CHILDREN IN MICA MINING AREAS ABONDING EDUCATION
What’s in News:
Over 5,000 children in th age group of six to 14 year have abandoned education in mica mining districts of Jharkhand and Bihar, and a section of them have started working as labourers to supplement their family income, according to a government survey.
India is one of the world’s largest producers of mica, with Jharkhand and Bihar being the main producing States. Mica is used in various sectors including buildings and electronics and even in cosmetics and paint production.
Right to education:
Article 21-A of the constitution states that “right to education-the state shall provide free and compulsory education to all children of the age of six to fourteen years in such a manner as the state may, by law determine.”
Article 45 Provision for early childhood care and education to children below the age of six years. The State shall endeavor to provide early childhood care and education for all children until they complete the age of six years.
Rights against exploitation:
Article 23 states that “prohibition of traffic in human beings and forced labour.-
(1)Traffic in human beings and beggar and other similar forms of forced labour are prohibited and any contravention of this provision shall be an offence punishable in accordance with law.
(2)Nothing in this Article shall prevent the state from imposing compulsory service for public purposes, and in imposing such service the State shall not make any discrimination on grounds only of religion, race, caste or class or any of them.
The Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986
This act was enacted on 23rd December 1986 by the parliament and was enforced on 26th may 1993 by the central government. The act was ineffective for over 8 years due to the inactiveness of the state and central government. The object of the act is
(i) ban on the employment of children i.e., those who haven’t completed their fourteenth year, in specified occupations;
(ii) lay down a procedure to decide modifications to the schedule of banned occupation and processes;
(iii) regulate the conditions of work of children in employment where they are not prohibited from working;
(iv) lay down enhanced penalties for employment of children in violation of the provisions of this act, and other acts which forbid the employment of the children;
(v) to obtain uniformity in the definition of “child” in the related laws
- The survey was conducted by the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) after a report by Terre Des Hommes, an international development agency working in India, revealed last year that more than 22,000 children were employed as child labourers in the mica mining areas of Jharkhand and Bihar.
- In a report based on the survey conducted in the districts of Koderma and Giridih in Jharkhand and Nawada district in Bihar the NCPCR said it had observed that a section of children were deprived of opportunities.
- “As per the survey, there are 4,545 children in the age group of six to 14 years in the area of Jharkhand reported as not attending school,” the NCPCR said.
- The commission gave ou a set of recommendation based on its findings. It said the supply chain of the mining and industry should be made free of child labour. “No child to be engaged in any part of the mica mining process and collecting scraps. NGOs/development agencies should work with the local and district administration as well as with the industries to chalk out a strategy to make the supply chain of mica mining free of child labour,” the NCPC said.