With a written history of more than 2,000 years, Tibet existed as an independent sovereign state prior to Chinese rule. But having no representation in the United Nations, the world largely stood by and allowed China’s occupation and destruction to happen.


China’s relentless destruction of religion in Tibet saw the demise of over 6,000 monasteries and countless religious artefacts. Even today, China see the Tibetan religion and culture as the main threat to the leadership of the Communist Party. China’s Third Work Forum on Tibet in 1994 and the Fourth Work Forum in 2001 have called for an array of measures to wipe out the vestige of Tibetan religion.

Denouncing Tibet’s Spiritual Leaders

Forced to denounce His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Panchen Lama recognised by him, Tibetans must pledge their allegiance to the Chinese government. Failure to do so can result in imprisonment or other forms of punishment. Possessing an image of His Holiness the Dalai Lama is today illegal in Tibet.

Since May 2005 Beijing has stepped up its efforts to attack the person of His Holiness the Dalai Lama by declaring a “fight to the death” struggle against him. Many describe this new round of vituperative campaign against the Tibetan spiritual leader as a throwback to the era of the Cultural Revolution.

In July 2007 a new regulation was introduced, according to which all incarnate lamas or tulkus must have state approval. As well as usurping the power to recognise the Tibetan spiritual figures, Beijing hopes — through the implementation of this regulation — to rule the land and people of Tibet through state-sponsored lamas or tulkus.

Population Transfer

The continued population transfer of Chinese to Tibet in recent years has seen the Tibetans become a minority in their own land. Today the six million Tibetans are vastly outnumbered by Chinese immigrants, who are given preferential treatment in education, jobs and private enterprises. Tibetans, on the other hand, are treated as second-class citizens in their own country.

Under the guise of economic and social development, Beijing encourages the migration of Chinese population to Tibet, marginalising the Tibetans in economic, educational, political and social spheres.

The railway line between Gormo and Lhasa, which was officially opened in July 2006, has given further impetus to this vicious policy of flooding Tibet with Chinese migrants, and thus making it demographically impossible for the Tibetans to rise up as in the case of Inner Mongolia and Xinjiang. It is estimated that the railway brings some 5,000 to 6,000 Chinese to Lhasa everyday. Out of these, 2,000 to 3,000 return to their homes in China and the rest of them settle in Tibet indefinitely. If this trend continues unabated, it will not be long before what many perceive as Beijing’s “final solution” to the question of Tibet will have achieved its desired goal.


Chinese occupation of Tibet has seen the Tibetan language surpassed by that of the Chinese. The government is repressing Tibetan culture by making the language redundant in all sectors. Tibet’s education system, controlled entirely by the Chinese and their Communist ideology, is geared to suit the needs of Chinese immigrants. Tibetan students also suffer from prohibitive and discriminatory fees and inadequate facilities in rural areas.

The deprival of meaningful education in their own homeland has forced well over 10,000 Tibetan children and youths to escape to India, where the exile Tibetan community offers them educational opportunities unimaginable in Tibet. The records of the Tibetan Reception Centre in Dharamsala reveal that from 1991 to June 2004, the Centre had hosted a total of 43,634 new arrivals from Tibet. Out of these, 59.75% were found to be children (below the age of 13) and youths (between the age of 13 and 25). In 2006 alone, some 2,445 newly-arrived Tibetans were received at the Centre, majority of them being children below 18 years of age. The sole purpose of such a large number of young Tibetans fleeing their homeland — and more often than not negotiating a treacherous journey across the Himalayas — is to obtain a decent religious and secular education in a country far away from home.

In monasteries, Chinese government “work teams” are being sent to forcibly “re-educate” monks and nuns in their political and religious beliefs. Their methods are similar to those imposed during the Cultural Revolution. The “strike hard” campaign between 1996 and 1998 saw 492 monks and nuns arrested and 9,997 expelled from their religious institutions.

Zhang Qingli’s arrival at the helm in the “TAR” in May 2006 led to the scope of the “patriotic re-education” campaign being expanded from the confines of the monasteries and nunneries to encompass the wider population in Tibet, including schools. The main thrust of this campaign is to re-orient the Tibetan people’s religious faith and belief by requiring to pledge their opposition to His Holiness the Dalai Lama.


By the end of 1998, the People’s Republic of China had signed the three covenants comprising the International Bill of Rights, but it is still far from implementing these domestically and in Tibet. Individual and collective rights abuses continue to challenge the Tibetan people and the future survival of their unique cultural identity.

A case in point is the Nangpa La shooting incident of 30 September 2006 — which claimed two Tibetan lives and the arrest of some 30 Tibetans, including 14 children. Not only does this incident show the height of human rights violations taking place in Tibet, but also the impunity with which the Chinese border police commit these rights abuses. Following this tragedy, the Public Security Bureaus (PSBs) in the “TAR” have been instructed to curb illegal crossings during the first half of 2007, calling it a part of their “strike hard” campaign against splittism to ensure stability in the region. As a result, border patrolling has been strengthened and stringent methods are employed to prevent any Tibetan from escaping repression.

The Central Tibetan Administration solemnly maintains that the Chinese government’s treatment of Tibetans in Tibet is in breach of the rights to life, liberty and security and the freedom of expression, religion, culture and education. Today, in Tibet:

  • Any expression of opinion contrary to Chinese Communist Party ideology can result in arrest;
  • The Chinese government has systematically covered religious institutions in an attempt to eradicate allegiance to His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Tibetan nationalism and any dissention;
  • Tibetans are subject to arbitrary arrest and detention;
  • Those imprisoned are often denied legal representation and Chinese legal proceedings fail to meet international standards;
  • Torture still prevails in Chinese prisons and detention centres despite it being in contravention of the United Nations Convention Against Torture;
  • Due to subsistence difficulties, inadequate facilities and discriminatory measures, many Tibetan children are denied access to adequate healthcare and schooling;
  • The rate of imprisonment for political reasons is far greater than in other areas under Chinese rule;
  • Children are not exempt from China’s repression of freedom of expression. There are Tibetan political prisoners below the age of 18, and child monks and nuns are consistently dismissed from their religious institutions.
  • Enforced disappearances, where a person is taken into custody and the details of his detention are not disclosed, continue to occur;
  • Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, recognised by His Holiness the Dalai Lama as the 11th Panchen Lama, has been missing since 1995;
  • More than 70 percent of Tibetans in Tibet now live below the poverty line;
  • Thousands of Tibetans continue to flee their homeland in pursuit of freedom, livelihood, and education in the exile community, where the Indian government gives facilities that the Chinese government cannot even think of, much less provide.

Continual international pressure is essential in encouraging the Chinese government to abide by the regulations of the covenants of human rights.


Situated at the heart of Asia, Tibet is one of the most environmentally strategic and sensitive regions in the world. Tibetans live in harmony with nature, guided by their Buddhist belief in the interdependence of both living and non-living elements of the earth. However, with the invasion of Tibet, the materialistic Chinese Communist ideology trampled upon this nature-friendly attitude of the Tibetan people.

The past 50 years has seen widespread environmental destruction resulting in deforestation, soil erosion, extinction of wildlife, overgrazing, uncontrolled mining and nuclear waste dumping. Today, the Chinese continue to extract various natural resources — often with foreign backing — without any environmental safeguards and consequently Tibet is facing an environmental crisis, the ramifications of which are felt far beyond its borders.


Tibet boasts some of the finest quality forest reserves in the world. Having taken hundreds of years to grow, many trees stand 90 feet high with a girth of 5 feet or more. China’s “development” and “modernisation” plans for Tibet are seeing these forest indiscriminately destroyed. In 1959, 25.2 million hectares of forest were found in Tibet, but in 1985 the Chinese had reduced forest-cover to 13.57 million hectares. Over 46 percent of Tibet’s forest has been destroyed and in some areas this figure is as high as 80 percent. Between 1959 and 1985, the Chinese removed US$ 54 billion worth of timber from Tibet. Deforestation, and inadequate reforestation programmes, has a profound effect on wildlife and leads to soil erosion and floods in the neighbouring countries, including China itself.

Soil Erosion and Flooding

Massive deforestation, mining and intensified agriculture patterns in Tibet have led to increased soil erosion and the siltation of some of Asia’s most important rivers. Siltation of the Mekong, Yangtse, Indus, Salween and Yellow rivers cause major floods such as those Asia has experienced in recent years. This in turn causes landslides and reduces potential farming land, thus affecting half the world population which lives downstream from Tibet.

Global Climate Effects

Scientists have observed a correlation between natural vegetation on the Tibetan Plateau and the stability of the monsoon, which is indispensible to the bread-baskets of South Asia. Scientists have also shown that the environment of the Tibetan Plateau affects jet-streams which are related to the cause of Pacific typhoons and the El Nino phenomenon, which has had adverse environmental effects world-wide.

Extinction of Wildlife

In 1901, His Holiness the 13th Dalai Lama issued a decree banning the hunting of wild animals in Tibet. Unfortunately, the Chinese have not enforced similar restrictions and instead the “trophy-hunting” of endangered species has been actively encouraged. There are at least 81 endangered species on the Tibetan Plateau of which 39 are mammals, 37 birds, four amphibians and one reptile.

Uncontrolled Mining

Extraction of borax, chromium, copper, gold, and uranium is being vigorously carried out by the Chinese government as a means of providing raw materials for industrial growth. Seven of China’s 15 key minerals are expected to run out within a decade and consequently the extraction of minerals in Tibet is increasing in rapid and unregulated manner.

The new railway line to Lhasa is expected to provide easier means of exploitation of Tibet’s enormous natural resources. A survey conducted by the China Geological Survey (CGS), an agency responsible for mineral exploration under the Ministry of Land and Resources, reveals that their geologists have discovered 600 new sites of copper, iron, lead and zinc ore deposits along the route of this railway line. The survey further states that if these were exploited, it could meet China’s demands for mineral resources. Zhuang Yuxun, director of the CGS’s Department of Geological Investigation, has indicated that “the new supply [of these resources] can come to the market in two to three years”, as “the locations of the newly-discovered reserves are close to the ‘Qinghai-Tibet’ railway”.

Increased mining activities further reduces vegetation cover and thereby increases the danger for severe landslides, massive soil erosion, loss of wildlife habitat and the pollution of streams and rivers.

Nuclear Waste Dumping

Once a peaceful buffer state between India and China, Tibet has been militarised to the point of holding at least 500,000 Chinese troops and up to one quarter of China’s nuclear missile arsenal. The Chinese brought their first nuclear weapon onto the Tibetan Plateau in 1971. Today, it appears that the Chinese are using Tibet as a dumping ground for their and foreign nuclear waste. In 1984, China Nuclear Industry Co-operation offered western countries nuclear waste disposal facilities at US$ 1,500 per kilogram.

Mysterious deaths of Tibetans and livestock residing close to China’s nuclear sites have been reported, as too have increases in cancer and birth defects. In addition, there has been incidences of waterway contamination where the local Chinese population were officially warned against using the water but the local Tibetans were not. China continues to control the Tibetan Plateau without any regard for its fragile ecology or for the rightful inhabitants of the land.

* The term TIBET here means the whole of Tibet known as Cholka-Sum (U-Tsang, Kham and Amdo). It includes the present-day Chinese administrative areas of the so-called Tibet Autonomous Region, Qinghai Province, two Tibetan Autonomous Prefectures and one Tibetan Autonomous County in Sichuan Province, one Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture and one Tibetan Autonomous County in Gansu Province and one Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Yunnan Province.

# Information for this leaflet has been sourced from DIIR’s Environment and Development Desk and from the Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD).

Tibetans in Golog pray for Tenzin Delek Rinpoche’s release
Phayul[Wednesday, October 15, 2014 15:33]
By Phuntsok Yangchen

DHARAMSHALA, October 15: Tibetans in Golok Township in Lithang County in Kardze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture on Sunday offered prayers for the ailed Tibetan religious leader Tulku Tenzin Delek Rinpoche.

On October 12, Tibetans in the area gathered near stupa sites, displayed portraits of exiled Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Tulku Tenzin Delek Rinpoche, prostrated before the portraits and prayed for Tulku’s immediate release.

According to exile sources, many Tibetans got emotional and cried during the prayer service.

Every year, the local Tibetans hold a prayer service in honor of Tulku Tenzin Delek Rinpoche.

Tulku Tenzin Delek is a highly revered religious leader and an outspoken admirer and follower of exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama. Following a series of bomb blasts in 2002 in eastern Tibet, Chinese officials charged Tulku along with Lobsang Dhondup for carrying out the blasts.

Lobsang Dhondup was immediately executed after a closed trial while Tulku was also given the death sentence with a two-year reprieve. The sentence was later commuted to life imprisonment on January 26, 2005 after an international outcry. In 2011, reports emerged that Tulku was suffering from a heart ailment.

Tulku Tenzin Delek has a history of working for the welfare of local Tibetans in eastern Tibet. His initiations included improvement of healthcare, education and religious institutions. Tulku was also an ardent environmentalist and advocated for the conservation of the environment in the face of China’s rampant logging and mining in Tibetan areas.



SC warns Mayawati for overspending on statues


Uttar Pradesh is in a deep freeze. A severe cold wave has killed 134 people in the past three days. Chief minister Mayawati, though, is unfazed. She’s readying for a party, busy spending crores to celebrate her 55th birthday in pomp.

New Delhi: The Supreme Court has issued a notice to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati over her grand plans to install 40 statues of herself, her mentor Kanshi Ram and B R Ambedkar across the state. The statues have cost Rs 2,000 crore of public money.

LUCKNOW: BSP chief Mayawati spent over Rs 86 crore of public money to renovate her 13 Mall Avenue bungalow that she is entitled to as a former chief minister. The renovation work began after Maya took over as chief minister in 2007 but the bulk of the work got completed towards the end of her tenure.

This was revealed in an RTI application that SP leader Shivpal Yadav filed when he was the leader of Opposition during Maya’s tenure. Though the RTI plea dates back a year, the estate department revealed the details recently.

“We are still assessing the total cost incurred and indications are that the money spent might even exceed Rs 100 crore,” a senior estate department official said on the condition of anonymity


The Fodder Scam (Hindi: चारा घोटाला, chārā ghoṭālā) was a corruption scandal that involved the embezzlement of about INR9.4 billion(equivalent to INR25 billion or US$410 million in 2014) from the government treasury of the eastern Indian state of Bihar.[1] Among those implicated in the theft and arrested were then Chief Minister of Bihar, Lalu Prasad Yadav, as well as former Chief Minister, Jagannath Mishra.[2][3] The scandal led to the end of Lalu’s reign as Chief Minister. There is also allegation on Shivanand Tiwari of receiving 1 crore and 60 lakh Rupees respectively from S.N. Sinha.

Laloo Prasad Yadav, then chief ministerof Bihar, was a prime accused in the fodder scam investigation

police rounded up 26 children from three textiles factories and a metal processing plant, but dozens more are believed to have escaped. Those captured had all come to New Delhi from the states of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.

Child labourers sit on the floor of the district magistrates office as they wait to be processed after being rescued during a raid at a garment factory in New Delhi, India, June 12.


Child labourers sit on the floor of the district magistrates office as they wait to be processed after being rescued during a raid at a garment factory in New Delhi, India, June 12.

NEW DELHI—Police raids on factories in the Indian capital revealed dozens of migrant kids hard at work Tuesday despite laws against child labour.

Police rounded up 26 children from three textiles factories and a metal processing plant, but dozens more are believed to have escaped. Those captured had all come to New Delhi from the states of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.

“Some of them were working in acid and metal,” with the task of breaking down metals and mixing alloys, said Kailash Satyarthi of India’s charity Save the Child.

Some were embroidering women’s clothing including saris and had been coached to deflect questions from authorities about their work.

“I have just come from my village. I have come here to study,” said 11-year-old Samshad, explaining that he was choosing to work during a “holiday.” His 10-year-old colleague Samthu, however, admitted he did intricate needlework for the plant.

There are at least hundreds of thousands of children toiling in hidden and hazardous corners of India, including brick kilns, pesticide-laden fields or chemical factories.

In New Delhi alone, about 50,000 children are believed to be working in factories, with thousands more begging on the streets and sorting garbage.

India recently passed a law aimed at fighting child labour by making education compulsory up to age 14. But grinding poverty still leads many kids to work, and certain industries that involve intricate machinery or delicate handiwork prefer their smaller hands.

Sometimes, the factories promise the children only food and a place to sleep. Sometimes, they pay for the children’s work in advance to their parents when the kids are taken for work — a situation that Satyarthi said essentially amounts to child slavery.

The charity said it rescued 1,300 children last year from work in Delhi factories.

During Tuesday’s raids, five men were arrested on charges of employing the children.

The kids, some of them crying at being taken from their jobs, were registered at an officials’ office in Seelampur slum district of east Delhi before going to a state welfare home for children.

India has 43.5 lakh labourers in the age group of 5 to 14 years, according to the 2011 census. Uttar Pradesh has the maximum number of child workers with nearly 9 lakh and a majority of them are in the rural areas. This is followed by Maharashtra with close to 5 lakh.

Most of the child labour in UP, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh is in rural areas. Of the 9 lakh children employed in UP, about 7 lakh work in rural areas. Similarly, in Rajasthan, of the 2.5 lakh child labourers, 2.1 lakh are in rural areas. Across the country, there are 32.7 lakh children working in rural areas compared to 10.8 lakh in urban areas.

Children in UP are employed in the carpet and textile industries as well as domestic help in cities. “Many children are employed in carpet and textile industries in the state. We have adopted 200 villages in the state and have successfully weaned away children from these industries,” said Lenin Raghuvanshi, executive director, Peoples’ Vigilance Committee on Human Rights (PVCHR) involved in Varanasi and nearby districts. Campaign and boycott of goods made by Indian children across the world has also lent a sense of urgency to tackling the social evil.

“States which have more children in employment should set up taskforces as done in Delhi. In many northern states, there is lack of will to implement various laws to prevent employment of children in harzardous industries,” said Varun Pathak of Justice Ventures International. “In Delhi, many bureaucrats and affluent people employ children from Jharkhand, Bihar and West Bengal as domestic help. Only stringent laws can prevent this,” said Pathak.

Assessing Child Domestic Labour in India

Domestic child labour in India
© UNICEF/India/2007
Domestic child labour in India

By Jyoti Rao

Child domestic labour (CDL) is culturally accepted and widely prevalent in India. The classification of CDL applies to children who are engaged to perform domestic tasks in the home of a third party or employer and not their family.

As defined in the International Labour Organization (ILO) Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention (No. 182), 1999, where child domestic labour is exploitative and includes trafficking, slavery, or practices similar to slavery, or work which, by its nature or the circumstances in which it is carried out, is hazardous and likely to harm the health, safety, or morals of the child, it constitutes a worst form of child labour.

Despite legislation, child labour continues to flourish in both rural and urban India.  On October 16, 2006 two important notifications to the existing Child Labour Prohibition (And Regulation) Act 1986 came into effect. The notifications ban the employment of children below the age of 14 as domestic servants and in the hospitality trade such as in roadside dhabas, restaurants, hotels, motels and spas.

Two decades after a nationwide ban on child labour in hazardous industries was introduced, over 12 million Indian children, aged between 5 and 14, continue to work in dangerous occupations like construction, and the manufacture of beedis (an indigenous cigarette in which tobacco is rolled in a tendu leaf), bangles and fireworks.

Based on the 2001 census, 252,000 children are engaged in beedi manufacturing and 208,833 in the construction sector. An estimated 185,595 children are employed as domestic help and in dhabas (small roadside eateries); 49,893 children work in auto-repair workshops.

While child rights activists in India say the notifications are an important step in the battle to stop child labour, the major concern is that the government is still not doing enough to provide alternative options for families that depend on income from their children.

Besides, the ban does not address the reasons that compel children to work: poverty, family debts, marginalization, and migration of their parents.

NGOs are demanding that the ban be extended to include all children below the age of 18.  It is estimated that 74 percent of child domestic workers in India are between the ages of 12 and 16.

Children working in bangle factory
© UNICEF/India/2007
Children working in bangle factory

There is also a need to change the mindsets of people who traditionally employ young children, typically the middle-class and the affluent. The widely prevalent notion that it is actually benevolent to employ children in households and thereby provide them shelter, food and clothing.

The long-term harm done to them in terms of denying them opportunities to go to school and develop their own capabilities and eventually contribute as citizens is generally overlooked.

In actual fact, a majority of domestic working children work long hours for low wages and are exploited and abused physically and mentally.

According to a recent Ministry of Labour press release (09.05.07), 2,229 violations of the recent notification banning employment of children under 14 as domestic help and in hospitality sector were detected. 38,818 inspections were carried out by some State Governments from whom reports were received and 211 prosecutions were filed.

The Government of India has been implementing a successful programme, the National Child Labour Project (NCLP) since 1988 where in 7,328 special schools were opened for the children withdrawn from work.

The National Child Labour Project scheme is implemented in 250 districts of 20 states of the country. Under the Scheme, children withdrawn from work are provided education, nutrition, vocational training, stipend and health care etc. and are finally mainstreamed to regular education system.

The highest number of 1,651 schools opened so far under the National Child Labour Project Scheme State-wise is in Orissa followed by 1,347 in Uttar Pradesh and 1,126 in Andhra Pradesh. The project is targeted at children working in the unorganized sector such as construction sites, carpet weaving, brick-making and other labour-intensive industries.

Click here to read UNICEF’s position on Child Domestic Labour.

Diamond industry[edit]

In the year 1999, the International Labour Organisation co-published a report with Universal Alliance of Diamond Workers, a trade union.[57] The ILO report claimed that child labour is prevalent in the Indian diamond industry. International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU) in a separate 1997 press release observed that child labour continued to flourish in India’s diamond industry.[58] Not everyone agreed with these claims. The South Gujarat Diamond Workers Association, another trade union, acknowledged child labour is present but it is not systematic, is less than 1% and against local industry norms. Local diamond industry businessmen too downplayed these charges.[59]

According to the 1999 ILO paper,[57] India annually cuts and polishes 70 per cent of the world’s diamonds by weight, or 40 per cent by value. Additionally, India contributes 95 percent of the emeralds, 85 percent of the rubies, and 65 percent of the sapphires worldwide. India processes these diamonds and gems using traditional labour-intensive methods. About 1.5 million people are employed in the diamond industry, mostly in the unorganized sector. The industry is fragmented into small units, each employing a few workers. The industry has not scaled up, organised, and big operators absent. The ILO paper claims that this is to avoid the complex labour laws of India. The export order is split, work is subcontracted through many middlemen, and most workers do not know the name of enterprise with the export order. In this environment, claims the ILO report, exact number of child labourers in India’s diamond and gem industry is unknown; they estimate that child labourers in 1997 were between 10,00 to 20,00 out of 1.5 million total workers (about 1 in 100). The ILO report claims the causes for child labour include parents who send their children to work because they see education as expensive, education quality offering no real value, while artisan work in diamond and gem industry to be more remunerative as the child grows up.[57]

A more recent study from 2005, conducted at 663 manufacturing units at 21 different locations in India’s diamond and gem industry, claims incidence rates of child labour have dropped to 0.31%.[60][61][62]

Fireworks manufacture[edit]

The town of Sivakasi in South India has been reported to employ child labour in the production of fireworks.[63] In 2011, Sivakasi, Tamil Nadu was home to over 9,500 firecracker factories and produced almost 100 percent of total fireworks output in India.[64] The fireworks industry employed about 150,000 people at an average of 15 employees per factory. Most of these were in unorganised sector, with a few registered and organised companies.

In 1989, Shubh Bhardwaj reported[65] that child labour is present in India’s fireworks industry, and safety practices poor. Child labour is common in small shed operation in the unorganized sector. Only 4 companies scaled up and were in the organised sector with over 250 employees; the larger companies did not employ children and had superior safety practices and resources. The child labour in small, unorganised sector operations suffered long working hours, low wages, unsafe conditions and tiring schedules.

A more recent 2002 report by International Labour Organisation claims[66] that child labour is significant in Tamil Nadu’s fireworks, matches or incense sticks industries. However, these children do not work in the formal economy and corporate establishments that produce for export. The child labourers in manufacturing typically toil in supply chains producing for the domestic market of fireworks, matches or incense sticks. The ILO report claims that as the demand for these products has grown, the formal economy and corporate establishments have not expanded to meet the demand, rather home-based production operations have mushroomed. This has increased the potential of child labour. Such hidden operations make research and effective action difficult, suggests ILO.

Silk manufacture[edit]

A 2003 Human Rights Watch report claims children as young as five years old are employed and work for up to 12 hours a day and six to seven days a week in silk industry.[67]These children, claims, are bonded labour; even though the government of India denies existence of bonded child labour, these silk industry child are easy to find in Karnataka, andTamil Nadu, claims Children are forced to dip their hands in scalding water to palpate the cocoons and are often paid less than Rs 10 per day.[68]

In 2010, a German news investigative report claimed that in states like Karnataka, non-governmental organisations had found up to 10,000 children working in the 1,000 silk factories in 1998. In other places, thousands of bonded child labourers were present in 1994. But today, after UNICEF and NGOs got involved, child labour figure is drastically lower, with the total estimated to be fewer than a thousand child labourers. The released children were back in school, claims the report.[69]

Carpet weaving[edit]

Siddartha Kara finds about 20% of carpets manufactured in India could involve child labour. He notes, “determining the extent to which the hand-made carpet supply chain from India to the U.S.A. is tainted by slavery and child labor requires an additional exercise in supply chain tracing.”[70] Kara’s study also finds variation in child labour practices between ethnic and religious groups. Kara and colleagues report highest level of child labour in Muslim community carpet operations,[71] and the presence of debt bonded child labourers in Muslim villages.[72]

Domestic labour[edit]

Official estimates for child labour working as domestic labour and in restaurants is more than 2,500,000 while NGOs estimate the figure to be around 20 million.[73] The Government of India expanded the coverage of The Child Labour Prohibition and Regulation Act and banned the employment of children as domestic workers and as workers in restaurants,dhabas, hotels, spas and resorts effective from 10 October 2006.

Coal mining[edit]

Despite laws enacted in 1952 prohibiting employment of people under the age of 18 in the mines primitive coal mines in Meghalaya using child labour were discovered and exposed by the international media in 2013.[56]

Mayawati spends crores on guards for memorials

Mayawati spends crores on guards for memorials
LUCKNOW The memorials and parks that she spends crores building are being studied by the Supreme Court. The reason: taxpayers are being forced to fund them.

But that hasn’t stopped Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati from stubbornly going ahead with her plans. So now, she’s shelling out another 9 crores – once again, taxpayers’ money – on creating a special force to guard the memorials. Recruitment begins on Saturday for a thousand retired policemen who will be asked to watch over the statues of Dalit icons, including her own, in nine parks across Uttar Pradesh. They won’t be overworked for long. The Chief Minister wants to eventually have a 2-lakh-strong force that is estimated to cost 67 crores. But this first battalion has to be hired within a week.

Meanwhile, there are 26,000 vacancies in the police force in her state, which has the country’s worst crime statistics, including the highest amount of sexual crimes against children.

”What is the need for protecting her statues? Will they lose height or weight? Is someone planning to disfigure them?” asked an incredulous Ambika Chaudhury, a member of the Opposition Samajwadi Party earlier this year, when the Chief Minister announced her plans for her memorial guard in the State Assembly.

The Chief Minister has made it clear in the past that her own residence – which she considers a Dalit monument in its own right – will also be patrolled by her new A-Team.

Apparently, it’s her way or the highway – now if only she’d spend some money on developing some of those, for example.

Child labours employed in helipad construction for Mayawati in Badaun.

Child labours wash dishes at BJP meet in Bihar



A Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights (DCPCR) report dated October 2014 cites figures from July 2009 to June 2013 which show that just 3,734 children were rescued over four years, ie an average of 78 children each month. But the Delhi high court had directed the labour department to begin implementing the Delhi Action Plan in 2009 “by accommodating, for the time being, about 500 children every month”.

If this target of 500 rescues a month had been met over these four years, 24,000 child workers would have been freed — well over 90% of such children listed in the Census 2011.

What is even more horrifying is the fact that as many as 440 children across all districts were less than 10 years of age.

“The fact that children less than 10 years of age are working makes the intervention even more urgent and should be a compulsive reason to redefine our strategy as well as complaint redressal mechanisms,” stated a comprehensive study by DCPCR that was completed recently. Of the 3,734 children rescued, 2,357 were below the age of 14 years.

Children are mostly trafficked from rural areas of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh and Nepal through agents who are members of the same community. “Despite the fact that this phenomenon has existed for many years no, little intervention has been possible to take action against the said agents,” DCPCR observes.

The report brings out “many more disturbing facts:. According to one estimate, Delhi has around 28 lakh children in the age-group of 6 to 13 years, of whom 27,47,523 lakh are school going and 43,735 (3.34%) are out-of-school children. Another survey by the Delhi government’s Samajik Suvidha Sangam (Mission Convergence) found 6.43 lakh children in the age group of 7-17 years of whom 4.5 lakh were not going to any school.


Kobane: Islamic State battles to encircle Syrian Kurds. Malala and Kailash Satyarthi win Nobel Peace Prize

Kobane: Islamic State battles to encircle Syrian Kurds

Quentin Sommerville says he can hear frequent explosions coming from the town

The Kurdish defenders of the Syrian border town of Kobane have held back advancing Islamic State fighters, with the US supplying air support.

The Kurds repulsed a pre-dawn attack and still control the town’s border crossing point with Turkey.

Correspondents say the crossing point is a vital supply and exit route.

The Pentagon reports that US planes have been bombing IS targets to the north and south of Kobane since Friday.

US and other aircraft from the international coalition also carried out air strikes on IS targets inside Iraq as well as dropping supplies to Iraqi government forces at Baiji, where Iraq’s biggest oil refinery is located.

In Iraq’s Anbar province, officials reportedly made an urgent appeal for military help against IS.

Haze and dustAs the sounds of battle continued on Saturday, haze and dust obscured Kobane, making air strikes more difficult but not impossible, the BBC’s Quentin Sommerville said in a tweet from the Syria-Turkey border.

The Kurdish militiamen have pushed back the latest IS advance but the militants are being easily resupplied from the south and the east and are able to launch further attacks, our correspondent says.

Amid the sound of gunfire, black plumes of smoke could be seen rising from the south and west of the town, another foreign journalist at the scene, Derek Henry Flood, tweeted.

According to the Pentagon, the new US air strikes on IS targets at Kobane hit an IS fighting position, damaged a command and control facility, destroyed a staging building; struck two small units of fighters; and destroyed three lorries.

Several hundred civilians are still believed to be in Kobane. UN envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura has warned they could be massacred by IS if the town falls.

Smoke rises over Kobane, 11 October (photo: Derek Henry Flood) Smoke rises over Kobane on Saturday as seen from the Turkish border
The gravestone of a Kurdish fighter buried near the Turkish town of Suruc, across the border from Kobane, 11 October The fresh gravestone of a Kurdish fighter buried near the Turkish town of Suruc, across from Kobane
Turkish forces are ranged on the border but have not crossed, 10 OctTurkish forces are ranged on the border but have not crossed
An F/A-18C Hornet leaves the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS George HW Bush in The Gulf, 10 OctoberAn F/A-18C Hornet leaving the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS George HW Bush on Friday
Refugees in Turkey, 11 OctTens of thousands of refugees have fled over the border into Turkey
Kurds demonstrate in Duesseldorf, Germany, 11 OctoberThere have been protests across Europe in support of Kobane’s Kurds, including here in Duesseldorf
There have been protests across Europe in support of Kobane's Kurds, including here in Dusseldorf, 11 OctImages of jailed Turkish Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan could be seen at the rally in Duesseldorf

Since the IS offensive against Kobane began in mid-September, some 500 people have been killed and up to 200,000 have fled across the border into Turkey.

Mr de Mistura called on Turkey to allow Kurdish volunteers to cross into Syria with equipment “to be able to enter the city to contribute to a self-defence operation”.

Targets hit by US-led air strikes in Iraq and Syria

Turkey has ranged its military forces on the border but has so far ruled out any ground operation on its own, and has refused to allow Kurds in Turkey to cross the border to fight.

Accusing Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of inaction, Kurdish refugees from Kobane told Reuters news agency they feared they would be unable to return to their homes.

“If the United States helps us, we could return,” said one. “If the United States is willing to help, not like Erdogan, we could return today.”

At least 20,000 Kurds living in Germany have marched in the city of Duesseldorf to highlight the threat to Kurds in Kobane.

Air dropsUS and Dutch aircraft attacked IS targets near the towns of Tal Afar and Hit in northern Iraq, the Pentagon said in a statement.

In the operation in the Baiji area, food, water and ammunition were dropped to Iraqi security forces.

At least 14 people died in violence in Iraq on Saturday: four injured soldiers were killed when their ambulance was attacked in a “friendly fire” incident near Baquba while a suicide bomber killed at least seven people in a market in Meshahda, near Baghdad.

In Anbar, the provincial council asked for US ground troops to help fight IS, the Dubai-based Iraqi TV channel Al-Sharqiyah reports.

The vice-president of the council, Faleh al-Issawi, warned Anbar could “fall in 10 days”.

Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has repeatedly ruled out any foreign ground troops in Iraq.

John Simpson on the IS front line with the Iraqi army

IS fighters control large stretches of territory in Syria and Iraq. The group is known for its brutal tactics, including mass killings, abductions of members of religious and ethnic minorities, and the beheadings of soldiers and journalists.

Map showing air strikes against IS in Syria and Iraq since 8 Aug 2014

Malala and Kailash Satyarthi win Nobel Peace Prize

Malala Yousafzai said she was in a chemistry lesson when she heard the news

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Pakistani child education activist Malala Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi, an Indian child rights campaigner, have jointly won the Nobel Peace Prize.

At the age of just 17, Malala is the youngest ever recipient of the prize.

The teenager was shot in the head by Taliban gunmen in October 2012 for campaigning for girls’ education. She now lives in Birmingham in the UK.

Malala said she was “honoured” to receive the award, saying it made her feel “more powerful and courageous”.

She revealed she found out the news after being called out of her chemistry class at her school in Birmingham.

“I’m really happy to be sharing this award with a person from India,” she said at a news conference, before joking that she couldn’t pronounce Mr Satyarthi’s surname.

The Nobel committee praised the pair’s “struggle against the suppression of children and young people”.

Mr Satyarthi has maintained the tradition of Mahatma Gandhi and headed various forms of peaceful protests, “focusing on the grave exploitation of children for financial gain,” the committee said at the Nobel Institute in Oslo.

The 60-year-old founded Bachpan Bachao Andolan, or the Save the Childhood Movement, which campaigns for child rights and an end to human trafficking.

Reacting to the news, Mr Satyarthi told the BBC: “It’s a great honour for all the Indians, it’s an honour for all those children who have been still living in slavery despite of all the advancement in technology, market and economy.

“And I dedicate this award to all those children in the world.”.

Thorbjorn Jagland head of Nobel committee, cited Malala’s “heroic struggle”

‘Heroic struggle’Thorbjorn Jagland, chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, paid tribute to Malala’s achievements.

“Despite her youth, Malala Yousafzai, has already fought for several years for the right of girls to education and has shown by example that children and young people too can contribute to improving their own situations,” he said.

“This she has done under the most dangerous circumstances. Through her heroic struggle she has become a leading spokesperson for girls’ rights to education.”

The committee said it was important that a Muslim and a Hindu, a Pakistani and an Indian, had joined in what it called a common struggle for education and against extremism.

File picture from 1996 of Kailash Satyarthi shooting a videoKailash Satyarthi, seen here making a film in 1996, has fought for the rights of child labourers

The view from Birmingham: Phil Mackie, BBC NewsWhen she opened the Library of Birmingham last year, Malala Yousafzai charmed the crowd by referring to them as “fellow Brummies”. It was a deft touch from a teenager who many believe is destined for a life in politics either here or in her native Pakistan.

She arrived in the city in horrific circumstances after surviving an assassination attempt and was treated at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, home to the Royal Centre for Defence Medicine.

The expertise gained by medics who are used to patching up wounded troops from conflict zones, meant it was the best place for her treatment.

She remains an outpatient, and today the hospital trust praised her for her “remarkable recovery and fight to lead a full life as a vibrant and spirited teenager”.


This year’s prize is likely to be seen as an uncontroversial choice from a Norwegian Nobel committee which has not shied away from controversy in recent years, says the BBC’s Lars Bevanger in Oslo.

Norway’s relations with China are still suffering after a Chinese dissident won the peace prize in 2010, our correspondent adds.

Malala and Mr Satyarthi will now be invited to attend an award ceremony in Oslo in December to receive a medal and $1.4m (£860,000) pounds in prize money.

‘Pride of Pakistan’

Malala first came to attention in 2009 after she wrote an anonymous diary for BBC Urdu about life under Taliban rule in north-west Pakistan.

She was shot when gunmen boarded her school bus in the Swat Valley.

Kailash Satyarthi said Malala was a ‘wonderful young lady’

She has since recovered from the attack and has remained in the public eye, publishing an autobiography and addressing the UN General Assembly.

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif congratulated Malala Yousafzai, calling her the “pride” of his country.

“Her achievement is unparalleled and unequalled. Girls and boys of the world should take the lead from her struggle and commitment,” he said in a statement.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi joined thousands of Twitter userspraising the pair, saying the entire nation was proud of Mr Satyarthi’s “momentous achievement”.

He also congratulated Malala for her “journey of immense grit and courage”.

Malala was named one of Time magazine’s most influential people in 2013, and awarded the EU’s prestigious Sakharov human rights prize that year.

Schoolgirls in Islamabad say they “are so very proud” of Malala Yousafzai

She had been hotly tipped to win last year’s Nobel Peace Prize.

Her win in 2014 takes the number of women awarded the prize to 16 out of 95.

This year’s record number of 278 Nobel Peace Prize nomineesincluded Pope Francis and Congolese gynaecologist Denis Mukwege, although the full list was kept a secret.

Former NSA contractor Edward Snowden and Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta had also been tipped as favourites for the award.