December 4, 2008

West Bengal to extend reach of schools for child labourers

Kolkata, December 4, 2008: The West Bengal government will extend the reach of more than 850 special schools meant for child labourers to help them enter the mainstream education, an official here said.”We are trying to ensure that children who stop working after certain interventions should be admitted to these special schools run under the National Child Labour Project (NCLP). So far, at least 44,000 child labourers have benefited from these schools,”
Trilochan Singh, principal secretary of the department of labour in the state government, told mediapersons on the sidelines of a regional consultation here recently. “These schools run bridge courses. Those child labourers, who stop working, study here and then they are admitted to the mainstream schools where the can continue their education,” Singh said.

The regional consultation was organised by the state’s labour department, the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) and UNICEF on the ‘abolition of child labour and attainment of Children’s Right to Education’.

The meet focused on bringing together different stakeholders to work out some possible solutions towards achieving these aims. The 2001 census report estimates that nearly 857,086 children are working in the state, which violates the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) to which India acceded in 1992.

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