Children are considered as the backbone of a country. However, the children in India faced a different fate as most them lived in the abode of poor families and intergenerational debt. What a country will look like after twenty-thirty years can be seen in the faces of these children. Children are the hope and future of nation. Basics needs like food, shelter, health care, education, clothing etc. are still the type of things which many children in the world think about. Children, being minor by law, do not have autonomy to make laws or decision on their own. Therefore, they require special care and for this, the government make various legislations. There are about 300 Central and State acts concerning towards children. These acts have been enacted with an intention to protect and help children and to achieve the goal of child labour welfare enshrined in our National charter.
Child labour has been a major concern in the world because it affects the children both mentally and physically and destroys the future of children. Child labour is the serious issue not only in India but also in other developing countries. Child labour is widely prevalent in developing countries because of poverty.
DEFINITION AND MEANING OF CHILD LABOUR
• UNCRC Article 32 seeks agreement from State Parties ‘to recognise the right of the child to be protected from economic exploitation and from performing any work that is likely to be hazardous or to interfere with the child’s education, or to be harmful to the child’s health or physical, mental, spiritual, moral or social development’ (CRC, United Nations Human Rights, 1989).
• International Labour Organization’s (ILO) definition of child labour includes those in worst forms of child labour (WFCL) and children in employment below the minimum age, excluding children in permissible light work, if applicable.
• According to Child Labour (prohibition and regulation) Act 1986 “Child” is a person who has not completed the age of 14 years.
CAUSES AND REASONS OF CHILD LABOUR
Child labour is a very common problem, which is generally found among developing countries. Poverty, illiteracy, rural migration, family disintegration, inadequate measures of social security, lack of avenues for education and resource constraints are some of the main causes for this problem.
Poverty is one of the most important cause of child labour. In developing countries like India poverty is one of the major drawback and the children were considered as helping hand to feed their families, to support their families and themselves .Due to poverty, illiteracy and unemployment parents are not able to send their children to schools, instead the children were asked to help in running a family because of which poor parents send their children for work in harsh conditions at lower wages.
There are some industries in which there is professional need of children because adults hands are usually not so delicate and small, so they require children to work for them which may occur injurious to the health of children.
Due to technological backwardness and labour oriented technology in developing countries, there is a search for cheap labour, which is compensated out of child labour.
CONSTITUTION PROVISIONS FOR CHILD LABOURS
The Constitution of India recognized the rights of the child and included several articles dealing with their liberty, livelihood, development of child-hood, non-discrimination in educational spheres, compulsory and free education and prohibition of employment in factories, mines and other hazardous employment.
As per the administration govern child less than 14 years old year can do non perilous work or more 14 years can do unsafe as well. For this wrongdoing, the punishment for the main offense is Rs 50,000 and for ensuing endeavour it is between 1 to 3 years of detainment. There are numerous standards, controls and Acts are being framed and executed to end this detestable “child work”. i.e., “Manufacturing Plants Act in 1948″, ” The Mines act,1952″,”The Child Labour Prohibition act, 1986″, “The Juvenile Justice of Children act, 2000”, “The Right of child to free and mandatory training act ,2009.”
- The Factories Act of 1948: This Act disallows the vocation of child underneath the age of 14 years in any industrial facility or in any unsafe work. The law likewise wins a few tenets and control on when and to what extent can pre-grown-ups matured 15 years to 18 years be utilized in any processing plant or in any risky working environment.
- The Mines Act of 1952: This Act forbids the occupation of child beneath the age of 18 years in any sort of mine. Mining being a standout amongst the most risky occupations, which in the past has prompted numerous significant mischance’s taking existence of numerous children, and it, is totally banned for the children.
- The Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act of 1986: This Act disallows the livelihood of children underneath the age of 14 years in unsafe work or work environment as distinguished or given in a rundown by the law. The rundown is altered in 2006 and again in 2008.
- The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act of 2009: This Act and law orders free and mandatory training to all children less than 6 years old years to 14 years. This demonstration likewise gives that 25% of seats in each tuition based school must be necessary for youngsters from in reverse classes or any physically tested child.
Many states government have constituted the child labour rehabilitation- cum-welfare funds at district level and separate labour cells are being formed to address the issue. National child labour projects have been administered by the central government in states to provide non-formal education and pre-vocational skills. From 2001, “Sarvya Shiksha Abhiyan” has been introduced to educate poor and employed children in all states. Ministry of women and child development has been providing non-formal education and employment training.
CONCLUSION AND SUGGESTIONS
Child labour is a punishable offence. If anyone employs child or permits any child to do labour is punishable by imprisonment or a fine, or both.
Control on Child Labour is only possible when there is a cooperation of all the sections of the society and the law enforcement agencies should maintain a proper record of implementation of law. Government should work on removing or minimizing the causes of child labour. The main thrust in order to cure Child labour should be on controlling the population, primary education of the children and providing sufficient funds for its removal from the GDP of India.
The violators of child labour laws must be punished. The bright future of the country can only be restored by making strong laws for safeguarding the children. Only good health, education and basics needs are the solution for developing a better and strong future of these children.
Author: Shaijal Shekhar,
Faculty of Law, A.M.U (2nd Year)