Child Labour policies
The topic covers about various policies related to child labour.
Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Amendment Rules, 2017
Government of India has notified the amendment in the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Central Rules after extensive consultation with the stakeholders. The Rules provide broad and specific framework for prevention, prohibition, rescue and rehabilitation of child and adolescent workers. It also clarifies on issues related with help in family and family enterprises and definition of family with respect to child, specific provisions have been incorporated in rules. Further, it also provides for safeguards of artists which have been permitted to work under the Act, in terms of hours of work and working conditions. The rules provide for specific provisions incorporating duties and responsibilities of enforcement agencies in order to ensure effective implementation and compliance of the provisions of the Act.
To access the complete Act, click here.
Child Labour (Prohibition & Regulation) Amendment Act, 2016
Government has enacted the Child Labour (Prohibition & Regulation) Amendment Act, 2016 which came into force w.e.f. 1.9.2016. The Amendment Act completely prohibits the employment of children below 14 years. The amendment also prohibits the employment of adolescents in the age group of 14 to 18 years in hazardous occupations and processes and regulates their working conditions where they are not prohibited. The amendment also provides stricter punishment for employers for violation of the Act and making the offence of employing any child or adolescent in contravention of the Act by an employer as cognizable.
In order to achieve effective enforcement of the provisions of the Act, the amendment empowers the appropriate Government to confer such powers and impose such duties on a District Magistrate as may be necessary. Further, the State Action Plan has been circulated to all the States/UTs for ensuring effective implementation of the Act.
To access the complete Act, click here.
Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act 1986
Article 24 of the Indian constitution clearly states that, "No child below the age of fourteen years shall be employed to work in any factory or mine or employed in any hazardous employment." The Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act of 1986 designates a child as a person who has not completed their 14th year of age. It aims to regulate the hours and the working conditions of child workers and to prohibit child workers from being employed in hazardous industries.
Constitutional Provisions for Child Upliftment
Article 21 A: Right to Education
The State shall provide free and compulsory education to all children of the age of 6 to 14 years in such manner as the State, by law, may determine.
Article 24: Prohibition of employment of children in factories, etc.
No child below the age fourteen years shall be employed in work in any factory or mine or engaged in any other hazardous employment.
Article 39: The State shall, in particular, direct its policy towards securing
(e) that the health and strength of workers, men and women, and the tender age of children are not abused and that citizens are not forced by economic necessity to enter avocations unsuited to their age or strength.
Legislative Provisions Prohibiting and Regulating Employment of Children
- As per the Child Labour (Prohibition & Regulation) Act, 1986 “child” means a person who has not completed is 14th year of age.
- The Act prohibits employment of children in 13 occupations and 57 processes contained in Part A & B of the Schedule to the Act (Section 3).
- Under the Act, a Technical Advisory Committee is constituted to advice for inclusion of further occupations & processes in the Schedule.
- The Act regulates the condition of employment's in all occupations and processes not prohibited under the Act (Part III).
- Any person who employs any child in contravention of the provisions of section 3 of the Act is liable for punishment with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than three months but which may extend to one year or with fine which shall not be less than Rs 10,000 but which may extend to Rs 20,000 or both. ((Section 14).
- The Central and the State Governments enforce the provisions of the Act in their respective spheres.
ILO core conventions related to Child Labour
International Labour Organisation is a U.N. agency that was established in 1919. ILO brings together governments, employers and workers representatives of 187 member States, to set labour standards, develop policies and devise programmes promoting decent work for all women and men.
The principal means of action in the ILO is the setting up the International Labour Standards in the form of Conventions and Recommendations. Conventions are international treaties and are instruments, which create legally binding obligations on the countries that ratify them. Recommendations are non-binding and set out guidelines orienting national policies and actions.
There are eight Core Conventions of the ILO (also called fundamental/human rights conventions) which are as follows.
- Forced Labour Convention (No. 29)
- Abolition of Forced Labour Convention (No.105)
- Equal Remuneration Convention (No.100)
- Discrimination (Employment Occupation) Convention (No.111)
- Freedom of Association and Protection of Right to Organised Convention (No.87)
- Right to Organise and Collective Bargaining Convention (No.98)
- Minimum Age Convention (No.138)
- Worst forms of Child Labour Convention (No.182)
The two Core Conventions directly related to child labour are that of ILO Convention 138 and 182. India has ratified both the Core Conventions of International Labour Organization (ILO) Conventions 138 regarding admission of age to employment and Convention 182 regarding worst forms of Child Labour
Convention No.138: (Minimum Age)
ILO Convention No. 138 concerning Minimum Age for Entry to Employment & Work was adopted by the International Labour Conference at its 58th Session in June, 1973. This Convention is one of the 8 Core Conventions of the ILO being referred to as Fundamental or basic Human Rights Conventions and the ILO has been very active in promoting its ratification. Each country ratifying this Convention undertakes to:
- Pursue a national policy designed to ensure the effective abolition of child labour;
- Specify a minimum age for Entry to employment or work which will not be less than the ages of completion of compulsory schooling;
- To raise this progressively to a level consistent with the fullest physical and mental development of young people;
- Guarantee that the minimum age of entry to any type of employment or work, which is likely to compromise health, safety of morals of young persons shall not be less than 18 years
Convention No.182 on Worst Forms of Child Labour:
ILO Convention No. 182 and the accompanying Recommendation No. 190 concerning Worst Forms of Child Labour was adopted by the ILO in its 87th Session at Geneva in June, 1999. Convention No. 182 is one of the 8 Core Conventions of the ILO being referred to as fundamental or basic human rights Conventions. Main provisions of Convention No 182:
- For the purpose of this Convention, the term child shall apply to all persons under the age of 18.
- For the purpose of this Convention, the term worst forms of child labour comprises:
- All forms of slavery or practices similar to slavery, such as the sale and traff icking of children (debt bondage and serfdom and forced or compulsory labour), including forced or compulsory recruitment of children for use in armed conflict.
- The use, procuring or offering of a child for prostitution, for the production of pornography o r for pornographic performances.
- The use, procuring or offering of a child for illicit activities, in particular of the production and trafficking of drugs as defined in the relevant international treaties.
- Work which by its nature or the circumstances in which it is carried out is likely to harm the health, safety or morals of children.
National Policy on Child Labour
The National Policy on Child Labour, August 1987 contains the action plan for tackling the problem of child labour. It envisages:
- A legislative action plan
- Focusing and convergence of general development programmes for benefiting children wherever possible, and
- Project-based action plan of action for launching of projects for the welfare of working children in areas of high concentration of child labour.
In pursuance of National Child Labour Policy, the NCLP Scheme was started in 1988 to rehabilitate child labour. The Scheme seeks to adopt a sequential approach with focus on rehabilitation of children working in hazardous occupations & processes in the first instance. Under the Scheme, after a survey of child labour engaged in hazardous occupations & processes has been conducted, children are to be withdrawn from these occupations & processes and then put into special schools in order to enable them to be mainstreamed into formal schooling system.
Legislative Action Plan for strict enforcement of Child Labour Act and other labour laws to ensure that children are not employed in hazardous employments, and that the working conditions of children working in non-hazardous areas are regulated in accordance with the provisions of the Child Labour Act. It also entails further identification of additional occupations and processes, which are detrimental to the health and safety of the children.
Government has accordingly been taking proactive steps to tackle this problem through strict enforcement of legislative provisions along with simultaneous rehabilitative measures. State Governments, which are the appropriate implementing authorities, have been conducting regular inspections and raids to detect cases of violations. Since poverty is the root cause of this problem, and enforcement alone cannot help solve it, Government has been laying a lot of emphasis on the rehabilitation of these children and on improving the economic conditions of their families.
Right to Education Bill
In 2009, the government of India made a move of far-reaching consequences by introducing the Right to Education Bill. The implementation of this Act at the grassroots level is a key to the eradication of the problem of child labour that has plagued India for centuries.
Rehabilitation of Children Working in Hazardous Occupations
The government of India launched a major program to remove child labour working in hazardous occupations, and to rehabilitate them by setting up special schools for them. Under the program a total of two million children are sought to be brought out of work and put in special schools where they are provided with education, vocational training, monthly stipends, nutrition and health-checks.
List of Hazardous Occupations & Process
- Transport of passengers, goods or mails by railways
- Cinder picking, clearing of an ash pit or building operation in the railway premises
- Work in a catering establishment at a railway station, involving the movement of a vendor or any other employee of the establishment from the one platform to another or in to or out of a moving train
- Work relating to the construction of a railway station or with any other work where such work is done in close proximity to or between the railway lines
- A port authority within the limits of any port
- * Work relating to selling of crackers and fireworks in shops with temporary licenses
- # Abattoirs/Slaughter House
- $ Automobile workshops and garages
- Handling of toxic or inflammable substances or explosives
- Handloom and power loom industry
- Mines (underground and under water) and collieries
- Plastic units and fibreglass workshops
- ** Domestic workers or servants and
- ** Dhabas (roadside eateries), restaurants, hotels, motels, tea shops, resorts, spas or other recreational centres
- $$ Diving
- Caring of Elephant
- Working in the circus
- carpet weaving including preparatory and incidental process there of.
- Cement manufacture, including bagging of cement
- Cloth printing, dyeing and weaving
- cloth printing, dyeing and weaving including processes preparatory and incidental there to.
- Manufacture of matches, explosives and fire-works
- Mica-cutting and splitting
- Shellac manufacture
- Soap manufacture
- Building and construction industry
- Building and Construction Industry including processing and polishing of granite stones
- *Manufacture of slate pencils (including packing)
- * Manufacture of products from agate
- * Manufacturing processes using toxic metals and substances such as lead, mercury, manganese, chromium, cadmium, benzene, pesticides and asbestos
- # “Hazardous processes” as defined in Sec. 2 (cb) and ‘dangerous operation’ as notice in rules made under section 87 of the Factories Act, 1948 (63 of 1948)
- # Printing as defined in Section 2(k) (iv) of the Factories Act, 1948 (63 of 1948)
- # Cashew and cashewnut descaling and processing
- # Soldering processes in electronic industries
- $ ‘Aggarbatti’ manufacturing
- Automobile repairs and maintenance including processes incidental thereto namely, welding, lathe work, dent beating and painting
- Brick kilns and Roof tiles units
- Cotton ginning and processing and production of hosiery goods
- Detergent manufacturing
- Fabrication workshops (ferrous and non ferrous)
- Gem cutting and polishing
- Handling of chromite and manganese ores
- Jute textile manufacture and coir making
- Lime Kilns and Manufacture of Lime
- Lock Making
- Manufacturing processes having exposure to lead such as primary and secondary smelting, welding and cutting of lead-painted metal constructions, welding of galvanized or zinc silicate, polyvinyl chloride, mixing (by hand) of crystal glass mass, sanding or scraping of lead paint, burning of lead in enameling workshops, lead mining, plumbing, cable making, wiring patenting, lead casting, type founding in printing shops. Store type setting, assembling of cars, shot making and lead glass blowing.
- Manufacture of cement pipes, cement products and other related work
- Manufacture of glass, glass ware including bangles, florescent tubes, bulbs and other similar glass products
- Manufacture of dyes and dye stuff
- Manufacturing or handling of pesticides and insecticides
- Manufacturing or processing and handling of corrosive and toxic substances, metal cleaning and photo engraving and soldering processes in electronic industry
- Manufacturing of burning coal and coal briquettes
- Manufacturing of sports goods involving exposure to synthetic materials, chemicals and leather
- Moulding and processing of fiberglass and plastic
- Oil expelling and refinery
- Paper making
- Potteries and ceramic industry
- Polishing, moulding, cutting, welding and manufacturing of brass goods in all forms
- Processes in agriculture where tractors, threshing and harvesting machines are used and chaff cutting
- Saw mill – all processes
- Sericulture processing
- Skinning, dyeing and processes for manufacturing of leather and leather products
- Stone breaking and stone crushing
- Tobacco processing including manufacturing of tobacco, tobacco paste and handling of tobacco in any form
- Tyre making, repairing, re-treading and graphite beneficiation
- Utensils making, polishing and metal buffing
- ‘Zari’ making (all processes)’
- @ Electroplating
- Graphite powdering and incidental processing
- Grinding or glazing of metals
- Diamond cutting and polishing
- Extraction of slate from mines
- Rag picking and scavenging
- $$ Processes involving exposure to excessive heat (e.g., working near furnace) and cold
- Mechanised fishing
- Food Processing
- Beverage Industry
- Timber handling and loading
- Mechanical Lumbering
- Processes involving exposure to free silica such as slate, pencil industry, stone grinding, slate stone mining, stone quarries, agate industry
- * Ins. by Notification No. S. O. 404(E) dated the 5th June,1989 published in the Gazette of India, Extraordinary.
- # Ins. by Notification No. S. O. 263 (E) dated 29th March,1994 published in the Gazette of India, Extraordinary.
- $ Ins. Sr. No. 8-13 in Part A and Sr. No. 19-51 in Part B by Notification No. S. O. 36 (E) dated 27th January 1999 published in the Gazette of India, Extraordinary.
- @ Ins.Sr. No. 52 – 57 part B By Notification No. S.O. 397 (E) dated the 10th May 2001 published in the Gazette of India, Extraordinary.
- ** Ins. Sr. 14 & 15 in Part A by Notification No. S.O. 1742 (E) dated the 10th October, 2006 published in the Gazette of India, Extraordinary.
- $$ Ins. Sr. 16 in Part ‘A’ & Sr, No. 58 to 65 in Part ‘B’ by Notification No. S.O. 2280 (E) dated the 25th September, 2008.
Source : Ministry of Labour and Employment