Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Amendment Act, 2016 - LSW


Ajit Kumar AJIT KUMARWISDOM IAS, New Delhi.

     Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Amendment Act, 2016
 
The Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Amendment Act, 2016 received the assent of the President on the 29th July, 2016. It amends the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986.
 
The Amendment Act aims to prohibit the engagement of children in all occupations and to prohibit the engagement of adolescents in hazardous occupations and processes and the matters connected therewith or incidental thereto
 
The Act contains following major amendments -
 
                           (1) Amendment of short title
 
The title “the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986” has been substituted by “the Child and Adolescent Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986”.
 
                        (2) Amendment of section 2
 
Definitions
 
(i) “adolescent” means a person who has completed his fourteenth year of age but has not completed his eighteenth year.( section 2)
 
(ii) “child” means a person who has not completed his fourteenth year of age or such age as may be specified in the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009, whichever is more. (section 2)
 
                       (3) Substitution of new section for section 3
 
Prohibition of employment of children in any occupation and process
 
(i) No child shall be employed or permitted to work in any occupation or process. (Section 3(1))
 
This provision shall not apply where the child,—
 
(a) helps his family or family enterprise, which is other than any hazardous occupations or processes set forth in the Schedule, after his school hours or during vacations;
 
(b) works as an artist in an audio-visual entertainment industry, including advertisement, films, television serials or any such other entertainment or sports activities except the circus, subject to such conditions and safety measures, as may be prescribed:
 
Provided that no such work under this clause shall effect the school education of the child.
                                                          (Section 3(2))
The expression,
(a) ‘‘family’’ in relation to a child, means his mother, father, brother, sister and father’s sister and brother and mother’s sister and brother;
(b) ‘‘family enterprise’’ means any work, profession, manufacture or business which is performed by the members of the family with the engagement of other persons;
(c) ‘‘artist’’ means a child who performs or practices any work as a hobby or profession directly involving him as an actor, singer, sports person or in such other activity as may be prescribed relating to the entertainment or sports activities.
 
                           (4) Insertion of new section 3A
 
The Act provides for prohibition of employment of adolescents in certain hazardous occupations and processes.
 
Section 3A says that no adolescent shall be employed or permitted to work in any of the hazardous occupations or processes set forth in the Schedule:
                     Provided that the Central Government may, by notification, specify the nature of the non-hazardous work to which an adolescent may be permitted to work under this Act.’’
 
                                        (5) Penalties
 
Amendment of section 14
“(1) Whoever employs any child or permits any child to work in contravention of this Act 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:
 
Provided that the parents or guardians of such children shall not be punished unless they permit such child for commercial purposes.
 
(2) Whoever employs any adolescent or permits any adolescent to work in contravention of the Act 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:
 
Provided that the parents or guardians of such adolescent shall not be punished unless they permit such adolescent to work in contravention of the provisions of section 3A.
 
- Again, the parents or guardians of any child or adolescent shall not be liable for punishment, in case of the first offence.
 
- The repeat offender in case of child or adolescent shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than one year but which may extend to three years.
 
- If the parents or guardian is repeat offender in case of child or adolescent shall be punishable with a fine which may extend to ten thousand rupees.
 
           (6) Insertion of new sections 14A, 14B, 14C and 14D
 
14A. Any offence committed by an employer shall be cognizable.
Child and Adolescent Labour Rehabilitation Fund
14B. The appropriate Government shall constitute a Fund in every district or for two or more districts to be called the Child and Adolescent Labour Rehabilitation Fund to which the amount of the fine realized from the employer of the child and adolescent, within the jurisdiction of such district or districts, shall be credited.
The appropriate Government shall credit an amount of fifteen thousand rupees to the Fund for each child or adolescent for whom the fine amount has been credited.
 
Rehabilitation of rescued child or adolescent
 
14C. The child or adolescent rescued shall be rehabilitated in accordance with the laws for the time being in force.
 
Compounding (settlement) of offences
 
14D. The District Magistrate may, on the application of the accused person, compound any offence committed for the first time by him or any offence committed by an accused person being parent or a guardian, in such manner and on payment of such amount to the appropriate Government, as may be
prescribed.
If the accused fails to pay such amount for composition of the offence, then, the proceedings shall be continued against such person in accordance with the provisions of this Act.
 
               (7) Insertion of new sections 17A and 17B
District Magistrate to implement the provisions
17A. The appropriate Government may confer such powers and impose such duties on a District Magistrate as may be necessary, to ensure that the provisions of this Act are properly carried out and the District Magistrate may specify any subordinate officer to exercise powers, and perform duties.
Inspectionand monitoring
17B. The appropriate Government shall make or cause to be made periodic inspection of the places at which the employment of children is prohibited and hazardous occupations or processes are carried out at such intervals as it thinks fit, and monitor the issues, relating to the provisions of this Act.
 
Amendment of section 18
For the words "Child Labour Technical Advisory Committee", the words “Technical Advisory Committee” shall be substituted.
 
          (8)  Substitution of new Schedule for the Schedule
 
                         THE SCHEDULE
(1) Mines.
(2) Inflammable substances or explosives.
(3) Hazardous process.
 
Explanation—For the purposes of this Schedule, “hazardous process” has the meaning assigned to it in the Factories Act, 1948.
 
It is to be noted that the amended Schedule does not include only 3 occupations but 3 groups/ categories which would be elaborated and added in due course
 
                            **********************
 
Significance –

India has now ratified two Core ILO conventions 138 and 182 on child labour.
India ratified International Labour Organization’s Convention No 138 (minimum age for employment) and Convention No 182 (worst forms of child labour) to symbolise its commitment and initiatives for eradication of child labour and attainment of Sustainable Development Goal 8.7 related with curbing of child labour. The ratification of both conventions coincided with the World Day against Child Labour expressing India’s commitment along with global partners to fight the menace of child labour and providing the childhood back to them.
 
Follow up Actions
Ministry of Labour & Employment has circulated an Action Plan to all States/UTs indicating the provisions and related actions by State Governments/UTs for enforcement of the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Amendment Act, 2016. 

Child Labour (Prohibition & Regulation) Amendment Rules, 2017

After strengthening the legislative framework through amendment in Child Labour Act, Government has framed the Child Labour (Prohibition & Regulation) Amendment Rules, 2017 which inter alia specifies the duties and responsibilities of State Governments and District Authorities to ensure effective enforcement of the provisions of the Act. Government has also devised a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) as a ready reckoner for trainers, practitioners and enforcing and monitoring agencies and the same has been forwarded to all States/UTs. 

To ensure effective enforcement of the provisions of the Child Labour Act and smooth implementation of the National Child Labour Project (NCLP) Scheme a separate online portal

PENCIL
(Platform for Effective Enforcement for No Child Labour) has been developed.
The Portal connects Central Government to State Government(s), District(s) and all District Project Societies. As on date District Nodal Officers from 431 districts out of 710 districts of the country have registered on the portal. Further all operational Project Societies of NCLP are registered on the portal for better implementation of NCLP scheme aimed at educational rehabilitation of child and adolescent labour
PENCIL Portal has following components:
 1. Child Tracking System
2. Complaint Corner
3. State Government
4. National Child Labour Project
5. Convergence

Further the Ministry has instructed all the concerned States where NCLP Scheme is sanctioned, to form State Resource Centre (SRC) under the chairmanship of State Labour Secretary, which would monitor the enforcement of Child Labour Act, coordinate for the rescue of children and adolescents, child tracking system and supervise all the functions through PENCIL portal. SRC would also prepare and implement awareness generation plan to curb the menace of child labour in the State.



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Wednesday, 06th Mar 2019, 01:45:27 PM

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