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Child labour: Ampareen blames parents

FROM A REPORTER

SHILLONG, June 10: Urban Affairs and Labour Minister Ampareen Lyngdoh while addressing a programme held on the occasion of Anti-Child Labour Day on Friday here said that parents have to be held responsible for sending their children to work as domestic help in various homes.

“Parents have to take responsibility for this mess and it is absolutely inhumane to send young children under the age of 14 to work. The government should take stronger action in order to tackle this issue,” she said.

She also encouraged the children that they should not be frightened to go to the police and complain if anyone is forcing them to work.

“Within the ambit of law no forced labour is allowed for children,” she said.

She said the government will coordite with Child Rights Movement in the state to find out the root cause behind parents sending their children to work.

Ibakordor lyngdoh, a member of the child rights movement, said, “If I’m not able to finish my work on time the employers would shout and scold me and this has given me a lot of stress and I want to urge the authority concerned to eradicate child labour and give young children a chance to go to school.”

Earlier, Sr. Teresa Salemthangi, regiol coorditor of North Eastern Regiol Domestic Workers Movement (NERDWM), said that in Meghalaya many children engaged in domestic work are vulnerable to all types of abuses especially sexual harassment in work place, school and at home.

She informed that at present there are around 780 children engaged in domestic work and domestic workers children are identified in Shillong and the children are formed in 20 clubs. In each club there are 5 office bearers.

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Ankur Kalita