NCPCR takes note of child labour at Delhi NCR’s landfills amid ‘irresponsible’ e-waste dumps

In this news, we discuss the NCPCR takes note of child labour at Delhi NCR’s landfills amid ‘irresponsible’ e-waste dumps.

The National Commission for the Protection of the Rights of the Child (CNPCR) has taken note of the information indicating the involvement of child labor in landfills where electronic waste is dumped “irresponsibly” and will ensure that measures are taken. against violators, his senior official said on Wednesday. CNPCR chairperson Priyanka Kanoongo said the supreme body for children’s rights was seized of the issue, highlighted by a recent report from industry and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) working on related issues.

NGOs and experts have already raised concerns about the hiring of children who work as rag pickers in landfills in Delhi-NCR and are often exposed to e-waste dumped in these. sites, where discarded mobile phone components, among other things, increasingly contribute to waste. “The country has laws that make it clear that engaging children in rag collection is itself a crime, it is a recognizable offense. The law states that if e-waste is disposed of irresponsibly even on a road and a child picks it up, then it becomes an identifiable offense, ”Kanoongo told PTI, citing relevant sections of the law.

“We have before us an ASSOCHAM report and other contributions which highlight the problem of the exploitation of children in electronic waste. The CNPCR had worked on this… to guarantee action against the offenders, ”he said. On reports of the ‘irresponsible’ disposal of electronic waste by mobile phone makers, including Oppo, which is headquartered in China, Kanoongo said, “Whether it’s Oppo or any other brand, the primary responsibility of companies will be set for the irresponsible disposal of electronic waste. ” Oppo, which has a major facility in Noida and is said to have its e-waste disposed of “irresponsibly”, declined to comment on PTI’s questions regarding the matter.

Sources, however, said its e-waste was disposed of by a supplier based in Modinagar near Meerut, a mechanism practiced by several companies that use a third-party agency for such disposal. Satish Sinha, associate director of advocacy group Toxics Link, said the problem arises not so much in e-waste collection as it is in recycling products which mostly contain plastic, glass and metals and are loaded with products. highly toxic chemicals.

Children engaged in such jobs are mostly between the ages of 12 and 16, Sinha said, adding that recycling e-waste by breaking down the products or melting them poses risks to the environment and health. “Government agencies like children’s rights organizations should come up with guidelines and enforce already existing rules that regulate the disposal of electronic waste,” Sinha told PTI. He said India produces around two million tons of e-waste per year and the situation regarding its disposal is improving with the implementation of strict government guidelines.

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) takes note of the cases, while the Electronic Waste Management Rules, 2016 also state that the disposal of electronic waste is an equally shared responsibility between the companies and authorized agencies that handle the waste. According to the Indian Pollution Control Association (IPCA), a nonprofit NGO, e-waste management is a serious concern, especially in metropolitan cities, where people are not used to segregating waste at source. “Electronic waste contains heavy metals and many components of electronic waste can be reused on the gray market even after the electronic product has been disposed of. Most of the ragpickers and waste collectors, including their children, are involved in dismantling electronic waste to remove the valuable components in order to earn extra money, ”said Ashish Jain, Founder and Director of IPCA .

“Children are exposed to gases and toxic elements during the dismantling process and get sick because they don’t have the proper tools, infrastructure and skills to extract these components from the product,” Jain said. He said the government had a policy and rules in place to control this damage, but their application at ground level was still a big question.

News Highlights:

  • CNPCR chairperson Priyanka Kanoongo said the supreme body for children’s rights was seized of the issue, highlighted by a recent report from industry and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) working on related issues. NGOs and experts have already raised concerns about the hiring of children who work as rag pickers at landfills in Delhi-NCR and are often exposed to e-waste dumped in these. sites, where discarded mobile phone components, among other things, increasingly contribute to waste.
  • CNPCR takes note of child labor in Delhi NCR landfills amid ‘irresponsible’ e-waste dumps
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