New Delhi: Scores of child rights activists on Thursday held a protest at Jantar Mantar here demanding passage of a bill in Parliament which prohibits employment of children in all occupations and facilitates their enrolment in school.
The protesters demanded discussion on the Child and Adolescent Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Bill by both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha at the earliest, saying the proposed legislation may protect millions of children from exploitation and slavery.
The bill seeks to prohibit hazardous work for all children below 18 years and employment of children below 14 years in sync with the Right to Education Act.
"Parliamentarians have not found time to debate a legislation that may protect millions of children from exploitation and slavery," said R S Chaurasia, Chairperson of Bachpan Bachao Andolan.
Activists who participated at the protest said they will submit a petition, having one million signatures, to the government demanding protection of children from exploitation.
"It is surprising that while Food Security Bill has been passed in the Lok Sabha, this pressing issue is being ignored," said Kailash Satyarthi, chairperson of Global March Against Child Labour.
"We urge the Parliament to pass the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Bill on the next business day with a sense of utmost urgency. The future of our children is at stake here. We cannot shrug our responsibility to the children nor our international commitments," he said.