The Cabinet today approved the amendment to Child Labour Act which proposes a complete ban on employment of children up to the age of 14 in any industry.
Any violation will be cognizable offence, punishable with a maximum three years imprisonment or fine up to a maximum of Rs. 50,000.The amendment also proposes a blanket ban on employing children below 18 years in hazardous industries like mining.
According to the proposal, Children between 14 and 18 years of age can be employed in non- hazardous industries like child care. The law is a contravention of the Right to Education Act that guarantees free and compulsory education to all children between six and 14 years of age.
About Child Labour
The term "child labour" is often defined as work that deprives children of their childhood, their potential and their dignity, and that is harmful to physical and mental development. It refers to work that:
• is mentally, physically, socially or morally dangerous and harmful to children; and
• interferes with their schooling by:
• depriving them of the opportunity to attend school;
• obliging them to leave school prematurely; or
• requiring them to attempt to combine school attendance with excessively long and heavy work.
In its most extreme forms, child labour involves children being enslaved, separated from their families, exposed to serious hazards and illnesses and/or left to fend for themselves on the streets of large cities - often at a very early age.
Whether or not particular forms of "work" can be called "child labour" depends on the child's age, the type and hours of work performed, the conditions under which it is performed and the objectives pursued by individual countries. The answer varies from country to country, as well as among sectors within countries.
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