Child Labour (Prohibition & Regulation) Act, 1986 (The Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Amendment Act, 2016 )


India is one of the countries where children below 14 years age and below have been making them to work in menial, hazardous work environment and sometimes dirty jobs in hotels and restaurants for  washing of dishes and bowels, Child labour has been hired especially in the small-scale units like leather, plastic, bangle manufacturing, poultry, food manufacturing and Garment Manufacturing related units et cetera. There are people who are doing business of supplying Child labour to aforesaid units by procuring them from various States like Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand, subsequently sometimes children literally being treated like animals in small-scale units, they are being exploited, abused, in fact sexual harassment and many atrocities being done to them. There are many children captured and staying in clutches of inhuman employers since long time and many are trying to escape from the hands of such people, only a few of them are able to escape from the clutches and others are still waiting for a chance.

In India employing a person who is under the age of 14 called as child, whoever takes work in any industry or establishment shall be treated as crime and such are liable for serious punishments according to the The Child Labour (Prohibition & Regulation) Act, 1986. Indian police are empowered to take the cognizance of child labour consequently arrest them and produced before honourable courts. In addition to this there are many voluntary organisations striving for abolish of Chile labour and provide education for their better future.

Labour ministry has notified the amendments to the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, paving way for complete prohibition of employment of children up to the age of 14 years but allowing them to help in family enterprises.

The proposed changes have been made effective from September 1, 2016 even as the debate continues on whether the government needs to re-look at the provisions to avoid any misuse of the Act.

According to the 2001 census, there were 12.6 million child workers between the ages of five and 14 in India. In 2011, this number fell to 4.35 million. The National Sample Survey Office's survey of 2009-10 put the number at 4.98 million.

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THE CHILD LABOUR (PROHIBITION AND REGULATION)AMENDMENT ACT, 2016

Objectives of the Act


Prohibit the engagement of children in all occupations and to prohibit the engagement of adolescents in hazardous occupations and processes and thematters connected therewith or incidental thereto

Under the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Amendment Act, 2016, children younger than 14 years can now work in family enterprises and farms after school hours and during holidays. Children working as artists in the audio-visual entertainment industry, including advertisement, films, television serials or any such other entertainment or sports activities, except the circus, have also been granted exemption, provided the work does not affect their school education.
 47% of children in India are out of school

Oct -15-2012: The Supreme Court on Monday ordered the central and state governments to conduct a countrywide drive to identify children below 14 years engaged as domestic helps and send them to school to fulfill the mandate of the Right to Education Act for their free and compulsory education.

The court said on the one hand, the RTE Act mandated free and compulsory education to children below 14 years, that is up to Class 8, while on the other, many of them were still working as domestic helps in both urban and rural areas.


Large number of children are working as domestic helps in urban, town and rural areas with no chance to go to school even though education from Standard 1 to 8 is compulsory under the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009.

Accepting the suggestions of amicus curiae and senior advocate A K Ganguly, the court ordered:
  • Fresh survey to identify bonded labour every three years and findings to be saved as computerized data
  • District and sub-divisional vigilance committee to submit reports to NHRC once in three years
  • All child domestic helps to be identified and sent to school
  • All states to re-calculate fund requirement for rehabilitation and enhance the package from the present limit of Rs 20,000 for each bonded labourer
  • States and UTs should submit report to NHRC every six months
  • Vigilance committees, if not already set up, to be constituted in six months


Besides, the Act provides banning employment of children between 15-18 years in hazardous works, in sync with the Right to Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act 2009.

The Bill enhances the punishment for employing any child in an occupation.  It also includes penalty for employing an adolescent in a hazardous occupation.

The penalty for employing a child was increased to imprisonment between 6 months and two years (from 3 months-one year) or a fine of Rs 20,000 to Rs 50,000 (from Rs 10,000-20,000) or both.

The penalty for employing an adolescent in hazardous occupation is imprisonment between 6 months and two years or a fine of Rs 20,000 to Rs 50,000 or both.

anyone repeats offences like employing child or employing adolescents in hazardous occupations mentions in this act under section 3A, they shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than one year but which may extend to three years.

 

Article 24 of Indian Constitution says Prohibition of employment of children in factories, etc. which means child below the age fourteen years should not be employed in work in any factory or mine or engaged in any other hazardous employment.

[section 2]
of The Child Labour (Prohibition & Regulation) Act, 1986 defines, 'child' means a person who has not completed his 14 years of age.

[section 2 (i)]
(i ) “adolescent” means a person who has completed his fourteenth year of age but has not completed his eighteenth year;



[section 3] No child shall be employed or permitted to work in any occupation or process (The Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2012 )
under this section, no child shall be employed are permitted to work in any establishment, occupation or process. Which means child should not be employed are permitted to work anywhere.  but according to the [section 3 (2)] child is permitted to work at  their own family business and audio & visual industry. provided that such work should not hamper or effect School education of a child.

[section 3 (2)]
According to the new amendment, child is allowed to work at certain places mentioned below.

(a) helps his family or family enterprise, which is other than any hazardous occupations or processes set forth in the Schedule, after his school hours  or during vacations;

(b) works as an artist in an audio-visual entertainment industry, including advertisement, films, television serials or any such other entertainment or  sports activities except the circus, subject to such conditions and safety measures, as may be prescribed:

      Provided that no such work under this clause shall effect the school education of the child.

Explanation.—
For the purposes of this section, the expression,

(a) ‘‘family’’ in relation to a child, means his mother, father, brother,sister and father’s sister and brother and mother’s sister and brother;
(b) ‘‘family enterprise’’ means any work, profession, manufacture or business which is performed by the members of the family with the engagement of other persons;
(c) ‘‘artist’’ means a child who performs or practices any work as a hobby or profession directly involving him as an actor, singer, sports person or in such other activity as may be prescribed relating to the entertainment or sports activities falling under clause (b) of sub-section (2).


Labour ministry proposes stringent rules to safeguard child artistes

The labour min
istry has proposed stiff rules to regulate participation of children in any form of audio or visual entertainment, including advertisements, films, television serials or sports, hitting the burgeoning child entertainment industry in India.

It would be mandatory for producers to seek written permission to be renewed every six months.

“Producer of any audio–visual media production or any commercial event involving the participation of a child, shall involve child in participation only after obtaining the permission from the district magistrate of the district where the activity is to be performed,” the draft Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Amendment Rules, 2016 said.

in 2014 that the government was contemplating some checks and balances on participation of children in the entertainment industry after rampant instances of children finding it difficult to bear the physical and mental trauma associated with the rigorous routine. The fresh set of rules have been moved in sync with the Child Labour (Regulation and Prohibition) Amendment Act, 2016, approved by Parliament in the monsoon session and notified by the ministry in September this year.

As per the 2001 census, total number of working children aged five to 14 was 1.26 crore. However, NSSO survey in 2004-05 said the number was 90.75 lakh while the same survey in 2009-10 put the figure at 49.84 lakh, and nearly 10% of them are engaged in the audio-video industry.

the producer will have to submit an undertaking before the district magistrate, the list of child participants, consent of parents and the name of the individual from the production or event who shall be responsible for the safety and security of the child.

“The undertaking referred to shall be valid for six months and shall clearly state the provisions for education, safety, security and reporting of child abuse

Besides, the draft rules have also proposed that no child artiste shall be allowed to work for more than five hours in a day and not for more than three hours without rest to ensure that the education of children is not compromised and the child gets enough rest. These draft rules shall come into force on the date of their notification.

Labour ministry has already notified the amendments to the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act resulting in complete prohibition of employment of children up to the age of 14 years but allowing them to help in family enterprises.

The proposed changes have been made effective from September 1, 2016 Under the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Amendment Act, 2016, children younger than 14 years can work in family enterprises and farms after school hours and during holidays.


[section 3A]
No adolescent shall be employed or permitted to work in any of the hazardous occupations or processes set forth in the Schedule:

THE SCHEDULE

(1) Mines.
(2) Inflammable substances or explosives.
(3) Hazardous process.

Explanation.—
For the purposes of this Schedule, “hazardous process” has the meaning assigned to it in clause (cb) of the Factories Act, 1948.’

(cb) "hazardous process" means any process or activity in relation to an industry specified in the First Schedule where, unless special care is taken, raw materials used therein or the intermediate or finished products, bye-products, wastes, or effluents thereof would-

(i) cause material impairment to the health of the persons engaged in or connected therewith, or
(ii) result in the pollution of the general environment:


[section 7] Hours and period of work (adolescent only)

(1) No adolescent shall be required or permitted to work in any establishment in excess of such number of hours, as may be prescribed for such establishment or class of establishments.

(2) The period of work on each day shall be so fixed that no period shall exceed three hours and that no adolescent shall work for more than three hours before he has had an interval for rest for at least one hour.

(3) The period of work of a adolescent shall be so arranged that inclusive of his interval for rest, under sub-section (2), it shall not be spread over more than six hours, including the time spent in waiting for work on any day.

(4) No adolescent shall be permitted or required to work between 7 p.m. and 8 a.m.


(5) No adolescent shall be required or permitted to work overtime.

(6) No adolescent shall be required or permitted to work in, any establishment on any day on which he has already been working in another establishment.


[section 8] Weekly holidays (adolescent only)
Every adolescent employed in establishment should be allowed to have a holiday for a whole day once in a week.

[section 9] Notice to Inspector
Every employer who employed adolescent at his establishment should intimate to the inspector appointed by the government within 30 days from date of employment of child.

[Section 10]. DISPUTES AS TO AGE. (adolescent) –
If any question arises between an Inspector and an occupier as to the age of any adolescent who is employed or is permitted to work by him in an establishment, the question shall, in the absence of a certificate as to the age of such child granted by the prescribed medical authority, be referred by the Inspector for decision to the prescribed medical authority.

[section 11] Maintenance of register
any establishment where adolescent is employed or permitted to work, a register should be maintained by the owner of establishment and should be made available all the times during working hours for inspection by Inspector appointed by the government for this purpose. The register should contain following details
  1. Name of the child
  2. date of birth of the child
  3. number of working hours and internal for rest to child
  4. nature of work dealing child
  5. any other particulars

Facts about child labour in the India



This photograph was taken in the year 2014 just to make understand to what extent this sort of things are being monitored by concerned authorities in spite of restriction of child to work anyway under the Child Labour ( Prohibition and the regulation) Act 1986 .

In this photograph a six-years old girl is performing dangerous circus feet by walking on a rope tidied at an altitude in between two poles rooted on road for earning livelihood. It is fact that many children in India are earning livelihood for their families by doing extremely dangerous and harmful jobs. Their family members are knowingly ignoring the education of the children, welfare and safety, besides compelling them to do such kind of jobs.

Though it is dangerous and inhuman to allow child to perform such activities, indeed the financial condition of such children parents is compelling them to allow to do these kind of jobs.
[Section 13 ] Healthy and Safety (adolescent )

Appropriate government is having power make rules on the following matters for the health and safety of the children employed or permitted to work in any establishment or class of establishments.

(a) cleanliness in the place of work and its freedom from nuisance;
(b) disposal of wastes and effluents;
(c) ventilation and temperature;
(d) dust and fume;
(e) artificial humidification;
(f) lighting;
(g) drinking water;
(h) latrine and urinals;
(i) spittoons;
(j) fencing of machinery;
(k) work at or near machinery in motion;
(l) employment of children on dangerous machines;
(m) instructions, training and supervision in relation to employment of children on dangerous machines;
(n) device for cutting off power;
(o) self-acting machines;
(p) easing of new machinery;
(q) floor, stairs and means of access;
(r) pits, sumps, openings in floors, etc.;
(s) excessive weights;
(t) protection of eyes;
(u) explosive or inflammable dust, gas, etc.;
(v) precautions in case of fire;
(w) maintenance of buildings; and
(x) safety of buildings and machinery.


[section 14] Penalties

(1) Whoever employs any child or permits any child to work in contravention of the provisions of section 3 shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than six months but which may extend to two years, or with fine which shall not be less than twenty thousand rupees but which may extend to fifty thousand rupees, or with both:

Provided that the parents or guardians of such children shall not be punished unless they permit such child for commercial purposes in contravention
of the provisions of section 3.

(IA) Whoever employs any adolescent or permits any adolescent to work in contravention of the provisions of section 3A shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than six months but which may extend to two years or with fine which shall not be less than twenty thousand rupees but which may extend to fifty thousand rupees, or with both:

Provided that the parents or guardians of such adolescent shall not be punished unless they permit such adolescent to work in contravention of the
provisions of section 3A.

(1B ) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-sections (1) and (1A) the parents or guardians of any child or adolescent referred to in section 3 or
section 3A, shall not be liable for punishment, in case of the first offence."

(2 ) Whoever,  having been convicted of an offence under section 3 or section 3A commits a like offence afterwards, he shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than one year but which may extend to three years.

(2A) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (2), the parents or guardian having been convicted of an offence under section 3 or section 3A,
commits a like offence afterwards, he shall be punishable with a fine which may extend to ten thousand rupees."


Constitution of Child and Adolescent Labour Rehabilitation Fund


Section 14B. (1) The appropriate Government shall constitute a Fund in every district or  for two or more districts to be called the Child and Adolescent Labour Rehabilitation  Fund to which the amount of the fine realized from the employer of the child and  adolescent, within the jurisdiction of such district or districts, shall be credited.

(2) The appropriate Government shall credit an amount of Rs. 15000/- to the Fund for each child or adolescent for whom the fine amount has been credited under sub-section (1).

(3) The amount credited to the Fund under sub-sections (1) and (2) shall be deposited in such banks or invested in such manner, as the appropriate Government may decide.

(4) The amount deposited or invested, as the case may be under sub-section (3), and the interest accrued on it, shall be paid to the child or adolescent in whose favour such amount is credited, in such manner as may be prescribed.

Explanation:—
For the purposes of appropriate Government, the Central  Government shall include the Administrator or the Lieutenant Governor of a Union territory under article 239A of the Constitution.


Rehabilitation of child or adolescent

14C. The child or adolescent, who is employed in contravention of the provisions of this Act and rescued, shall be rehabilitated in accordance with the laws for the time being in force.

Fails to pay
Section 14D (2) If the accused fails to pay such amount for composition of the offence, then, the proceedings shall be continued against such person in accordance with the provisions of  this Act.


Facts [+]
Past statistics
A penalty not exceeding Rs.100 has been the only ‘punishment’ imposed on nearly 12,000 employers of child labour across Andhra Pradesh state over the past 16 years. Despite the presence of a rigorous ‘Child Labour Prohibition and Regulation’ (CLPR) Act, authorities have prosecuted majority offenders under the feeble ‘A.P. Shops and Establishments’ (APSE) Act which stipulates a pittance as penalty.

While CLPR Act imposes a fine of Rs.10, 000 along with a month-long imprisonment on violators, APSE Act imposes a fine of merely Rs.100 for first-time employers of child labour. Those are caught a second time are fined between Rs.250 and Rs.500 under APSE Act. Yet 15,054 employers have been booked under APSE Act as against a meagre 2,659 under CLPR Act.

Even as CLPR only prohibits certain ‘hazardous’ employment among children and regulates others, the punishment imposed on violators of the stringent regulations is far higher than that under APSE Act which prohibits all employment among children. Hence, of the 11,447 employers convicted from 1996 to 2010, a penalty of only Rs.12 lakh has been collected.

Less imprisonments
Moreover, despite the APSE Act stipulating a three-month imprisonment for employers of child labour who have been caught a third time, few have been sent to imprisonment in over a decade. “Only a handful of nearly 12,000 convicted employers have been imprisoned so far as there is no proper track of repeat offenders,” confess officials.

When contacted, officials admitted that cases could have been booked under CLPR Act which stipulates stringent punishment as against a fine of Rs.100 which is barely a deterrent to employing child labour. The cases, however, had been booked under APSE as it completely prohibits employment rather than only regulating it, they added.

Minimum Wages Act
“To overcome the huge lacuna in APSE Act we are punishing offenders under the Minimum Wages Act which imposes heavy penalty,” they said.