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Legal Provisions on Child Labour. An Overview There is no international agreement defining child labour, making it hard to isolate cases of abuse, let.

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Presentation on theme: "Legal Provisions on Child Labour. An Overview There is no international agreement defining child labour, making it hard to isolate cases of abuse, let."— Presentation transcript:

1 Legal Provisions on Child Labour

2 An Overview There is no international agreement defining child labour, making it hard to isolate cases of abuse, let alone abolish them. Children under 14 years constitute around 3.6% of the total labour force in India. The National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO) estimated the number at 17.58 million in 1985. None of the official estimates included child workers in the unorganised sector, and therefore, are obviously gross under estimates. Estimates from various non-governmental sources as to the actual number working children in India range from 44 million to 100 million.

3 The Convention on the Rights of the Child Adopted by the UN general assembly in 1959 by 150 states Article 32: on the one hand states the recognition of the "right of the child to be protected from economic exploitation and from performing any work that is likely to be hazardous to interfere with the child's education, or to be harmful to the child's health or physical, mental, spiritual, moral or social development"; on the other hand, the adoption of legislative, administrative, social and educational measures "to ensure the implementation of the present article".

4 International Laws on Child Labour There have been five areas in which international labour standard setting has developed in terms of children and young persons: the setting of a minimum age for admission to employment or work the immediate suppression of the worst forms of child labour as the priority of national and international action the prohibition of young persons from working at night the requirement that young persons under the age of 18 be fit to work – to undergo medical examinations before being employed recommendations for the conditions of employment of persons under the age of 18 underground (e.g. mines).

5 ILO: Effective abolition of child labour Minimum Age Convention, 1973 –Art. 2: general min. age 15 or 14 yrs. –Art. 3: dangerous work, 18 or 16 yrs –Art. 7: light work, 13 or 12 yrs Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention, 1999 –calls for "immediate and effective measures to secure the prohibition and elimination of the worst forms of child labour as a matter of urgency." e.g:slavery, trafficking, serfdom, prostituton etc.

6 Indian Legal Provisions CONSTITUTIONAL PROVISIONS 24. Prohibition of employment of children in factories, etc. - No child below the age of fourteen years shall be employed to work in any factory or mine or engaged in any other hazardous employment. 39(c). 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; 39(f). that children are given opportunities and facilities to develop in a healthy manner and in conditions of freedom and dignity and that childhood and youth are protected against exploitation and against moral and material abandonment.

7 Art 41. Right to work, to education and to public assistance in certain cases. Art 45. Provision for free and compulsory education for children.--The State shall endeavour to provide, within a period of ten years from the commencement of This Constitution, for free and compulsory education for all children until they complete the age of fourteen years. Art 47. Duty of the Stale to raise the level of nutrition and the standard of living and to improve public health Indian Legal Provisions


9 The Child Labour (Prohibition And Regulation) Act, 1986 (i)ban the employment of children, i.e. those who have not completed their fourteenth year, in specified occupations (eg. Transport, cinder picking, construction near railways etc) and processes (eg. Bidi making, carpet making, man. of explosives etc.) (sec. 3) (ii) lay down a procedure to decide modifications to the Schedule of banned occupations or processes (iii) to obtain uniformity in the definition of 'child' in the related laws

10 (iv) lay down enhanced penalties for employment of children in violation of the provisions of this Act, and other Acts which forbid the employment of children;(sec.14) (v) Part III-regulate the conditions of work of children in employments where they are not prohibited from working; Sec. 7:Hours of work: 6, not exceeding 3 at a stretch, not between 7p.m to 8 a.m Sec. 9:Notice to inspector Sec. 10:Disputes as to age Sec. 13:Health and safety The Child Labour (Prohibition And Regulation) Act, 1986

11 Other Legislations Section 67 of Factories Act, 1948: prohibition till 14 yrs Section 24 of Plantation Labour Act, 1951: till 12 th yr Section 109 of Merchant Shipping Act, 1951: no person under 15 yrs permitted Section 45 of Mines Act, 1952: No child permitted Section 21 of Motor Transport Workers Act, 1961 : no child permitted Section 3 of Apprentices Act, 1961 : Not less than 14 yrs Section 24 of Beedi and Cigar Workers (Conditions of Employment) Act,1966 : No child allowed to work on industrial premises.

12 Drawbacks in the 1986 Act The act excludes any work done in the family or in government-run or recognized schools, even if the act prohibits children from doing that work in any other context. (Part 2 sec 3) It’s not cognizable, meaning that a police officer may not arrest without a warrant. Instead, it is incumbent on labor inspectors to bring cases against employers. Because the act is not cognizable, it is more difficult for inspectors to collect evidence.

13 The definition of “establishment” and “occupier” is quite restricted. “Establishment" includes a shop, commercial establishment, workshop, farm, residential hotel, restaurant, eating house, theatre or other place of public amusement or entertainment, and "occupier", in relation to an establishment or a workshop, means the person who has the ultimate control over the affairs of the establishment or workshop The act, which only covers children up to age fourteen, places the burden on the inspector, not the employer, to prove with a doctor's certificate that a child is under age.(Sec 10) Drawbacks in the 1986 Act

14 M.C. Mehta Vs. State of Tamil Nadu State Government should see that adult member of family whose child is in employment in factory or mine or in other hazardous work gets job anywhere in lieu of child Labour inspector shall have to see that working hours of child are not more than four to six hours a day and it receives education at least for two hours each day entire cost of education to be borne by employer.

15 The Courts are of the view that the offending employer must be asked to pay compensation for every child employed in contravention of the provisions of the Act a sum of Rs. 20,000/-deposited in a fund to be known as Child Labour Rehabilitation-cum-Welfare Fund. Government would, as its contribution/grant, deposit in the aforesaid fund a sum of Rs. 5,000/- for each child employed in a factory or mine or in any other hazardous employment. M.C. Mehta Vs. State of Tamil Nadu

16 Ministry of Labor should immediately release funds to the State Governments so as to enable them to conduct surveys of working children before June 10, 1997 The aforesaid would either see an adult (whose name would be suggested by the parent/ guardian of the concerned child) getting a job in lieu of the child, or deposit of a sum of Rs.25,000/ - in the Child Labour Rehabilitation-cum- Welfare Fund. In case of getting employment for an adult, the parent/guardian shall have to withdraw his child from the job. M.C. Mehta Vs. State of Tamil Nadu

17 Flaws in the system Law making and law implementation –At the governmental level –Due to social construction Conflict between international and national laws Poor conditions and legal provisions in other allied domains –E.g.- poverty, education, corruption

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