The Union Cabinet
chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval
for ratification of the two fundamental conventions of the International
Labour Organization namely, Minimum Age Convention (No 138) concerning
minimum age for admission to employment and the Worst Forms of Child
Labour Convention (No 182) concerning the prohibition and immediate
action for elimination of the worst forms of Child Labour. India is a
founder member of the International Labour Organization (ILO), which
came into existence in 1919. At present, the ILO has 187 members. The
principal means of action in the ILO is the setting up of International
standards in the form of Conventions, Recommendations and Protocol.
India has so far ratified 45 Conventions, out of which 42 are in force.
Out of these 4 are Fundamental or Core Conventions.
Government has taken up a multipronged strategy including both stringent
legislative and Project based approach to address the concerns related
to child labour. However, there is a need to further accentuate its
initiatives to ensure a safe and fulfilled future for the children of
our country by ensuring proper implementation of the provisions of the
Child and Adolescent Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986 which
now completely prohibits employment or work of children below 14 years
in any occupation or process. The momentum of the recent initiatives
taken to eradicate child labour has to be maintained as elimination of
child labour is also crucial for the attainment of Sustainable
Development Goals by 2030. The ratification of the Convention No 138 and
182 would move a step ahead in the direction of achieving the goal of
eradication of child labour from the country as it would be legally
binding to comply with the provisions of the Conventions. Presently,
Convention 138 has been ratified by 169 countries and Convention 182 has
been ratified by 180 countries. Hence, by ratifying these two core
conventions, India would join majority of the countries who have adopted
the legislation to prohibit and place severe restrictions on the
employment and work of children.