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Saturday, Nov 16, 2002

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ILO steps up efforts to end child labour in State

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A COMPREHENSIVE effort to eliminate child labour in the unorganised sector in Andhra Pradesh where children below 14 years are employed in large numbers as domestic servants and farm labourers has been taken up by the International Labour Organisation (ILO).

It has enlisted the support of chartered accountants, doctors, lawyers, freedom-fighters and women's groups and religious organisations, Rotary and Lions Clubs in 20 out of 23 districts.

Mr M.P. Joseph, Project Manager of ILO, told presspersons here that the network was to be extended to Ranga Reddy and Khammam districts and Hyderabad city. Each district unit would be registered, he said.

At mandal level, the network had been set up in some places. Initially, ILO had provided Rs 1 crore towards setting up the network.

He said that corporates such as Infosys, Wipro and Satyam were being involved to contribute funds towards the strengthening of the network. The Andhra Mahila Sabha took up leadership of the network at the State level, he added.

To create greater awareness on the need to eliminate the practice of child labour, November 20 would be celebrated as Child Rights Day.

In the organised sector, the problem of child labour was being tackled with the help of associations of traders and employers, trade unions, NGOs, and government machinery.

According to Government estimates, of the 30-lakh children who were out of school before the "Chaduvula Panduga", 20 lakh were attending school after it was launched.

To bring about faster results, it was felt that a legislation incorporating the new issues in child labour elimination should be brought in.

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