Issues & Advocacy

state consultation on right to education

Ensuring the implementation of Right to Education Act

Ensuring the implementation of Right to Education Act is an immediate issue to be addressed. The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act came in force through out the country from 1st April 2010. Since than three years has been passed but the government both from central and state could not able to ensure required infrastructure, human resource and policy level arrangements towards ensuring right to education for all children of 6-14 years old of this country. SPAN advocates for immediate realisation of the provisions of Right to Education Act and adoption of appropriate measures for the inclusion of the children of disadvantaged sections like child labour, street children, children with special need, etc. SPAN also advocates for no further dilution of the Right to education Act. SPAN advocates for the immediate realization of the Right to Education Act through following measures:
  • Building alliances and forum at civil society level,
  • Fact finding and mobilizing the cases violation of right to education for justice to the state and national level authority,
  • Building public opinion in support of proper implementation of RTE though Community mobilization, public meeting, Media advocacy
  • Advocating with government departments on the issue through submitting memorandum and documents with fact and figures.
  • At present SPAN is involved in Stock taking exercise of the implementation of Right to Education in the state of West Bengal as a part of West Bengal RTE Forum and National RTE Forum.
child labour

Total eradication of child labour upto 18 years of age – new legislation is must.

Child labour is one of the most complex and long drawn issues for our country. India still has largest number of child labour in the world. Till date the most comprehensive legislation on child labour is Child Labour (Prohibition & Regulation) Act, 1986 which does not prohibits employment of children in all sectors and upto eighteen years of age. Besides the legislation has number of loopholes which made its enforcement week and ineffective. Recently Union Government of India came up with a proposal for an amendment to Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986. The Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2012 introduced in Rajysava on 4th December, 2012 which has framed primarily based on the recommendations of National Advisory Council. The amendment though proposed to prohibit the employment of children of less than fourteen years old in all sectors but it again bypassed the demand of total eradication of child labour upto 18 years of age. The Amendment has not touched the inherent weaknesses of existing legislation on the issue of its enforcement and raised a number doubts and confusions in terms of penalizing parents of child labour, defining children of age group 14-18 years old as adolescents and defining hazardous job as per the definition of Factories Act. SPAN primarily working on child rights and Child labour is one of its major agenda of intervention. SPAN is the National Convener of Campaign Against Child Labour and advocating on demand of total eradication child labour upto 18 years of age since last 10 years. SPAN experienced and identified structural challenges while addressing the issue of child labour at the grassroot level which is rooted with the weaknesses of the existing legislation. SPAN categorically demand that the government must take total eradication of child labour upto eighteen years and ensuring fundamental right to free, compulsory and quality education upto eighteen years as a policy. Therefore the government must amend article 24 of the Constitution of India to prohibit children of less than 18 years to work in any sector and come up with a new law on child labour which not only prohibit employment of children in any sector up to eighteen years of age but also ensure time bound eradication of child labour (with provisions for rescue and rehabilitation) by the government from this country. SPAN as the Executive Member of Campaign Agaiunst Child Labour (CACL) advocates this issue with the demand of total eradication of child labour in West Bengal as well as throughout the country. The organization is now in a process the come up with a civil society Bill on total eradication of child labour on the CACL platform and advocate on the issue.