 60 villages in Karnataka already declared girl child labour free and 1720 girl child labour admitted into schools
• 1000 girl child labour in Orissa admitted into schools.
• 292 child right facilitators have been trained to work at the grass root level
Ms. Jyoti Mahapatra narrated allthese through a PPT presentation. She also added that Christian Aid supported CACL-CS for organizing this campaign and their support ended in 2006. Now the NCC needed to decide whether CACL would go ahead with the campaign or conclude with these logical ends.
Following Jyoti’s presentation, members present instantly came up with different hands on experiences and also did let the house know different strategies undertaken in different states for this campaign. Few suggested that the campaign must now focus on the employment of girls in domestic sectors as the laws are now in place. But ultimately it has been perceived by the NCC that the objective, which was to sensitize the policy level and the mass on the exploitation of girls are to a great extent met, and the campaign has also been able to send back number of girls to school, which truly has impacted the society. The NCC felt CACL at this point does not go for separate campaign on girl child labour any more and rather keep the issue of girls as crosscutting in all its campaign design.
At this point the 2nd day of NCC concluded.
3rd Day – 27th September 2008
Legislations and recent amendments on child labour
On this Agenda Mr. Mathew Philip, from the state Advocacy unit of Karnataka made a thought provoking presentation which goes as follows.
We could remember that in the verdict of the public hearing taken place in the girl child labour event at Mysore event (2003) the Jury Board declared every body including the government, civil society, and all of us from top to bottom ‘guilty’. We all are guilty of employing and encouraging child labour and till today we are in guilt. Government, NGOs, every body is working some way or other for the eradication of child labour but the number of children in labour do not decrease. There are many gaps and somewhere some thing is not working.
Our objective of coming together is to make an impact on the situation and so this NCC may take decision. When we advocate with political parties at the time of election for the inclusion of the eradication of child labour as an agenda most of the time they are happy to grant that demand because the broad demand like eradication of child labour has many escape routes for them. We must demand in specific, for the introduction of particular law, specific financial provisions or particular amendment, which pressure them to commit on specific point.
During these days CACL is thoroughly engaged in raising children voice and also campaign on right to education as a means to put an end to child labour. But since the beginning CACL has been campaigning on the amendment of CLPRA. There are many gaps, which made this law ineffective. Earlier CACL demanded for the amendment in CLPRA but we must now understand that no amendment could really help this to transform in a newer character because it was framed on a faulty policy. The problem begins with article 24 of the constitution where the article allows children work in non-hazardous sectors. Thus there is provision for regulated employment of children in CLPRA 1986. So we must demand for the prohibition of child labour upto 18 years and thus we demand for the revision of article 24 and new law on child labour. Simultaneously we must ask for the amendment of article 21A where the free and compulsory education must be guaranteed upto 18 years. We must understand that the right to education and eradication of child labour are closely related and thus we go for the revisions of both of the constitutional provisions. Along with this we must demand to withdraw reservation of Indian govt. on article 32 of CRC, which says about the minimum age of employment in India is of attainment of 14 years of age.
In every fourth year govt. has to submit a report on the situation of human rights and there is a scope of alternative report submission. There are at least six countries who in their alternative reports criticised India for it’s reservation on article 32 of UNCRC.
The experiences of rescue operation of child labours are not very good; there are mal-arrangements and mismanagement at every point. The whole exercise was not at all child friendly and there is no money for arranging even food for the children in the temporary shelters after the rescue.. There are not even adequate arrangements of police, which pose the operation even risky. In this context the government has come with the protocol (Guideline for the rescue and rehabilitation of trafficked and Migrant child labourer). The protocol is covering most of the aspect of the rescue and rehabilitation but the protocol is not mandatory and there is no provision of financing. It is not clear that from where the money will come from. It involves many departments like CWC, labour Department, Police, etc., but the convergence of all these departments and committees is doubtful. The protocol is mainly based on the CLPRA which itself is faulty. And Labour department need to give leadership in this operation but not all the legislations and schemes are under the control of labour department. So CACL must raise voice for the rectification of this protocol.
The discussion followed by enriched presentation with examples of mismanagement in rescue and rehabilitation operation of child labour in different parts of the country. The NCC seriously understands that no laws, enactments in support of ensuring child rights are backed up with a specific policy that could comprehensively cover the entire gamut of rights protection issues. No policy is existing on child rights, the laws on child labour is not backed up by any policy which is required to explain and enforce those legislation. CACL need to go for campaign and advocacy demanding a central comprehensive policy and subsequently on the amendment of constitutional provisions and legislations, which could only be possible if one committee could be formed, who in turn must come out with a position paper on this.
Strengthening the campaign and future action Plan
Mr. George Chira, the national executive committee member of CACL, facilitated this session and begin with that there are remarks in between the sessions that CACL should reorganize and rejuvenate itself in many of the States. Now in this session it is the time not to have more inputs on the agendas and issues but think of the outputs that the campaign going to produce in future days. He would ask how to make the campaign stronger and well capacitated. He suggested that the campaign should be organised in such a way that that it will draw everyone’s attention, while even though one is not a part of the campaign. Lots of actions have to be planned and to be under taken in the coming days to achieve the goal i.e. total eradication of child labour and right to free, compulsory, quality and equitable education for all children up to their 18 years of age. This brief introduction to the issue by Mr. George Chira instigated a participatory discussion and at the end CACL come out with an Action Plan for the coming year. With out going into the detail discussion a report now is presented on the future action plan and strategies on the campaign on which NCC 2008 has unanimously agreed.
Future Plan and the decisions on NCC 2008 on different agendas
Children Together Against Child Labour
Mr. Biplab Das, National Coordinator, would collect full list of the names and contact details of all the members of National Children’s committee members from the states and circulate this to all the participant of this NCC and among all the state chapters within fifteen days.
The Children NCC would take place first at the regional level, in three regions (South, East and West), along with the regional process of CRC Report Writing. The children NCC at north will take place separately in the month of May, 2008. In East, West and South one extra day will be added with Regional process of CRC Report Writing for the children NCC.
The design of the children NCC will be decided by the respective state conveners on the basis of a common format supplied by the CS. The children NCC are suggested to focus on the issue of child labour and right to education.
Facilitation of Children’s Perspective on CRC Implementation in India
The CACL CS involving all the organizing committee members very soon will organize the Mid-Term Review.
The Regional Children consultation could be planned only after government submitting there report to CRC and make it available for the Public.
In the meantime if any state, state government already published the report, children could be facilitate to write the state alternative report in those state.
Remember that the children only can ask to draft the final report when they have the government report in their hand, which is translated for their understanding.
Right To Education
An expert committee has been constituted which would be responsible to develop a two page position paper of CACL on the new right to education bill. The committee includes Mr. Prabir Basu, Mr. Ranjan Mohanti, Dr. Niranjan Aradhya, Mr. Osie Farnandes, Mr. Arun Das and Ms. Mini Shrinibasan.
On the position the campaign at state and national level would be organized. The strategy for the state level campaign framed in the NCC was the followings –
Consultation at micro level on the bill with different peoples forum including the children forum.
Consultation at the gram sava, asked them to pass resolution on right to education.
Mass mobilization against the bill on the basis of those consultation and on the CACL positions on the bill, through rally, poster, signature campaign, poster campaign, submission of memorandum, submission of deputation, dharna at parliament.
Alliance building with other movement on right to education.
Consultation with MPs and MLAs, advocacy on CACL position with political parties.
Collecting support of MLAs and MPs on CACL’s position on education bill.
Freeing the Girl Child Labour Campaign
The campaign will not continue as a separate campaign but CACL must keep gender issue vibrant in all it’s actions
Legislation on child labour
Again an expert committee constituted which would develop a campaign strategy for CACL on this agenda. This committee should come on about what would be CACL’s position on the amendment of CLPRA and other legislations and protocol. The committee would also support our PIL at Supreme court.
The Committee includes Mr. Mathew Philip, Ms. Alpa Vora, Mr. J. John, Mr. Umesh Purohit and Mr. Ashok Kumar.
It has been nanimously decided that the Dr. A.V. Baliga Memorial Trust would take up the national advocacy Unit of CACL from now on and Mr. Ashok Kumar would be the convener. Mr. Ashok Kumar on behalf of Dr. A.B. Baliga Memorial Trust agreed on this proposal. A capable coordinator for the advocacy unit would be employed and the resource mobilization will be organized jointly by advocacy unit and CS.
Hulchul Group will be continuously nourished and capacitated and a refresher training would be organized by CS for this group.
Suggestions regarding organizing the NCC
There are few suggestions regarding the process of state presentation at NCC. Among them one suggestion is that the state report must be sent to CS well in advance and the same reports must be circulated by CS among all of the participants. All the participants, when come NCC, come after studying the state report and in NCC discus about the clarification or comments on the report. Another suggestion was the NCC participant must bring publications, posters, news clipping and other materials for the display in NCC.
The number of participant in NCC from each state must be minimum four. Regarding the travel reimbursement the participants who can afford travel must refuse the reimbursement. The reimbursement must be only for those participants who are in need of it.
There are debates about the number of input sessions in NCC. The number of input session must minimum because the NCC as the policy making body need much time to discuss. It has been decided that the NCC needs input session but not more than two which will provide substantial time for the discussion.
With this the NCC 2008 was concluded with the vote of thanks from Mr. Prabir Basu, the present National Convener.
List of the Participants of CACL NCC Meeting of 2008
Vigil India Movement, Kollam dist. Committee
Arackal, Edayoan, Po- Valakom, kollam (dist.) Kerala
Cheranalloorkady, Naduvattom, Ernakulam dist.
Convener, Advocacy unit, CACL-Kerala
C/o Rajagiri- CASP, Rajagiri College of Social Sciences, Rajagiri, Po- Kalamassery, Ernakulam dist.
Rsweri Bhawan, West Pokhrkhail, Almora- 263601
Narkeldanga Trekkers Association
16, Mahesh Barik Lane, Kolkata- 700011
Jyotsnakol11@yahoo.co.in , firstname.lastname@example.org
4, Mayurbhanj Road, Kolkata- 23
Jadav Meenaben M
CACL- Gujarat (Guntur, Suntalpur)
Dist- Putun, TA- Suntalpur
email@example.com , firstname.lastname@example.org
CACL Gujarat (U.B.V Tatan)
Gujarat (NGO), Dist- Bhavnagar, TA- Gadada
CPD (Centre for Peace and development)
Tuikual ‘C’ Aizwal, Mizoram
Peace, H-No-1-5-12/2, Peudiji Nagar, Bhomgir- 508116, AP
K. Ramana Murthy
2-2-59, Chinnabandlepura, Srikakulam district
Vala Bharat J
Jivan Mangalaya Trust, Rajkot
Co-Convener, Vikasana, IRUD
2500,6th cross Marigowda extension, Mandya- Karnataka.
Dr Niranjan Araadhya
Core Committee member- CACL-K
Nagarbhavi, Bangalore- 560072
Mithu Rani das
Mayurbhanj Joint Citizen Centre (CACL- WB)
11no, Braunfield Row, Mominpur, Kolkata- 700027
52/53, Nare Park, Mun school, Parel
Creative Action For Poor
Qtr No- 4-015, Sector- 2C, Bokaro Steel City
Jan Sahyog Vindu
Anandpuri colony, College More, Hazaribag, Jharkhand
16/A, Ragvilas soc, North main road, koregaon paria, pune-1
648, Lake Gardens, Kolkata-45
TDH (G) IP
Mahatma Fuley Samaj Seva Mandal, Karmala
M.P.S.S.M Niyojan Nagar, Karmala
SICHREM, 35 Anjanappa Complex, Bangalore- 35
S.G.V.K, Redma Panki Road, Daltongang,
dist: Palamu – 822 101
Gram Jyoti Kendra
At/Po- Rajendra, Gumla
Sampurna Gram Vikas Kendra, Palamu, Jharkhand
Palamu, Daltonganj, Jharkhand
2/1093, Malligai St, E3, Hilnagar
S. Edwin Samuel
22C, Scott Nagar,
164/4, Paddikuppam Road, Annanagar. Ch-50, TN
2436, Sector no-12,
Mahantesh Nagar, Belguam- 16
Bodhgaya, Gaya, Bihar
Bodhgaya, Gaya, Bihar
Mahila Raksha Mandali
Akbarpur, Nawada, Bihar
Dr A.V Baliga Memorial Trust, CACL- Delhi
Link House, 3 BSZ Marg, New Delhi
601, Shanti Sadan, Kreshant, Bhavnagar, Gujarat
5- Manik Vilas, Gwalior (MP)
Om Prakash Tiwari
Umesh Ch Purohit
Youth Service Centre
At/ Po- Tusura
Sunil kr. Pandey
HWA Varanasi, UP
HWA, Varanasi, UP
781, Nana Petty, Pune- 411002