Instances of child labour detected during inspections have reduced successively from 2014 to 2018, figures presented by the government in Lok Sabha show. In a written reply during the ongoing session of Parliament, the Ministry of Labour & Employment list year-by-year figures for instances of violation of the Child & Adolescent Labour (Prohibition & Regulation) Act, 1986 found during inspections, along with prosecutions started and convictions made.
Minister of State (independent charge) for Labour & Employment Santosh Kumar Gangwar said the central government has taken cognisance of the practice of child labour still going on in various parts of the country in spite of a ban.
He said it is committed to eradicating the problem from all parts of the country. The Child Labour Act was amended in 2016 and the amendment provides for complete prohibition of work or employment of children below age 14 in any occupation and process and prohibition of adolescents in the age group 14-18 in hazardous occupations and processes. The Amendment Act also provides for strict punishment of employers for violation of the Act and has made the offence cognisable.
The minister said the government is also implementing the National Child Labour Project (NCLP) since 1988 for the rehabilitation of child labour. Under the scheme, children aged 9-14 are rescued/withdrawn from work and enrolled in NCLP Special Training Centres before being mainstreamed into the formal education system. Children aged 5-8 are directly linked to the formal education system through close coordination with the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, the minister said.