Raising their voice against child labor in the district, the South Dinajpur Child Welfare department on Thursday organized a special awareness campaign in Balurghat with a group of businessmen of the town.

The Assistant Labor Commissioner and the Project Director of the district, officials of the Family welfare department, and members of social organizations and businessmen of Balurghat were present in the camp.

The officials discussed on laws related to child labor, The Child Labor prohibitions and Regulations Amendment Act- 2016, particularly section 3, where the employer’s responsibilities towards the employee were discussed.

The representatives of different trades especially, sweet shop owners, tea and snacks vendors, fish vendor, cloth shop owners and other trade owners were also present in the campaign were officials of the department discussed about the responsibilities of the employers to check the menace of child labor.

According to law, minor girls or boys are not allowed to engage in physical labor in lieu of money. Restrictions have also been imposed on engagement of children as domestic helper, it is learnt.

“According to law, the child protection department has the right to book a defaulter and if it is proved the defaulter may also face punishments with one year confinement in jail and Rs 50 thousand as fine. It will be considered as a crime,” said the assistant labor commissioner, South Dinajpur, Sajal Das.

According to the reports of the district labor department, the Hili block in the district tops the list in cases of child labor, where most of the population is engaged in Bidi (Tobacco) making.

The second largest sector encouraging child labor in the district is the bricks fields. The district coordinator of the Child Line, Suraj Das said, “Children are being engaged to work in restaurants, tea shops, dhabas, and sweet shops, taking advantage of their poor financial condition and by providing them a salary of three digits they are simply becoming victims of social exploitation. We will work together to stop this crime.”