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Technical Cooperation Project Summary

Project Title

Preventing and Eliminating Child Labor in Identified Hazardous Sectors (INDUS)



Project Duration

September 1, 2001 – March 31, 2009

Fiscal Year & Funding Level

FY 2001: USD 10,000,000
FY 2004: USD 4,000,000
FY 2005: USD 6,333,602

Problem to be Addressed

According to the 1991 census, 11.3 million Indian children ages 5 to 14 are working, out of a total child population of 210 million.  Unofficial estimates place the number much higher, given that many children work in the vast informal and unregulated sectors of the economy.  In hazardous industries, children typically work very long hours for little or no pay, do not have access to schooling, are subject to verbal or physical abuse and are exposed to various hazards, including dangerous chemicals, sharp-edged equipment, heavy loads, open flames, dust, and other dangerous substances and situations.


The project withdrew over 115,085 children from work in hazardous child labor.  The project originally targeted ten hazardous sectors, including the production of bidis (hand-rolled cigarettes), brassware, bricks, fireworks, footwear, glass bangles, locks, matches, and silk, as well as in quarrying.  It then expanded to a ‘sector-area’ approach targeting children in other worst forms of child labor (WFCL) as well.  Target geographic areas included 20 districts in the states of Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, and Uttar Pradesh, as well as the city of Delhi.

Project Objectives

Contribute to the prevention and elimination of hazardous child labor by enhancing the human, social and physical capacity of target communities and improving compliance with child labor policy and legislation in the target districts. 

Intermediate objectives include:

  • Identify children working in the selected hazardous occupations in the target districts in collaboration with communities and other partners;
  • Provide children withdrawn from hazardous work with transitional and pre-vocational education, and social support to prevent relapses;
  • Provide adolescents withdrawn from hazardous work with vocational training and alternatives for income generation;
  • Increase economic security of families who withdraw their children from hazardous work by encouraging savings and development of alternative livelihoods;
  • Provide children with access to quality education to prevent them from entering or re-entering hazardous work;
  • Monitor and track children released from hazardous work to ensure that their situation has improved;
  • Create public support and momentum against child labor in the target districts and in favor of educational opportunities;
  • Strengthen capacity of national, state, district, and local institutions to provide support for eliminating hazardous child labor; and
  • Generate interest in other areas in adopting measures to prevent, remove and provide alternatives for children in hazardous sectors.

Summary of Activities

  • Identified children at risk of hazardous child labor;
  • Removed thousands of children from hazardous work and provided them with transitional and vocational education and social support;
  • Provided withdrawn adolescents with vocational training and alternatives for income generation;
  • Provided children with access to quality education, and promoted continued public support for quality education in lieu of hazardous child labor;
  • Monitored and tracked progress of withdrawn children;
  • Increased economic security for families who withdrew their children from hazardous work; and
  • Raised awareness and strengthened capacity of national, state, district, and local institutions to eliminate hazardous child labor.



International Labor Organization’s International Program on the Elimination of Child Labor (ILO-IPEC)

Implementing Partners

Ministries of Labor and Education; NGOs and civil society groups.  The Government of India provided USD 20 million in counterpart funds to this project.

Contact Information

Office of Child Labor, Forced Labor, and Human Trafficking

(202) 693-4843