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Last Updated: Tuesday February 21 2006 16:30 GMT

Indian kids march for education

Child labour in India
Hundreds of children have taken to the streets in the Indian capital Delhi, to demand access to education.

They want the government to pass a law to force all kids aged six to 14 to go to school, and to make schooling free, in order to stop child labour.

Most of the kids who were marching were labourers, who work on farms or make things like carpets or fireworks.

The Indian government estimates there are about 17 million child labourers working in the country.

Child labour
171m children in labour around the world
127.3m in Asian and Pacific regions
5.7m forced into slavery
1.2m trafficked around world
119m work in agriculture
Badly treated

The kids can work 12 to 15 hour days in dimly lit, cramped rooms, sometimes for less than 50 pence a day.

Although Indian kids aren't allowed to work in places like mines, many are exposed to dangerous chemicals in their work.

Human rights groups say that lots of kids start work at the age of four, and this can make them sick and even deformed.




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