CHILD LABOUR

Policy

BBA's vision is to create a child friendly society, where all children are free from exploitation and receive free and quality education. To this end, BBA seeks a holistic solution to eliminate the crime of child labour. BBA is actively involved at many levels- from working on the ground with communities to advocating for policy change at the decision-making level. Since its inception, BBA has always spoken out and campaigned for the total elimination of child labour and has rescued more than 82,000 child and bonded labourers.

 

Programmes

Right from its beginning, BBA organised protests and demonstrations to demand a comprehensive legislation on child labour, including the total ban on child labour up to the age of 14 years. BBA also led a mass demonstration in front of the Indian Parliament, to challenge the regulatory aspects of The Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act of 1986. During the same period, BBA also expanded its awareness building work in Nepal and Pakistan.

BBA has always sought support from the top leadership of the country and has had several meetings with former and serving Presidents and Prime Ministers of India. This included Late Giani Zail Singh, Late R. Venkataraman, Late Shankar Dayal Sharma, Late K. R. Narayanan, APJ Abdul Kalam, Late P.V Narsimharao, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, I. K Gujral and Dr. Manmohan Singh. BBA has also met with former judges and judicial luminaries to work towards a total ban on child labour. Finally, BBA has organised a series of national consultations and conferences, inviting the labour ministers and civil society actors.

In 1989, BBA formed the South Asian Coalition on Child Servitude (SACCS) - a network of more than 750 Civil Society Organisations who work to end forced labour in South Asia. BBA has also organised forums against child labour, for example The Parliamentary Forum Against Child Labour in 1992, The Religious Forum Against Child Labour in 1993 and The Trade Union Forum Against Child Labour in 1994.

BBA's unique intervention model Child Friendly Villages (Bal Mitra Gram) is universally accepted as an innovative development model and as one of the best tactics for combating child labour.

To ensure the protection of children who have been victims of trafficking for bonded or forced labour, slavery or child labour and to enforce the restitution of their rights, BBA engages in a number of strategies. This includes the identification of trafficked victims, their rescue, the provision of immediate care and assistance, the prosecution of employers and the application for statutory rehabilitation and legal aid.

 

Campaigns

BBA's inexhaustible efforts in the fight against child labour are reflected in various campaigns.

In 1991, BBA initiated the 'Anti-Firecracker Campaign', to highlight the plight of young children involved in the manufacturing of fire crackers. The campaign led to the sensitisation of around 10,000 schools and 6-7 million children.

BBA also launched the Fairplay Campaign in 1996, which drew attention to child labour in the manufacturing of sports goods in India.

To build public awareness on child labour, BBA has organised several long marches. This included the 5000 km long Indian March Against Child Labour from Kanyakumari to Delhi in 1995, the South Asian March from Calcutta to Kathmandu in 1996 and the 1998 Global March Against Child Labour. The latter was an 80,000 km long march across 103 countries, which saw the impressive participation of 7.2 million children, women and men demanding an international ban on child labour. 

With Rugmark (now known under GoodWeave International), BBA was involved in the first ever social labelling of child-labour-free carpets, which has been replicated in many countries as a new Corporate Social Responsibility and ethical trade tactic.

The Child Labour Free India Campaign organised by BBA in 2012, was a national campaign, which comprised a series of events and activities and was directed towards the demand for a blanket ban on child labour in the country.

Since 2008, BBA has also annually organised a nation-wide campaign called the India Action Week.