Manual Scavenging in India: A Literature Review & Annotated Bibliography

By Kimberly M Noronha, Tripti Singh, and Mahima Malik
19 March 2018

In 2013, the Employment of Manual Scavengers and Construction of Dry Latrines (Prohibition) Act, 1993.was ostensibly amended to include all those who worked without adequate physical safety protection and through direct human contact to manually clean human faecal waste. The resulting legislation, Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, 2013 was expected to be a game-changer. It expanded the definition from simply the manual carrying of human excreta, to all sewerage and septage workers who may, without adequate protection and safety gear, come into direct physical contact with human faeces. This literature review is part of a larger effort to understand manual scavenging as a typology of sanitation-based activities and choices rather than the traditional focus of just caste-based social injustice faced by manual scavengers.