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'Kids in India engaged in worst forms of child labour'

Observing that children in India are engaged in the "worst forms" of child labour, the US has asked Indian government to establish a minimum age for employment in hazardous and non-hazardous jobs consistent with international standards.

"Children in India are engaged in the worst forms of child labour. Most work in agriculture producing crops such as rice and hybrid seeds.

Children who work in agriculture may carry heavy loads and apply harmful pesticides," said US Department of Labour in its 10th annual Congressional mandated report that provides information on the efforts of certain US trade beneficiary countries to eliminate the worst forms of child labour.

"Children in India also work in dangerous conditions, quarrying sandstone and other materials, breaking stones and polishing gems as well as in manufacturing," said the report, according to which.

India along with Bangladesh and the Philippines lead the world in the number of products made by child workers.

"We believe that every child has the right to an education and a childhood free from exploitation. We believe that God-given potential is present in every child born into this world - no matter how poor, and no matter his or her race, class, or geographical origin," US Labour Secretary, Hilda Solis, said at the release of the report "Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labour".

Giving a detailed account to practices of child labour in countries across the globe including India, the US report asked the Indian Government to establish a "minimum age for employment" in non-hazardous and hazardous occupations consistent with international standards; and expand the scope of the act to cover children working in family enterprises.

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