Child labour is nothing but the practice of engaging children in economic activity, on part or full-time basis. Due to this, children get deprived of their childhood, which is harmful for their physical and mental growth and development. Lack of good schools, poverty, child trafficking, ignorance of parents, discrimination of gender, growth of informal economy are the causes considered as the causes of child labour in India.
India has passed a number of constitutional protections and laws on child labour. The Constitution of India in the Fundamental Rights and the Directive of State Policy prohibits child labour below the age of 14 years in any factory or mine or castle or engaged in any other hazardous employment.
India has a form of government where child labour is a matter on which both the central government and state governments can legislate.
The major national legislative developments include the following:
The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection) of Children Act of 2000: This law made it a crime, punishable with a prison term, for anyone to procure or employ a child in any hazardous employment or in bondage.
The Factories Act of 1948: The Act prohibits the employment of children below the age of 14 years in any factory. The law also placed rules on who, when and how long can pre-adults aged 15–18 years be employed in any factory.
The Mines Act of 1952: The Act prohibits the employment of children below 18 years of age in a mine.
The Child Labour Act of 1986: The Act prohibits the employment of children below the age of 14 years in hazardous occupations identified in a list by the law. The list was expanded in 2006, and again in 2008.
Article 24 provides: strictly prohibits children to work in hazardous environment.
Article 21, 45 gives the right to education to all the children below the age of 14years.