MAP16 Project activities in India

The project contributes to the promotion of decent work in India by supporting the States of of Chhattisgarh, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh in implementing initiatives that are aimed at eliminating child labour.
As per Census 2011, the total child population in India in the age group (5-14) years is 259.6 million. Of these, just over 10 million (almost 4 per cent of total child population) are working, either as ‘main worker’ or as ‘marginal worker’. This data reveals that the incidence of child labour has decreased in India by 2.6 million between 2001 and 2011, and a greater decline has happened in rural areas than in urban areas. The number of child workers too has shot up in urban areas — indicating a growing demand for child workers as well as rural-to-urban migration.

Together, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh constitute nearly 55 per cent of the total working children (aged 5-14 years) in India. Addressing child labour in urban and rural areas need both area-specific strategic responses and national responses. The National Child Labour Project (NCLP) of Ministry of Labour and Employment is keen to implement a multi-pronged action plan which focuses on convergence of socio-economic development programmes for families of child workers.

The government, employers’ organizations, trade unions, civil society, together have had a long history of working on the progressive elimination of child labour in India. Enactment of the Child Labour Amendment (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 2016 and the Right to Education Act 2009 paved the way for the ratification of ILO’s two core conventions, Convention No. 138 on the Minimum Age for Admission to Employment and Convention No. 182 on the Worst Forms of Child Labour (June 2017). India’s ratification of the ILO Conventions No. 138 and No. 182 expanded the number of children protected globally by 20 per cent. With this ratification, India’s contribution to achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Goal 8 will be significantly enhanced. India will play a critical role in the success of SDG 8.7 Alliance, which calls for a firm partnership and coordination between key actors to “Take immediate and effective measures to eradicate forced labour, end modern slavery and human trafficking and secure the prohibition and elimination of the worst forms of child labour, including recruitment and use of child soldiers, and by 2025 end child labour in all its forms."

Through this project, several Indian states will receive ILO's technical assistance in implementation of state action plan and strengthening their institutional capacity to eliminate child labour, including survey and mapping exercises – as envisaged in National Child Labour Project (NCLP). The project will focus on three states: Chhattisgarh, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.

The project will strengthen ‘convergent action’ with a strong focus on prevention of child labour using a collaborative multi-stakeholder partnership approach. This involves consultations at various levels with government agencies, social partners, civil society and other relevant organizations relating to child labour, education, social welfare, and law enforcement. The project will also consult with National Statistics Office (NSO) on tools related to child labour analysis and mapping.

Country project objectives

To build critical knowledge on child labour and forced labour so as to better-inform policy choices in addressing such issues in select states and sectors in India.

The project will have these outcomes:
  • Outcome 1: Child labour policies and action plans improved to be convergent at the state and district levels.
  • Outcome 2: Improved capacity to collect and analyse child labour data at the state and district levels.
  • Outcome 3: Targeted state governments have strengthened capacity and knowledge base on child labour and its worst forms.

Implementing partners

National and state Governments; district administration; employers’ organisations; workers organizations; businesses; research organizations; civil society organizations and cooperatives.

Target beneficiaries

The target beneficiaries are child workers and their families, formal and informal enterprises including Micro, Small & Medium enterprises (MSME). Other indirect beneficiaries include civil society organizations and related stakeholders.