The International Labor Organization (ILO) said that the number of child laborers world over fell by 11% from 246 million in 2000 to 218 million in 2004 leading it predict that "the end of child labor is within our reach." These encouraging figures prompted ILO Chief Juan Somavia said that the worst forms of child exploitation such as pornography, prostitution, and debt bondage can be ended in a decade.
After years of denial, sustained pressure from the National Human Rights Council forced the Government to finally start accepting that there are child laborers in the country. India has very large number of child laborers estimated at 126 million in the 5-17 age groups. The National
Child Labor Project launched by the nation in 2000 has yielded spectacular results.
The estimated number of child laborers has fallen by 26% from 171 million just 4 years ago. Entire industries such as match making, carpet weaving, and to some extent firecrackers have rid themselves of the stigma of employing children.
The ILO estimates that 50 million children are trapped in the worst forms of child labor. This is area where the Government needs to focus on. Child sex tourism has rocketed and hordes of lecherous men from Europe, Canada, and the US have been taking advantage of weak implementation of laws in India to abuse children (boys and girls) in Goa, Madurai, Salem, parts of Andhra Pradesh, Mumbai, New Delhi, and the