Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya on Tuesday said India is ready to ratify ILO conventions 138 and 182 related to child labour.
“India is now in a position to ratify the ILO conventions 138 and 182 concerning child labour and has started the process in this direction,” the labour ministry said quoting Dattatreya. The minister made the comments at the two-day BRICS labour and employment ministerial meeting, which began in the national Capital on Tuesday.
India has put a complete ban on employing children below 14 years of age and employment in hazardous occupations below 18 years, the ministry said.
In another significant step, the government has presented amendment to the Maternity Benefit Act, raising the paid maternity benefit to 26 weeks from 12 weeks. The Bill has been passed by the Rajya Sabha and will be introduced in the Lok Sabha in the Winter Session of 2016, it added.
Dattatreya said India is committed to inclusive growth so that benefits reach the marginalised and they become integral to the growth process.
Labour Secretary Shankar Aggarwal said the deliberations during the forthcoming three technical sessions covering employment, social security and inclusive development would be focused, constructive, fruitful and presence of International Organisations would add value to the deliberations.
BRICS is home to about 45 per cent of world’s economically active population and that the bloc (including South Africa) -- the largest emerging market -- needs to develop in rapid strides, he suggested.
“However, the growth so envisioned should lead to job creation and not jobless growth. Therefore, employment generation assumes significance in the overall theme of global development,” Aggrawal said.
Moreover, it is not enough to generate employment and needs to have an added dimension of “securing decent work to workers”.
Strengthening of the employment track through the BRICS Employment Working Group will pave the way for finding solutions to address employment and labour challenges that BRICS and a lot of other emerging economies face, the secretary said.
During the ministerial meeting, the ministers will deliberate on adopting BRICS labour and employment ministerial declaration. The two-day meeting will have dedicated sessions on key thematic areas -- employment generation, social security and inclusive development, including formalisation. India assumed the presidency of BRICS in February and is hosting the 8th BRICS Summit 2016, which is scheduled to be held on October 15-16 in Goa. The theme of India’s BRICS chairmanship is ‘Building Responsive, Inclusive and Collective Solutions’.