Kolkata: The United States has invested $20 million in India to eliminate child labour from hazardous industries in 21 districts across five states, U.S consul- general Henry V Jardine said today.
“The U.S Labour Department has contributed $20 mn to the Indus project, the largest programme ever supported by the department outside the U.S, which aims to ensure child labour elimination from hazardous industries in 21 districts,” he said while inaugurating a seminar on “The right response to child labour” at the American Centre here.
Jardine said the districts selected for the project were spread across Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and NCT Delhi.
The programme works in conjunction with the Government of India’s National Child Labour Project, Jardine said. Quoting ILO estimates, he said there were over 200 million child labour between the age of 5-14 years worldwide.
“The Asia Pacific region holds the dubious distinction of having the highest number of working children in the world - over 122 million. Many of the worst forms of child labour are still important concerns for the region, including bonded forced labour, child trafficking and prostitution,” he said.
Stating that investing in education was a sound economic decision, Jardine said the ILO study found that elimination of child labour and its replacement by universal education would yield major economic benefits in addition to social benefits.
“Globally, benefits exceeded costs by a ratio of more than 6 to 1,” he said.