BHUBANESWAR: The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has sought a report on child labour and the measurers taken by the State Government to make Odisha free from the menace.
Hearing a petition filed by rights activist Radhakanta Tripathy at the camp court held here recently, the apex human rights body asked the Secretary of Labour and ESI Department to submit a detailed report within one year.
The petitioner alleged that child labour menace in Odisha is rampant and corrective measures are not being taken despite several reminders from the NHRC.
Expressing serious concern over the issue, the rights panel had earlier sought an action taken report from the State Government. As the reply from the Government could not satisfy the NHRC, it directed its Special Rapporteur to investigate the case.
Pursuant to the directions of the Commission, Additional Secretary of Labour and ESI Department has submitted the action taken report.
According to the report, only 104 of 532 families of child labourers have been covered under various poverty alleviation schemes. Of 688 child labour cases, steps have been taken against employers for recovery of `20,000 in only 42 cases, the report stated.
After investigation, the Special Rapporteur, however, observed that no proper survey on child labour has been conducted in the State. The link between drop-out students and rescued children is also missing, he pointed out.
The petitioner alleged that the scheme under National Child Labour Project (NCLP) is not extended to the entire State despite NHRC’s earlier direction. Principal Secretary of Labour Department Gudey Srinivas assured that all the districts of the State will be covered under NCLP scheme soon.
During the camp court, Justice D Murugesan, a member of the full Commission bench, asked the Government whether it is aware of the decision of the Supreme Court that `20,000 will be recovered from the employer irrespective of the status of the prosecution.
To this, Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi assured the bench that all directions will be complied with within reasonable period of time.