The cabinet has approved a proposal to amend the child labour law to impose stricter punishment on those employing children below the age of 14 but allowed minors to work in non-hazardous family enterprises, a move that has been criticized by child rights activists.
Details of the approved proposal:
- Children younger than 14 can work in family enterprises and farms after school hours and during holidays.
- Double fines and the jail term for people employing minors.
- Children working as artists in the audio-visual entertainment industry, including advertisement, films, television serials or any such other entertainment or sports activities, except the circus, have also been granted exemption, provided the work does not affect their school education.
- Employment of adolescents (14-18 years of age) in hazardous occupations and processes such as chemicals and mines is also banned.
- Offences under the Child Labour Act have been made a cognizable offence.
- The changes in the labour law also provide for stricter punishment for employers for violation. While there is no penalty provision for parents for the first offence, the employer would be liable for punishment even for the first violation.
Now, the Government will move official amendments to the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2012 in Parliament.
Sources: The Hindu.