"...Children are not our political priority which is quite unfortunate. Besides political, children are also not social, religious priorities in the country," Satyarthi said during a Meet-The-Press programme held here this evening.
Saying that the present law in the country "could not stop" child labour completely, Satyarthi, 61, appealed to the Centre to implement tough law to completely eradicate child labour and child slavery.
"Today, there is no law in the country which can completely eradicate child labour," he claimed.
He said a law enacted in 1986 prohibits child labour only in non-hazardous occupations.
"Today, 80-85 per cent cases involving child labour in the country are not banned...present law on child labour allows child labour up to the age of 14 in non-hazardous occupations," he said, adding that Child Labour Law was contrary to the Right to Education Act and Juvenile Justice Act.
Stressing upon changing the mindset towards children, Satyarthi further asked from the government to implement the new law on child labour, which has not been tabled in Parliament yet.
"We are appealing to the government, all MPs that the law (on child labour) which has been lying in the Parliament be passed," he said.
He further said that he had even raised this issue with the previous government at the Centre and now with new government.
"The new law was passed by the Cabinet, Standing Committee. But it has not been tabled yet. The last government came and went and now the new government is there," he said.
Talking about the new law on child labour, Satyarthi said it prohibits child labour completely up to the age of 14 years.
"Children between the age of 15-18 years will not be allowed to work in non-hazardous occupation. This law also ensures proper rehabilitation of these children," he said.
Taking a jibe at the funds allocated for children in the new budget, Satyarthi said, "you will be surprised to know that only 4 per cent of total budget has been earmarked for children up to the age of 18 years who constitute about 41 per cent of our population."
"In the past, our economic condition was not good. But today we are regarded as the one of fastest growing countries in the world. Therefore, we should initiate in this regard," he said.

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