In this post, we will learn about the Child Labour and Acts Prohibits to Child Labour.
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Child Labour and Acts Prohibits to Child Labour
Child labor is defined as any work that deprives children of their childhood, potential, and dignity, interferes with their schooling, and is harmful to their physical and mental development. It can take many forms, including domestic labor, agricultural labor, mining, construction, manufacturing, and service industries. Child labor is a violation of children’s rights, and it is a global problem that affects millions of children worldwide, particularly in developing countries. Child labor is often associated with poverty, lack of access to education, and other social and economic factors. It is important to work towards eliminating child labor and promoting education and other opportunities for children to grow and develop in a safe and healthy environment.
According to ILO, any type of exploitation of Children (Mentally, Physically, Socially or Morally) through work that deprives the children of their childhood, is called Child Labour.
Cause of Child Labour
Child Labour is both a cause and consequence of poverty.
Child Labour in India
As per Census 2011, the total child population in India in the age group (5-14) years is 259.6 million. Of these, 10.1 million (3.9% of total child population) are working, either as ‘main worker’ or as ‘marginal worker’. In addition, more than 42.7 million children in India are out of school.
However, the good news is that the incidence of child labour has decreased in India by 2.6 million between 2001 and 2011. However, the decline was more visible in rural areas, while the number of child workers has increased in urban areas, indicating the growing demand for child workers in menial jobs. Child labour has different ramifications in both rural and urban India.
|Year||Percentage of working children (5-14)||Total number of working children (5-14) (in millions)|
Distribution of working children by type of work in 2011
|Area of work||Percentage||Numbers (in millions)|
|Household industry workers||5.2||0.52|
Indian Industries indulged In Child Labour
Child labor is a serious problem in India, and several industries have been found to employ children, particularly in the informal sector. According to a report by the International Labour Organization (ILO), agriculture is the sector with the highest number of child laborers in India, followed by domestic work, construction, and manufacturing.
The carpet industry, for example, has been known to use child labor extensively, particularly in the production of handmade carpets in rural areas. Children are often forced to work long hours, with little or no pay, and are exposed to dangerous chemicals and sharp tools. The garment industry, particularly in the informal sector, has also been found to employ children, particularly in stitching and embroidery work.
The mining industry, particularly in coal mines, is another industry where children are often employed. Children are often forced to work in hazardous conditions, with no protective gear, and are at risk of accidents, respiratory illnesses, and other health problems.
Overall, child labor remains a major issue in India, and it is important for the government and other stakeholders to take action to eliminate it and protect the rights of children.
National Commission on Labour
The National Commission on Labour was a commission appointed by the Government of India in 1966 to examine various aspects of labour issues in the country and to make recommendations for improving the conditions of workers. The commission was chaired by Justice H.N. Ray and had 26 members, including representatives from government, industry, and trade unions.
The commission conducted an extensive study of labour issues in India over a period of three years, from 1966 to 1969, and submitted its report in 1969. The report covered a wide range of issues, including wages, working conditions, social security, industrial relations, and the role of trade unions.
One of the key recommendations of the commission was the establishment of a comprehensive social security system for workers, including provisions for health care, insurance, and retirement benefits. The commission also recommended the establishment of a tripartite system of industrial relations, with representatives from government, industry, and trade unions, to promote dialogue and cooperation between these stakeholders.
The report of the National Commission on Labour had a significant impact on labour policy in India, and many of its recommendations were later implemented by the government. The commission’s emphasis on social security and the tripartite system of industrial relations reflected a broader trend towards the welfare state and the recognition of the role of labour in economic development.
Gurupada Swamy Committee 1979 on Child Labour
The Gurupada Swamy Committee was appointed by the Government of India in 1979 to investigate the problem of child labor in the country and to make recommendations for addressing it. The committee was chaired by Professor A.K. Gurupada Swamy, a well-known economist and social scientist.
The committee conducted an extensive study of child labor in India, particularly in the informal sector, and submitted its report in 1980. The report highlighted the widespread nature of child labor in the country, particularly in rural areas, and the harmful effects it was having on the health and education of children.
The committee made a number of recommendations for addressing the problem of child labor, including the need for better enforcement of existing laws prohibiting child labor, the establishment of special schools and vocational training programs for working children, and the provision of incentives to employers who hire adult workers instead of children.
The committee also emphasized the need for greater awareness and education among the public about the harmful effects of child labor, and for greater involvement of civil society organizations in addressing the problem.
The report of the Gurupada Swamy Committee had a significant impact on public policy in India, and many of its recommendations were later incorporated into government programs aimed at eliminating child labor. However, child labor remains a major problem in India, particularly in the informal sector, and continued efforts are needed to protect the rights of children and promote their education and well-being.
Sanat Mehta Committee 1984 on Child Labour
The Sanat Mehta Committee, also known as the National Committee on Child Labour, was appointed by the Government of India in 1984 to review the existing laws and policies related to child labor and to make recommendations for their improvement. The committee was chaired by Sanat Mehta, a prominent social worker and politician.
The committee conducted an extensive study of child labor in India and submitted its report in 1985. The report emphasized the need for a comprehensive approach to tackling the problem of child labor, which would include not only legal and policy measures but also social and economic interventions.
The committee made a number of recommendations for addressing the problem of child labor, including the need for stricter enforcement of existing laws prohibiting child labor, the provision of better education and vocational training opportunities for children, and the need for better social protection measures for families at risk of engaging their children in labor.
The committee also emphasized the need for greater coordination and collaboration between different government agencies and civil society organizations to address the problem of child labor.
The report of the Sanat Mehta Committee had a significant impact on public policy in India, and many of its recommendations were later incorporated into government programs aimed at eliminating child labor. However, child labor remains a major problem in India, particularly in the informal sector, and continued efforts are needed to protect the rights of children and promote their education and well-being.
Child Labour (Regulation & Prohibition Act, 1986)
On 23rd December 1986, the act was passed by the parliament and the employment of children act 1938 was replaced.
- It extends to the whole of India.
- The provisions of this Act, other than Part III, shall come into force at once, and Part III shall come into force on the notification of GOI.
“child” means a person who has not completed his fourteenth year of age.
Child Labour is any work performed by children that is dangerous or harmful to them and affects their physical and mental development.
No child shall be employed in any industry; ban on employment of children below 14 years in 83 hazardous occupations.
Banned Occupational Areas Till 14 years
Transport (Railway), Catering at Railways, Crackers and Fire works, Bidi Making, cement, mica-cutting and splitting, soap-manufacturing, Tanning, Building & Construction industry.
Period of work
- No child permit to work between 7pm to 8am.
- Maximum 6 hrs and not more than 3 hrs before an interval of rest of 1hrs.
- A day holiday per week mandatory.
Whoever employs any child or permits any child to work in contravention of the provisions shall be punishable 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 ten thousand rupees but which may extend to twenty thousand rupees or with both.
Child Labour Technical Advisory Committee
- Central Government may constitute an advisory committee called the child labour technical advisory committee.
- Committee shall consist of a chairman and such other members not exceeding 10.
|Original 1986 Act||2016 Amendment||2017 Amendment|
|Called “The Child labour (prohibition & Regulation) Act, 1986”||Changed to “The Child & Adolescent labour (Prohibition & Regulation) Act.”|
|Only mentioned about Child having age below 14 years||Mentioned about Child (Below 14 years) and Adolescent (between 14-18 years)|
|Banned only in 83 Occupational Hazardous Occupations.||Complete prohibition of employment of children below the age of 14 and adolescent are banned in 3 Hazardous Occupations.|
|83 Occupational hazardous Occupations.||These 83 reduced to 3 Hazardous occupations|
|Penalties 3 months to 1 year and/or fine between ₹10,000-₹20,000||Penalties 6 months to 2 years and/or fine between ₹20,000-₹50,000|
|Original 1986 Act||2016 Amendment||2017 Amendment|
|Children below the age of 14 years will be allowed to work in Family Businesses/ Enterprises only if they are non-hazardous.||Children below the age of 14 years will be allowed to work in Family Businesses/ Enterprises only if they are non-hazardous.||Child and adolescent can work in both family business/ enterprises and Entertainment industries|
|No Officer responsible for the implementation of Act.||District Magistrate or a subordinate officer can be made responsible for enforcement and can be conferred with such powers.||A Board & a Special framework have been established for the prevention, prohibition, rescue and rehabilitation of Children as well as for adolescent.|
Payment of Wages Act 1936
- Regulate the payment of directly or indirectly wages
- Prohibit unauthorised deduction
- Ensure the employees against unjustified delay in payment of wages
- All over India
- Applicable to employees in any factory, railway, contractor & an industrial establishment under Subclause (a to g) of clause II of Section 2.
- Applicable to those employees whose wages not exceeding ₹1000 per month. This amended in 1982 & raised the limit ₹1600 per month.
“industrial or other establishment”[sec 2 (i)1] means any –
- tramway service or motor transport service engaged in carrying passengers or goods or both by road for hire or reward;
- air transport service other than such service belonging to or exclusively employed in the military naval or air forces of the Union or the Civil Aviation Department of the Government of India;
- Dock wharf or jetty;
- inland vessel mechanically propelled;
- mine quarry or oil-field;
- workshop or other establishment in which articles are produced adapted or manufactured with a view to their use transport or sale;
- establishment in which any work relating to the construction development or maintenance of buildings roads bridges or canals or relating to operations connected with navigation irrigation or to the supply of water or relating to the generation transmission and distribution of electricity or any other form of power is being carried on;
Definition of Wages
“Wages” means all remuneration (Whether by way of salary, allowances, otherwise) expressed in terms of money or capable of being expressed which would, if the terms of employment, expressed or implied are fulfilled, be payable to person employed in respect of his employment or of work done in such employment.
|Include||Does not include|
|• Any remuneration, payable under any award or settlement between the parties or Order of a court.|
• Includes overtime work or holiday or any earned Leave.
• Bonus under the terms of employment.
• Any compensation for the termination of employment/ retrenchment.
• Any sum entitled under any scheme.
|• Bonus that does not form a part of remuneration.|
• The value of any house – accommodation, or of the supply of light, water, medical attendance or Other amenity or of any service.
• Any Pension or provident fund.
• Travelling allowance.
• Gratuity payable on the termination of employment.
• Potential wages.
Responsibility for payment of wages
- Employer/Manager/Supervisor of Industrial establishment/Railway administrative representative
- Pending wages must be cleared with in a month.
- Payment should be done on working days.
Obligations of Employer
- All his workmen are paid regularly & timely.
- Fix wages period which shall not exceed one month
- Payment should be done in current coin or currency notes or both.
- Not to make unauthorised deduction and impose fines only for permissible acts and also give adequate opportunity to show cause against the fines and deductions.
- Maintain registers and all other records of payments including deduction, fines etc.
- Absence from duty
- Damage or Loss
- Deduction for amenities, services, loan recovery, accommodation cost or for any important criteria/ Legal Conditions mentioned in contract.
Inspector & his Power-
- The act says that the Government can appoint an inspector for the applicability of this act.
- Power to examine & inquiry for the enforcement of the law; power to enter, inspect & search any premises of any railway, factory or industrial or Other establishment at any reasonable time; Supervise the payment; examine records & registers or seize them.
Rights of employee
- To refuse to agree to any unauthorised deduction & fines.
- To receive his wages in the prescribed wage period in cash/cheque or credit to his bank account.
- Approach (within the 6 months) to the prescribed authority to claim unpaid or delayed wages.
- Appeal to district court against the direction made by the authority appointed under the act for payment of wages & compensation of the amount of these sums exceed 300 Rs.
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FAQs on Child Labour and Acts Prohibits to Child Labour
What are the causes of child labour?
There are many complex factors that contribute to the issue of child labor. Some of the main causes of child labor include:
1. Poverty: Child labor is often a result of families living in poverty and struggling to meet their basic needs. When parents are unable to earn enough money to support their family, they may send their children to work to contribute to household income.
2. Lack of access to education: Children who do not have access to education may be more likely to end up in exploitative work situations. Without education, they may have limited opportunities for alternative forms of employment in the future.
3. Cultural and social factors: In some cultures, children are expected to work and contribute to the family from a young age. Social norms around child labor can also make it difficult to address the issue.
4. Limited labor protections: In countries where labor laws and regulations are weak or not enforced, children may be more vulnerable to exploitation and abuse.
5. Conflict and displacement: In conflict-affected areas, families may be displaced or separated, leaving children vulnerable to exploitation and abuse.
6. Demand for cheap labor: Industries that rely on cheap labor, such as the garment and textile industries, may be more likely to employ children in order to reduce costs and increase profits.
7. Lack of awareness: Lack of awareness about the negative effects of child labor on children’s health, education, and future prospects may also contribute to the perpetuation of the practice.