Every day, millions of children in India wake up to long hours of back-breaking labour, working everywhere from stone quarries to carpet factories to rice mills. These children—some as young as as 5 years-old—are kept from school and forced to work 7 days a week for up to 18 hours a day in hazardous situations that leave them permanently injured or crippled by heavy loads and dangerous equipment. Due to these working conditions, many child labourers suffer from respiratory disorders or develop chronic pain.
Thankfully, the Indian Parliament is considering legislation called the “Child and Adolescent Labour Abolition Bill,” which: 1) prohibits employment of children under 14 years of age, 2) outlines harsh sentences for violators, and 3) provides for monitoring of suspected cases of child slavery. This legislation would put an end to the enslavement of children in India, but it risks not passing without a demonstration of mass public support.
In two days (on May 9, 2013), anti-slavery organisations in India will formally present evidence of national consensus to end child slavery in India. And at that time, they will also report on how many people around the world have signed on in support. We’re SO CLOSE to one million signatures (all combined we have 890,000), and we’re reaching out to anti-slavery activists today to help get us over the top—can we count on your support?
Call on the Indian Parliament to abolish child slavery in India by immediately passing the “Child and Adolescent Labour Abolition Bill:”
Sadly, the Indian Parliament missed their opportunity to pass the “Child and Adolescent Labour Abolition Bill” in late 2012. With the fate of millions of children at stake, it is appalling that politicians in India have delayed the passage of a bill that would abolish child slavery in their country.
For every day that this bill is delayed, millions of children in India will continue to be trapped in the nightmare of modern slavery. While leaders in India remain inactive, an entire generation remains at risk of being bought and sold to work in unimaginable conditions of sex slavery, bonded labour and domestic servitude. By keeping this crucial bill off the agenda, the Indian Parliament is allowing modern slavery to continue to rob children of the chance to be healthy, educated and free to build a bright future for themselves and for their country.
The Parliament of India will begin the first session of the year in the third week of February. They need to know that any further delay in the passage of this historic law banning child labour in their country is simply unacceptable. Child rights groups in India and the rest of the world are already calling on the government of India to prioritise the “Child and Adolescent Labour Abolition Bill,” but we need your help to build massive public pressure that leaders in India cannot ignore.
Take action now: Tell Indian politicians to pass the “Child and Adolescent Labour Abolition Bill” when Parliament resumes:
Because these children are often left illiterate and plagued with health problems, they are—in a cruel twist of fate—less likely to find employment once they reach adulthood. This continued enslavement of children traps generations of Indians in a vicious cycle of slavery, illiteracy and poverty.
We can end child slavery in India.
After you take action, will you take a moment to forward this email to your friends and family to make sure that as many people as possible join us in pressuring the Indian Parliament to protect millions of children from modern slavery? Thank you in advance for your help.
Debra, Nick, Jacqui, Jessica, Hayley, Jess, Mich, Amy and the Walk Free Team
P.S. Stay up to date with the latest information on the movement to end #modernslavery: https://twitter.com/walkfree