20 July 2016 Current Affairs: The Rajya Sabha unanimously passed Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2012. The Bill seeks to amend the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986 to widen the scope of the law against child labour and stricter punishments for violations.
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. 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.
The Bill is aligned with the statutes of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) convention. It calls complete ban on child labour so they can get compulsory primary education in light of Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009.
Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986 : Prohibits the engagement of children below 14 years in certain types of occupations and regulates the condition of work of children in other occupations. It prohibits employment of children in occupations such as bidi-making, carpet weaving, automobile workshops, handloom and power loom industry, domestic work and mines.