Concerned for Working Children

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The Concerned for Working Children (CWC) is a non-profit organisation based in Bangalore, India and known internationally for its work in empowering children to become the key protagonists in solving their own problems. While eradication of child labour remains the key focus of CWC,[1] the organisation opposes simple criminalisation[2][3] and addresses related issues such as children's rights, gender equality, community development, education and advocacy. Founded in 1985, it has organised Bhima Sangha, a union of and for working children that now has 20,000 members, and launched the National Movement of Working Children. Internationally, it co-founded the International Working Group on Child Labour (IWGCL), and CWC child delegates have contributed to ILO (International Labour Organization) conferences on child labour.

CWC believes that given political and social space, marginalised children could become protagonists of their own change. With the support of the Concerned for Working Children, active participation of children in understanding problems that affect them and in devising appropriate solutions, has led to the creation of 'Makkala Panchayats' (Children's Village Governing Bodies) in many parts of Karnataka.

CWC is playing a part in international research[4] into children's mobility issues, with agreement on greater involvement of children in all aspects of this research project.

CWC receives funding support from a Norwegian charity[5] and CWC has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in the year 2012, 2013 and 2014, for its pioneering works in the field of children’s participation globally. .[6][7]


The Concerned for Working Children started working on the issue of Child Labour and Child Participation in the 1980s. The organisation registered itself as a non-profit in 1985. CWC's early work involved the unionisation of the informal sector where children below the age of 14 years comprised nearly 40% of the work force. The children and the members of the union embarked on an exercise to draft an alternative legislation for working children in 1985.


  • Kavita Ratna, Citizens Today, a film on children's right to participation from CWC, 2002.[8]
  • Kavita Ratna, Taking Destiny into Their Hands, a film about how marginalised children are impacting their own destinies.

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