Child Labor Laws in India


The “children” as defined in the Child Labor (Prohibition and Control) Act of 1986 are persons under the age of 14. Such a young child is expected to play and learn without worry. But, of course, it is difficult to meet reality. The will or power used by children is working in harsh environments and environments, which poses a threat to their lives. Child unions lead to underdevelopment and incomplete physical and mental development of children, which leads to delays in child development.


The International Labor Organization (ILO) defines child labor as “deprivation of childhood, potential and dignity and detrimental to physical and mental development.” It is a dangerous and harmful thing for children mentally, physically, socially or morally. Or schedules that interfere with your ability to attend regular school, focus on school, or influence the way you work through healthy childhood. “

UNICEF defines child labor differently. UNICEF does at least 1 hour of economic activity per week or more than 28 hours a week of household work per week if the child is between 5 and 11 years old, and it is recommended that the working age between children be between 5 and 11 years old. Between 12 and 14 years of age, at least 14 hours of economic activity per week, or at least 42 hours of economic activity and housework. In another report, UNICEF advised: Child development that does not affect academic, entertainment, and rest.There is an extensive work area between these two areas, and these professions do not negatively affect the growth of children. “

In 2001, the Census Bureau defined child labor as: “Allows children under the age of 17 to participate in paid or unpaid, wage or profit economic production activities. Such participation may include physical or mental, farm or family business or other economic activities (eg: Includes part-time or unpaid work for livelihoods, sales or household cattle costs, etc.) The Government of India divides child labor into two categories: Workers who work more than 6 months a year. A worker who works for less than six months at any time.”


With the Indian situation in mind, the following may be understood as the main causes of child employment.


It is impossible to control child labor in developing countries. People always believe that their children support, raise, and help themselves. Because of poverty, illiteracy and unemployment, parents cannot afford to raise their children and support their families. As a result, poor parents send their children to an unofficial work environment at low wages.

Previous debt:

The poor economic conditions of the Indian people forced me to borrow money. People who are illiterate go to lenders and sometimes mortgage their property in return for debt. However, due to insufficient income, the debtor found it difficult to repay debt and interest. This vicious circle of people made them work day and night for creditors, and then debtors helped them draw their children and pay them back to pay their debts.

Expert needs:

There are some industries, such as the “Bracelet Manufacturing” industry, which require delicate hands and small fingers to complete very delicate and delicate work very carefully. Adults’ hands are usually not petite, so children need to use glass to do a good job. This usually leads to serious eye accidents in children.


In the twentieth century, the news of factory dangers and pranks claiming that child labor became prominent and that the lives of innocent children were handed over to newspapers, people felt the need for laws and regulations to ban child abuse labor. Today there are enough rules to condemn and ban child labor, such as:

Factory Act of 1948: This law prohibits the employment of children under the age of 14 in all factories. The law also stipulates the employment time and duration of adult adults aged 15-18 at all factories.

Mining Act of 1952: This law prohibits children under the age of 18 from hiring in mines. Mining was one of the most dangerous jobs, but in the past, children died completely and lost lives in many major accidents.

Prohibition of child labor law (prohibition and control) of 1986: This law prohibits children under the age of 14 from engaging in dangerous occupations specified in the law. The list was expanded again in 2006 and 2008.

Child and Youth Judicial (Caring and Protecting) Act 2000: This law commits crimes for anyone to commit or imprison a child for a dangerous job or slavery and is punished by imprisonment. This behavior employs children to punish those who violate previous behavior and work.

2009 “Children’s compulsory education rights law”: This law stipulates that all children between the ages of 6 and 14 must receive compulsory education. It is also stipulated that 25% of seats in each private school should be assigned to vulnerable groups and children with disabilities.

Dangerous Occupation

The third part of the Child Labor (Prohibition and Control) Act of 1986 provides for “prohibition of the employment of children in certain occupations and processes”. The schedule lists the list of dangerous occupations in two parts. A and B

Part A stipulates that no child may be employed or allowed to engage in any of the following occupations:

Passenger, cargo transportation; or rail mail

Picking coal slag in railway sites, removing ash pits or carrying out construction operations.

Working in a catering establishment at a train station involves the supplier or any other employee of the establishment moving from one platform to another, or moving trains in and out.

Work related to the construction of a railway station, or work related to other work carried out near or between railway lines.

Port authorization within any port limit.

Work related to the sale of cookies and fireworks in shops holding temporary permits

Slaughterhouse / Slaughterhouse

Car workshop and garage.


Handling taxis, flammable items or explosives

Handloom and power looms industry

Landmines (underground and underwater) and coal mines

Plastic department and fiberglass workshop

Part B stipulates that no child may be hired or allowed to work in any of the following workshops that carry out any of the following processes.

  1. Produced by Beedi
  2. Carpet weaving
  3. Cement production, including cement bagging.
  4. Cloth printing, dyeing and weaving.
  5. Make matches, explosives and fireworks.
  6. Mica cutting and splitting.
  7. Manufacture of Shellac
  8. Soap manufacturing
  9. Tanning
  10. Wool cleaning
  11. Construction Industries
  12. Production of slate pencils (including packaging)
  13. Manufacture of agate products
  14. Manufacturing process using toxic metals and substances such as lead, mercury, manganese, chromium, cadmium, benzene, pesticides and asbestos
  15. All dangerous goods and dangerous operations defined in Article 2 (cb)

According to the provisions in the scale established in Article 87 of the Factory Law of 1948

  1. Printing (according to Section 2(k) of the Factory Act 1948)
  2. Cashew and cashew descaling and processing
  3. Welding process in the electronics industry
  4. Incense sticks (Agabati) manufacturing
  5. Car repair and maintenance (ie welding foam, dents and printing)
  6. Brick kiln and roof file units
  7. Ginning cotton and knitwear production
  8. Detergent manufacturing
  9. Manufacturing workshop (non-ferrous metals and non-ferrous metals)
  10. Gem cutting and polishing
  11. Processing chromite and manganese ore
  12. Manufacturing of jute textiles and manufacturing of coconut shells
  13. Lime kiln and lime production
  14. Lock
  15. Manufacturing processes with lead exposure, such as primary and secondary melting, welding, etc. (please refer to item 30 of Part B process)
  16. Manufacture of glass and glass products, including bracelets, fluorescent tube bulbs and other similar glass products
  17. Manufacture of cement pipes, cement products and other related projects.
  18. Manufacturing of dyes and dyes
  19. Production or processing of pesticides
  20. Manufacturing or processing of corrosive and toxic substances in the electronics industry, metal cleaning and optical amplification and welding processes
  21. Manufacture of coal and briquettes
  22. Sports goods production involving synthetic materials, chemicals and leather
  23. Molding and processing of fiberglass and plastic
  24. Oil Drainage and Refinery

40 Papermaking

41Ceramic industry

  1. Polishing, molding, cutting, welding and manufacturing of various forms of brass products.
  2. Agricultural processing using tractors, threshing machines and harvesters and debt reduction
  3. All processes at the sawmill
  4. Sericulture
  5. Peeling dyeing and production methods of leather and leather products
  6. Gravel

48 Tobacco processing, including tobacco manufacturing, tobacco paste and any form of tobacco processing

49 Tire repair, re-dealing and graphite beneficiation

50 utensils for polishing and metal polishing

51 Zari productions (all processes)

Period and working hours

Do not require or allow any child to work in any institution for more than the specified number of hours (Section 7).The daily working hours shall not exceed three hours, and the child shall not work for more than three hours before taking a rest for at least one hour. Children are not allowed or required to work between 7pm and 8 am.

No child may be required or allowed to work overtime. (Section 7)


Violation of Article 3 shall be punishable by not less than 3 months’ imprisonment, imprisonment for not more than one year, or a fine of not less than 10,000 rupees, but a maximum fine of 20,000 rupees or both. The continuing crime specified in paragraph (3) shall be punishable by not less than six months but may be extended to two years in prison.

Any other violations stipulated in this law shall be punishable by simple imprisonment, imprisonment of up to one month or a fine, and punishment of more than 10,000 rupees or both.

Indian government Efforts to Control Child Labor

The Child Labor (Prohibition and Control) Act of 1986 prohibits the employment of children less than 14 years of age in 16 occupations and 65 processes. These activities endanger the lives and health of children. Many states, including Haryana, have formed child labor rehabilitation organizations, established welfare funds at the district level, and set up separate labor departments to address this issue.

The central government began implementing national child labor projects in the states in 1988 to provide non-formal education and pre-employment skills. Since 2001, Sarve shiksha Abhiyan has educated poor children and employed children in all states. The Ministry of Women and Child Development has been providing non-formal education and vocational training. The establishment of Anganwadies is also an important step taken by the government for the development of children’s welfare and their physical, mental, and educational development.


If the awareness of the pros and cons of child labor is spread nationwide and the current laws are strictly enforced, India can fight the problem of child labor. Everyone must understand the importance of children’s growth and learning because they will affect the future of the country.

Author: Anubhuti Agrawal,
Jagran Lakecity University,Bhopal

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