Child Labour? 13-Year-Old Boy Hired As Cleaner for UNICEF's Children's Day Event in Delhi's Thyagaraj Stadium
Child (Photo Credits: Unsplash)

On November 14, UNICEF organised various events for kids at Delhi's Thyagaraj Stadium. However, the humanitarian organisation did not notice that one of their cleaning staff was below 14 years of age. Hiring a person below 14 years of age for any work including domestic help is a clear violation of Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986. On Children's Day, a 13-year-old boy cleaned the building's men washroom and loaded water canisters required for the event. The former cricketer, Sachin Tendulkar who is the UN body's goodwill ambassador was also part of the event.

According to Indian Express, the boy lived nearby was sent to the venue by his mother. The report quoted him as saying, "I have been at the venue since 8 am, and will be here till 5 pm. I will get Rs 350 for this work. This is the first time I am working, I go to school usually. My father works in the pantry of an office and my mother works as domestic help." India Made Significant Advancement to Eliminate Worst Forms of Child Labour in 2017: US.

Here's the photo of the boy cleaning:

UNICEF "works in 190 countries and territories to save children’s lives, to defend their rights, and to help them fulfil their potential, from early childhood through adolescence". Dr Yasmin Ali Haque, UNICEF India representative, and Hrushikesh Senapati, director, National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) were also a part of the event. World Day Against Child Labour 2018 Date: Theme, History & Significance to Observe This Day Against The Social Evil.

The cleaning work at Thyagaraj Stadium run by the Delhi government, is outsourced to ACME Excellent Management. An ACME representative said that they did not hire the housekeeping staff for the UN event. The representative said, "The staff hired through ACME perform regular cleaning work at the stadium. When private events take place, the event organisers bring their own housekeeping staff."

A UNICEF spokesperson said that they have a zero-tolerance policy regarding such issues of child labour. The spokesperson said, "We follow a strong due diligence process with all our partners and suppliers. Our event organiser Indebo has made it very clear that the boy had not been hired through them." The person also suggested that as multiple events are held at the stadium, the boy could have been hired for some for some other one. The company conducted a probe and submitted a report to UNICEF.