Don Bosco Social Service Society (DBSS) under the CREAM project has been involved in protecting and promoting child rights through multi-pronged strategies such as training children on child rights, forming child rights clubs, training different stakeholders and forming child protection committees at the Grama Panchayat levels and through advocacy with various Government Departments. But to create impact and to implement with effect the Child Protection mechanisms, the active involvement of various Government Departments is desirable. In continuation to the survey conducted by DBSS on 18 April 2018, to assess the number of vehicles transporting children for labour and as follow up of the memorandums sent to the seven Government departments urging them to intervene and protect these children depressed under the yoke of hazardous labour, DBSS conducted several dialogue meetings with the Child protection mechanisms and units at the district and state level.
In response to the memorandums, only the Karnataka State Human Rights Commission took appropriate action and asked the Deputy Commissioner and Labour Officer, Raichur to conduct periodical raids and take action against employers of children and also vehicle owners who traffic children. The Deputy Commissioner called a meeting of all the different departments and asked them to take steps to prevent child labour.
On 4 July 2019, the Chair Person of Karnataka State Commission for the Protection of Child Rights held a sitting with the Commission members and other District officers like Deputy Commissioner, Deputy Director of Public Instruction (DDPI), Deputy Director of Women and Child Development department, Deputy Director of Labour and members of the Child Welfare Committee at Kalaburagi. Don Bosco Social Service Society together with other office bearers of Raichur District Child Rights Club Federation submitted a memorandum to the Commission demanding action on the following issues.
- Take action against Child Labour; banning the trafficking of children in goods vehicles to work in agricultural fields especially in cotton and chilli fields.
- Appoint teachers for Science, Mathematics and English subjects in High Schools of Raichur district.
- Provide a child-friendly atmosphere and basic facilities in all the Government hostels of Raichur district.
- To appoint labour inspectors in all the taluks of Raichur so as to prevent Child Labour and take action against those who traffic children to work.
- To direct the concerned Departments to take steps to organise children’s Gram Sabhas.
On 5 July 2019, the National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights held its bench sitting at Kalaburagi, Karnataka, in which the Commission invited the public and NGOs to participate, discuss and bring to the notice of the Commission any complaints regarding Child Rights violations in the Hyderabad Karnataka region (6 districts of North Karnataka).
In response to this, the Chairperson of the Commission summoned the RTO, DDPI and DC of Raichur for the next days’ meeting of the National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights and asked them to take action on the issues raised by Don Bosco Social Service Society. The Commission asked the DDPI, RTO and Labour Officer to respond to the issues raised by Don Bosco and the children. Besides this, in response to the memorandum submitted to the National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights, the Commission issued notices to the following persons/ departments.
- The Commissioner for Labour, Government of Karnataka, urging him to take action to start residential Bridge Course centres for the rehabilitation of rescued child labourers and the Commission has given one month’s time to submit the action taken report.
- To the Deputy Labour Commissioner of Kalaburagi
- To the Assistant Labour Commissioner of Kalaburagi
- To the Deputy Director of Public Instruction (DDPI) asking haim to appoint teachers in English, Mathematics and Science. He was asked to take action as per the order and send a compliance report in the matter to the Commission with supporting documents within 14 days of receipt of the letter.
- To the Deputy Commissioner (DC) Raichur, asking him to appoint teachers in government schools and submit an action taken report. He was asked to appoint Labour Inspectors in all the taluks of Raichur district and take steps to prevent Child Labour and trafficking of children and to rescue child labourers and start rehabilitation centers for child labourers.
Again on 16 September 2019, DBSS submitted a memorandum to the Labour Secretary, Government of Karnataka, when he visited Raichur, and urged him to take action to prevent trafficking of children for work in Raichur. Thus, we are constantly and consistently pursuing our advocacy so that all children will have a safe, secure and happy life, free from the burden of labour and exploitation. We also firmly believe that through advocacy, strengthening and supporting the Government systems, there will be a better childhood for the children tomorrow.