‘Amendment to Child Labour Act leaves issues unaddressed’

More than 5,000 child labourers have been rescued in India in the last five years, says a report prepared by Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA).

Of the 5,254 children rescued, one-fifth worked with their families or were part of a family-run trade. If the latest amendment to the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986, is approved, children will be allowed to work in family enterprises and in the TV and Entertainment industry, except circus, the report prepared by the BBA said.

“The Union Cabinet of the Government of India has given its approval for moving statuary amendments to the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986. While there are some important provisions outlined in the proposed Bill, there are some lacunae that left unaddressed leave scope for defeating the entire purpose of the Bill,” said Nobel Laureate Kailash Satyarthi who founded Bachpan Bachao Andolan.

“The Bill proposes to allow children to work in family enterprises. Also, the list of prohibited occupations set forth in the schedule have been reduced to just three, including mines, inflammable substances and explosives. Earlier, the Child Labour law prohibited employment of a child in 18 occupations and 65 processes,” Mr. Satyarthi added.

These amendments would mean that children will be allowed to work in family-run industries like carpets, embroidery, agriculture and other forms of domestic labour.

“We were able to rescue a large number of children in the last five years. When we analysed their profile we found out that 80 per cent of them would not have been rescued if the proposed amendment had already been in place as most of the children are employed in family-run trade,” said Mr. Satyarthi.

In order to bring a consensus against the proposed Bill, Bachpan Bachao Andolan held a meeting with the various stakeholders of child rights and put forth its recommendations, which will be submitted to the government soon.

Mr. Satyarthi added that once the recommendations are finalised, he will write to the Prime Minister and Members of Parliament to create awareness about the amendment.

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Printable version | Oct 16, 2021 12:06:10 PM |

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