Although the practice of manual scavenging prohibited under the 1993 legislation but still it continues across the country in three major forms; First, manually cleaning dry toilets; the census 2011 of India establishes that 2.6 million dry toilets are exists in the country. Secondly, sanitation workers engaged in cleaning excreta from public streets, manhole and sewerage line and thirdly, scavengers are employed by government bodies such as Indian Railways, Indian army as well as in the private sector, like private hospitals etc.
At the same time, the National Advisory Council adopted a number of recommendations for the elimination of scavenging, while the Ministry of Labour and Employment established a Task Force on Sanitation and Leather Workers which has drafted a new bill for sanitation workers titled as “Sanitation Workers (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Bill”. In addition, Government has expressed speedy elimination of scavenging practice in the 12th five year approach paper.
The continuance of such discriminatory practice is violation of ILO’s Convention 111 (Discrimination in Employment and Occupation). Social exclusion due to these practices requires urgent attention to promote decent work and better employment conditions with dignity. In order to enhance the capacity of thge trade unions and civil society organizations through training a two-day training on decent work, social security and international labour standards is being organized with the objectives of :
- Discuss issues of promoting decent work on ILO’s decent work approach and core conventions concerning employment status and social security available to manual scavengers and other sanitation workers
- Enhancing knowledge and capacity of TU, civil society organizations working in this area to reach these workers with information on social security schemes and rehabilitation programmes available and how to access these schemes and programmes.