The primary purpose of the Prohibition and Regulation of Child Labour Act, 1986 is to address social concerns and prohibit the employment of children under the age of 14 in specific jobs, and regulate children’s working conditions prohibited in professions related to
(i) transport of passengers’ goods or mail by rail
(ii) manufacture of bidi
(iii) weaving carpets
(iv) manufacturing of matches, explosives, and fire
(v) soap manufacture
(vi) wool cleaning
(vii) building and construction industry. The Government has also banned children’s employment in
(b) hazardous processes and dangerous operations as notified
(c) printing, as defined,
(d) cashew and cashew nut descaling, and processing
(e) soldering processes in electronic industry.
The Child Labour Act banned children’s employment in about 13 occupations and about 51 processes.
- The fundamental rights mentioned in the constitution of India (the country’s law in article 24 under Right to exploitation also mention the prohibition of employing children in factories, etc.
- The law states that no child can work between 7 p.m. and 8 a.m. Work overtime is not allowed. No child is allowed to work for more than three hours before having a one-hour break. The total time of working is a maximum of six hours. No one is allowed to work for more than one establishment on any day. One holiday is allowed every week. The law also provides children’s health and safety measures. The Act also describes the employer must provide facilities for child workers with drinking water, latrines, and urinals, cleanliness, disposal of wastes and effluents, ventilation and temperature, etc. Also, protective measures against dust and smoke, artificial humidification, machine fences, etc must be provided by the employer.
The employer should inform the factory inspectors if he employs a child. Proof of age is required according to the rules of law.
Causes of Child Labour
Some of the major causes of child labor that can be understood in India are;
Poverty: It is impossible to control child labor in developing countries because children have traditionally been seen as a helping hand in feeding, supporting, and feeding themselves. Because of poverty illiteracy and unemployment, parents are unable to feed their children and run their families. As a result, poor parents put their children to work in deplorable conditions for inadequate pay.
Debts: People in India are bound to borrow money due to their bad economic situation. Illiterate people turn to money lenders and occasionally mortgage their possessions for debt. Debtors, however, find it difficult to repay their debts and interests due to a lack of income. This vicious loop of poverty forces them to work for the creditors 24 hours a day, seven days a week and then the creditors force their children to help them pay off their obligations.
In the 20th century, child labor became so pervasive the news of factory hazards and accidents that claimed innocent children’s lives made the headlines. The time has come when it has been found that there is a need for laws and regulations to prevent evil. Child labor practices. Today, there are enough laws to condemn and ban child labor, such as:
- The Factories Act of 1948: The Act prohibits the use of children under the age of 14 in any factory. The law also establishes rules about who, when, and how often minors between the age of 15 and 18 can work in any factory.
- The Mines Act of 1952: This law prohibits under 18 from working in the mines. Mining is one of the most dangerous professions, which in the past it has led to many significant accidents that claimed the lives of children and is entirely forbidden for them.
- The Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act of 1986: The Act prohibits the employment of children under 14 in hazardous occupations listed by the law. This law was expanded in 2006 and again in 2008.
- The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection) of Children Act of 2000: This Act makes it a crime, punishable by imprisonment for anyone who purchases or uses children in dangerous conditions. Employment or slavery. This law punishes those who have openly broken the law in the past by hiring children to work.
- The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act of 2009: This Act mandates free education for all children within 6-14 years of age. The law also requires that 25% of the seats in each private school be allocated to children with disadvantaged groups and children with physical disabilities.
- Beedi and Cigar Workers (Conditions of Employment) Act, 1966: Section 24 of the Act states that employment of children in this industry is strictly prohibited under this Act.
- Plantation Labour Act, 1951: Section 25 of the Act states that women and children may only work between the hours of 6a.m and 7 p.m. They can only be used outside these hours with the state government’s permission.
- Domestic Workers (Registration Social Security and Welfare) Act, 2008: Section 14 of the Act provides information that no child shall be employed as a domestic worker or any ancillary work. This is prohibited under law.
Violations of Section-3 are punishable by imprisonment from three months to one year or a fine of between ten thousand rupees to twenty thousand rupees or both. Continued violations under section (3) may result in imprisonment for at least six months but may extend up to two years.
Any other violations of the law are punishable by simply imprisonment of up to one month or a fine of up to ten thousand rupees or both.
Finally, Child labor is defined as the practice of engaging children in economic activity on a part-time or full-time basis. Children are robbed of their youth and their physical and mental development is harmed as a result of this behavior. Poverty, a lack of adequate schooling, and the expansion of the informal sector are factors that contribute to child labor in India. The issue of child labor continues to be a source of concern for the country. To address this issue, the government has taken several proactive initiatives. Still, given the scope and magnitude of this problem and the fact that it is a socio-economic issue inextricably related to poverty and illiteracy, it will need concerted efforts from all segments of society to make a dent in it.