The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has directed the Election Commission of India (ECI) to take appropriate action against parties and candidates engaging children for their campaigns for the Lok Sabha polls, an activist said here on Saturday.
Acting on a complaint lodged by Odisha based rights activist Akhand, the NHRC has ordered the ECI to take appropriate action within eight weeks and inform about the action taken in the matter.
Although, engaging children during the electoral campaigns is prohibited, many political parties are using them to canvass vote for the elections scheduled for next month, Akhand told a news agency.
They are engaging children for the distribution of posters and pamphlets or to participate in slogan shouting, campaign rallies and election meetings, which is a violation of the human rights, he said.
According to the law, children should be protected from any activities that could harm their development. It also provides power to the government to protect them from dangerous work or might harm their health or education, Akhand said.
Hearing the petition, the NHRC has asked the principal secretary of the ECI to take appropriate action, he added.