Employment of children below the age of 14 years is prohibited in certain employment by various acts enacted by the legislation for the protection of children from exploitation. But there is no established procedure in any law for deciding in which employment, occupations or process the employment of children should be banned.
There is also no law to regulate the working conditions of children in most of the employments where they are not prohibited from working and are working under exploitative conditions. Accordingly, it was decided to enact a comprehensive law on the subject to achieve the same. Therefore, the child labour (prohibition and protection) bill was introduced in the parliament.
Question 1:- What is the object of the Act?
Answer 1:- The Act intends to-
- Ban the employment of children, i.e.; those who have not completed their fourteen year, in specified occupations and processes;
- Lay down a procedure to decide modification to the scheduled of banned occupation or processes;
- Regulate the conditions of work of children in employments where they are not prohibited from working;
- Lay down enhanced penalties for employments of children in violation of the provisions of this act, and other acts which forbid the employment of children;
- To obtain uniformity in the definition of “child” in the related laws.
Question 2:- What are the occupations and processes in which employments of children’s are prohibited?
Answer 2:- Section 3 of the act defines the provisions regarding the prohibition of children’s in certain occupations and processes. According to the section:
No child should be employed or permitted to work in any of the occupations set forth in part A of the schedule or in any workshop wherein any of the processes set forth in part B of the schedule is carried on:
Provided that nothing in this section shall apply to any workshop wherein any process is carried on by the occupier with the aid of his family or to any school established by, or receiving assistance or recognition from, government.
Question 3:- What are the provisions defined under part 3rd of the act?
Answer 2: The Part 3rd of Act defines the regulations for the working conditions of children and apply to an establishment or a class of establishments in which none of the occupation or processes refers to in section 3 is carried on.
Question 4:- What is the hours and period of work defined under part 3rd of the act?
Answer 4:- Section 7 of part 3rd of Act defines the provisions regarding the hours and period of work for the children’s. According to the section:
- No child shall be required or permitted to work in any establishment in excess of such number of hours as may be prescribed for such establishment or class of establishments.
- The period of work on each day shall be so fixed that no period shall exceed three hours and that no child shall work for more than three hours before he has had an interval for rest for at least one hour.
- The period of work of a child shall be so arranged that inclusive of his interval for rest, under sub section 2, it shall not be spread over more than six hours, including the time spent in waiting for work on any day.
- No child shall be permitted or required to work between 7p.m and 8a.m.
- No child shall be required or permitted to work overtime.
- No child shall be required or permitted to work in any establishment on any day on which he has already been working in another establishment.
Question 5:- What are the health and safety provisions made under the act for working children?
Answer 5:- Child Labour (Prohibition and Protection) Act under Section 13 made certain provisions regarding the health and safety measures for working children’s. The sections read out that:
- The appropriate government may, by notification in the official gazette, make rules for the health and safety of the children employed or permitted to work in any establishment or class of establishments.
- Without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing provisions, the said rules may provide for all or any of the following matters namely:-
- Cleanliness in the place of work and its freedom from nuisance,
- Disposal of waste and effluents,
- Ventilation and temperature,
- Dust and fume,
- Artificial humidification;
- Drinking water;
- Latrine and urinals;
- Fencing of machinery;
- Work at or near machinery in motion;
- Employment of children on dangerous machines;
- Instructions, training and supervision in relation to employment of children on dangerous machines;
- Device for cutting of power;
- Self-acting machines;
- Easing of new machinery;
- Floor, stairs and means of access;
- Pits, sumps, openings in floors etc;
- Excessive weights;
- Protection of eyes;
- Explosive or inflammable dust, gas, etc;
- Precautions in case of fire;
- Maintenance of buildings;
- Safety of buildings and machinery.
Question 6:- Define the penalties in case of violation of the act?
Answer 6:- Part 4th of Act defines the provision regarding the imposition of penalties regarding the violation of the act. The Section 14 of the Act defines that:
- Whoever employs any child or permits any child to work in contravention of the provisions of section 3 shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than three months but which may extends to one year or with fine which shall not be less than ten thousands rupees but which may extends to twenty thousand rupees or with both.
- Whoever, having been convicted of an offence under section 3, commits a like offence afterwards, he shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than six months but which may extends to two years.
- Fails to give notice as required by Section 9; or
- Fails to maintain a register as required by section 11 or makes any false entry in any such register; or
- Fails to display a notice containing an abstract of section 3 and this section as required by Section 12; or
- Fails to comply with or contravenes any other provisions of this act or the rules made there under,
Shall be punishable with simple imprisonment which may extend to one month or with fine which may extend to ten thousand rupees or with both.
Question No. 7:- Define the modified application of certain laws in relation to penalties.
Answer 7:- Section 15 defines that:
- Where any person is found guilty and convicted of contravention of any of the provisions mentioned in Sub-Section 2, he shall be liable to penalties as provided in Sub-Section 1 and 2 of Section 14 of this act and not under the acts in which those provisions are contained.
- The provisions referred to in sub section 1 are the provisions mentioned below:
- Section 67 of the Factories Act, 1948;
- Section 40 of the Mines Act, 1952;
- Section 109 of the Merchant Shipping Act, 1958;
- Section 21 of the Motor Transport Workers act, 1961.
Question no. 8:- What is Child Labour Technical Advisory Committee?
Answer 8:- Section 5 of part 3rd of this act defines the child labour technical advisory committee. According to the section:
- The central government may, by notification in the official gazette, constitute an advisory committee to be called the child labour technical advisory committee (hereafter in this section referred to as the committee) to advise the central government for the purpose of addition of occupations and processes to the schedule.
- The committee shall consist of a chairman and such other members not exceeding ten, as may be appointed b the central government.
- The committee shall meet as often as it may consider necessary and shall have power to regulate its own procedure.
- The committee may, if it deems fit so to do, constitute one or more sub committees and may appoint to any such subcommittee, whether generally or for the consideration of any particular matter, any person who is not a member of the committee.
- The term of office of, the manner of filing casual vacancies in the office of, and the allowance, if any, payable to, the chairman and other members of the committee, and the conditions and restrictions subject to which the committee may appoint any person who is not a member of the committee as a member of any of its subcommittee shall be such as may be prescribed.
Question no. 9:- what are the provisions for the employer regarding the employment of children in the establishment?
Answer 9:- Section 9 of the Act defines the provisions for the notice by the employer regarding the employment of the children in the establishment. The section reads that:
- Every occupier in relation to the establishment in which a child is employed or permitted to work immedediately before the commencement of this act in relation to such establishment shall, within a period of thirty days from such commencement, send to the Inspector within whose local limits the establishment is situated, a written notice containing the following particulars, namely:-
- The name and situation of the establishment;
- The name of the person in actual management of the establishment;
- The address to which communications relating to the establishment should be sent; and
- The nature of the occupation or process carried on in the establishment.
- Every occupier, in relation to the establishment, who employs, or permits to work, any child after the date of the commencement of this act in relation to such establishment, shall, within a period of thirty days from the date of such employment, send to the inspector within whose local limits the establishment is situated, a written notice containing the particulars as are mentioned in Sub-Section 1.
- Nothing in Sections 7, 8, and 9 shall apply to any establishment wherein any process is carried on by the occupier with the aid of his family or to any school established by, or receiving assistance or recognition from, government.
Question No. 10:- How to resolve the dispute regarding the age of child?
Answer 10:- According to Section 10 of the Act if any question arises between an inspector and an occupier as to the age of any child who is employed or is permitted to work by him in an establishment, the question shall be, in the absence of the c certificate as to the age of such child granted by the prescribed medical authority, be referred by the Inspector for decision to the prescribed medical authority.
The Author, Mohammad Asad Mahmood, is a 4th Year student of BBA.LLB(H), Teerthanker Mahaveer University, Uttar Pradesh. He is currently interning with LatestLaws.com.