Karunalaya took a daring step to enter into this area and work to bring a social transformation particularly among the illiterate and hard fishermen, despite troubles and hardships. Since 1995 Karunalaya is the only organization providing shelter home to runaway street children in the coastal North Chennai (a new shelter home is being constructed in the coastal north Chennai for the short stay of street children) and voicing for the rights of the fishing children in North Chennai.
Karunalaya started the intervention after a scientific study of the prevalence of child labour in the fishing industry in the North Chennai in the year 1996 with a mini Program support of International Labour Organisation through International Program for the Elimination of Child Labour (ILO-IPEC) and identified that 1446 children are working in the fishing harbour alone. The intervention for the elimination of child labour and prevention of school drop outs includes:
- Rescue of Child Labour
- Preparation through Transit schools
- Enrollment of the children in Formal Schools
- Evening Supplementary education
- Education materials distribution
- Follow up with the parents, school teachers and academic performance of the children
Prevention and progressive elimination of child labour is one of the focus areas in protecting the rights of the children. With the support of the Embassy of the Kingdom of theNetherlands, Karunalaya is implementing a project for child labour prevention and intervention in north Chennai. A Rapid Assessment Study to identify Child Labour employing industries and establishments inNorth Chennaito bring out the list of employers to sensitize and prevent children being employed. Since the study finding recommends rescue of the children and effective enforcement, rescue protocol is required to be in place to remove children from work and place them in education programme.
The main objective of identification of child labour is to identify the industries that employ children as labourers in North Chennai and the type of work children are engaged in and the type of industry which employs children the most. This will help us to remove children from labour force and to ensure that such industries will not employ children in the future through advocacy, lobby and sensitization program of the project.