NEW DELHI: The Labour Ministry has constituted a task force to ensure the effective implementation of the Child and Adolescent Labour (Prohibition & Regulation) Act, 1986. The force will also deal with complaints filed on the Platform for Effective Enforcement for No Child Labour (PENCIL) portal.
“By putting PENCIL complaints under the purview of the task force, we intend to reduce the red tape involved. PENCIL has a dedicated force and action taken would be swifter,” a ministry official said.
The task force will be headed by the Joint Secretary, child labour and have representatives from the Home ministry and the Human Resources Development (HRD) ministry and also labour commissioners of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan and Telangana. Dr Helen Sekar, senior fellow at the VV Giri National Law Institute will also be a member.
The duties of the task force would be to formulate a strategy for effectively implementing the plan of the National Child Labour Project (NCLP) and monitoring it across all districts and to form a team comprising ministry officials to intervene in case of violations. “The task force will also coordinate with state governments and other ministries and conduct physical verification of enforcement agencies at the state and district levels to ensure effective implementation,” the official said.
Apart from monitoring and tackling complaints on PENCIL, the task force will also monitor media reports and act on them, if found to be true. “We included the clause of media reports as in the age of social media, most cases are highlighted by the media. We will closely monitor and if required, coordinate with the media to ensure that the number of cases of child labour is reduced,” the official said.
Vishal Goswamy of the Save the Children India, an NGO working towards eradicating child labour said that the move was in the right direction. “As an organisation, we have noticed that there is better action taken on the complaints filed on PENCIL. So by including the portal under the jurisdiction of the task force, we hope that children would be freed,” he said.