Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2016


Aims to widen the scope of the law against child labour and provide for stricter punishments for violations of norms.
Major Provisions:
  • Prohibition of employment of children below 14 years in all occupations or processes except where child helps his family.
  • Addition of a new category of persons called “adolescent”. They are person between 14 and 18 years of age.
  • Prohibition of employment of adolescents in hazardous occupations as specified (mines, hazardous processes and inflammable substance).
  • Empowers Union Government to add or omit any hazardous occupation from the list included in the Bill.
  • It makes child labour a cognisable offense
  • Punishment for employing any child increased i.e. imprisonment between 6 months and two years (from earlier 3 months-one year) or a fine of 20,000 to 50,000 Rupees (from earlier 10,000 to 20,000 Rupees) or both.
  • Proposes penalty for employing an adolescent in a hazardous occupation i.e. imprisonment between 6 months and 2 years or a fine of 20,000 to 50,000 Rupees or both
  • Empowers the government to make periodic inspection of places at which employment of children and adolescents are prohibited.
  • Government may confer powers on a District Magistrate (DM) to ensure that the provisions of the law are properly carried out and implemented.
  • It has provision for creating a rehabilitation fund.
Criticisms of bill
  • Ban on hazardous adolescent work is accompanied by changes in the schedule of hazardous work in the statute, bringing these down from 83 prohibited activities to only three.
  • Amended law prohibits only that child work which is considered hazardous for adult workers, without recognising the specific vulnerabilities of children.
  • Law permits under 14 years to now work in non-hazardous “family enterprises” after school hours and during vacations.
  • The family is defined to include not just the child’s parents and siblings, but also siblings of the child’s parents. And a family enterprise includes any work, profession or business in which any family member works along with other persons.
  • Considering that around 80 per cent of child labour is in work with family members, these changes might harm child in a serious way.



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