Child Labour is an outcome of various socio-economic problems such as poverty, economic backwardness and illiteracy. For elimination of Child Labour, the Government is committed to the elimination of Child Labour in the country. The Government has amended the Child Labour (Prohibition & Regulation) Act, 1986 and enacted the Child Labour (Prohibition & Regulation) Amendment Act, 2016 which came into force with effect from 01.09.2016.
The Amendment Act inter-alia provides for complete prohibition of work or employment of children below 14 years of age in any occupation and process and prohibition of adolescents in the age group of 14 to 18 years in hazardous occupations and processes. The Amendment Act also provides the stricter punishment for employers for violation of the Act and has made the offence as cognizable. As per provisions contained in the Act, whoever employs any child or permits any child to work in contravention shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than six month but which may extend to two years, or with fine which shall not be less than twenty thousand rupees but which may extend to fifty thousand rupees, or with both. Also whoever employs any adolescent or permits any adolescent to work in contravention of the provisions shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than six months but which may extend to two years or with fine which shall not be less than twenty thousand rupees but which may extend to fifty thousand rupees, or with both.
Primarily the implementation of the Act is the responsibility of the State Governments. As per information received from State/U.T. Governments during 2018, a total of 338696 inspections were conducted, in which 1636 violations were detected. Against these 1168 prosecutions were launched. During 2018, 690 convictions were made.
This information was given by Santosh Kumar Gangwar, Minister of State (I/C) for Labour and Employment in written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha today.