Every human, every child deserves to have a normal life free from exploitation, experiencing growth. Indulging children in harmful or arduous labour work which deprives them of their dignity, innocence and their childhood. It affects the childs mental and physical development. Many face traumas of the same all their lives. It is socially, morally and physically harmful and dangerous for the children. Such exploitation is prohibited worldwide by the legislation although it does consider certain exceptions for the same.
In a country like India where over 40 percent of the population is living in conditions of extreme poverty, child labor is a complex issue. However, acute poverty is the main cause for child labour throughout the world, but everybody – society. Parents, government, individual, low wages, unemployment, poor standard of living, deep social prejudices and backwardness are directly responsible for child labor in India.
The government of India has taken effective measures to eliminate child labour.
Child and Adolescent Labour Prohibition and Regulations Act, 1986 was passed to stop the cruelty towards children forcing them into labour.
SALIENT FEATURE OF THE ACT:
Prohibits/bans the employment of any person who has not completed the age of 14 years in occupations and processes enlisted in Part A and Part B of the schedule of the Act.
lays down procedure to decide modifications to the schedule of banned occupations or processes.
Regulates conditions of work where children are not prohibited from working
Lays down enhanced penalties for employment of children in violation of the provisions of the Act.
A child shall not be required to work for more than 6 hours a day which shall be inclusive of his/her half an hr break
No child shall be permitted to work between 7 p.m and 8 a.m.
Every child shall get weekly off.
There is an obligation on the part of the employer to furnish information to the inspector regarding the employment of children. It is mandatory to maintain register on this matter.
A child is permitted to work only to help family, in family enterprise or as child artist after school hours or during vacations. The amendment has introduced the concept of adolescent labour for the first time. An adolescent has been defined as a person between the ages of 14-18 years. The amendment permit employment of adolescent labour except in hazardous processes or occupation.
Penalty for commiting such offense shall not be less than 6 months and may extend upto 2 years and fine which may vary between Rs.20, 000 to Rs. 50,000.
The Act also provides rehabilitation services for the child and adolescent who have been the victim of any kind of child labour. It provides for setting up of the Child and Adolescent Labour Rehabilitation Fund in which all the amounts of penalty have to be realised. Liability has been affixed upon the parents and guardian of the affected child/children separately from the employers
The new amendment of the child labour Act has a certain downside too since it has decreased the list of the hazardous industriesthe list of hazardous industries, this may allow the employers in industries like chemical mixing units, cotton farms, battery recycling units, and brick kilns etc. (which are actually hazardous) to employ adolescent labour, which they may even get at a much cheaper price. The new amendment has also put a complete prohibition on employment of children, but allowed them to be employed in family enterprises/businesses at the same time.
Here considering that the majority of the activities of child labour happen in highly unregulated economically backward areas or weaker sections of society, no proper mechanism has been implemented to regulate or keep check of the same with regards to new amendment.
Clg name: Vivekanand Education Society college of Law