Poor enforcement of child labour law revealed under RTI
In a reply to an application filed under the Right to Information (RTI) Act, the Ministry of Labour has informed that the rehabilitation benefits have been provided to just 28 child labourers by the state governments between 2006 and 2008. Proper rehabilitation of the children rescued from work is a key to end child labour in India.
The NGO, Bachpan Bachao Andolan, has claimed that over 10,000 children were rescued from eateries and homes. The state governments have informed that over 2,27,612 inspections were conducted during the period but there were only 797 cases of employment of child labour.
As per the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986, employment of children below the age of 14 in hazardous industries is banned. It includes employing them in roadside eateries and as domestic helps. Now, the government plans to ban employment of child below 18 years in hazardous industries to meet the provisions of International Labour Organisation (ILO) convention.
There were 1.29 crore child labourers in India as per the 2001 census. Employing a child labour can result in jail term of three months and a fine of up to Rs. 20,000 or both.