The Situation of Child Labour in Uttar Pradesh and Gautam Buddh Nagar by Sourav Bhattacharya

Uttar Pradesh is one of the largest hub of child labour and child trafficking in India. An article from Scroll which cites National Crime Bureau(NCB) states that there were 822 cases of child trafficking in Uttar Pradesh and 9034 cases in India in 20161. Interestingly, 2015 data showed that there were only 13 cases of child trafficking in Uttar Pradesh2. Another article by The Hindu states that, Uttar Pradesh reported 8020 cases of child labour in 20183. Such drastic increase in the numbers indicate two things. First, it points towards a massive under reporting on child labour and trafficking. Second, it also shows an increase in awareness and sensitivity amongst the common people. However, child labour has also risen from the Census of 2001 and 2011. As per the Census of 2001, there were 19,27,997 child labourers while in 2011, the number risen to 21,76,7064. The Uttar Pradesh Government provides many schemes and policies to tackle the problem of child labour and trafficking. In 2020, the Chief Minister, Yogi Adityanath on the International Child Labour Day announced a new scheme “Bal Shramik Vidya Yojana” for the underprivileged. Schemes like Beti Bachao Beti Padhao and Integrated Child Protection Scheme (ICPS) enacted by the Central Government to tackle the problem of child labour and ensure rehabilitation. Under ICPS, Uttar Pradesh and my district Gautam Buddh Nagar had established State Child Protection Unit and District Child Protection Unit respectively.The district Gautam Buddh Nagar have several non-governmental organisations and state agencies working in it to control child trafficking. The Childline India Foundation in collaboration with FXB India Suraksha manages the child helpline 1098 in the district. There are other NGOs like SADRAG and World Vision India who conduct raid and rehabilitation in the district. Along with NGOs, there are state agencies like Anti Human Trafficking Police Stations and Units and State Commission for Protection of Child Rights who work to conduct raid and rescue. There is another provision called Track Child 1.0 which allows one to track the updates on missing children. The child rescued are sent to shelter homes, juvenile detention centre, and adoption homes. All of these are managed by the state. Since Gautam Buddh Nagar is a newly emerging district in Uttar Pradesh, child labour is prevalent more in hotels and shops like boutique, dhaba, kirana stores and electrical shops. Other sources of child labour are in domestic labour and food joints. Certain industries such as biscuit making industries and brick kilns also have children working in them. The children work in hazardous conditions near fire and cramped spaces without any pay. According to an article by Scroll, there have been 852 children rescued in 20165. The raid and rescue of a child is done by the collaboration of three NGOs operating in the district: Childline India Foundation, FXB India Suraksha and SADRAG. The Census of 2011 states that the top 5 districts of Uttar Pradesh where child labour is the highest are – Allahabad, Bareilly, Jaunpur, Gonda and Agra6. Similarly, the district of Bahraich, Gonda, and Shravati have shown the highest rate of child trafficking. The children trafficked are sent to Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Delhi7. These high incidence of child labour and trafficking pose as an obstacle to the prosperity of Uttar Pradesh.

2.National Crime Bureau Data on Child Trafficking 2015 –
7.A qualitative study OF Child Labour in District Bahraich, Uttar Pradesh conducted by The Labour Commissioner Organisation, Government of Uttar Pradesh – May 2015.

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