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 The act has completely banned employment of children below 14 in all occupations and

enterprises, except those run by his or her own family, provided that education does not
hampered. The 1986 act prohibited the employment of children under 14 years in certain
occupations like bidi-making, mines, domestic work, power looms, automobile workshops, carpet
weaving etc.
 Addition of a new category of persons called “adolescent”. It defines children between 14 to 18
years as adolescents and bars their employment in any hazardous occupations.
 The act makes child labour a cognizable offence. Employing children below 14 years will attract a
jail term between 6 months to two years (earlier 3 months to 1 year) or a penalty between twenty-
thousand to fifty thousand rupees or both for the first time. Repeat offenders will attract
imprisonment between 1 year to 3 years (6 months to 2 years). In case, the offender is a parent, it
provides a relaxed penal provision and proposes a fine of Rs.10,000 for repeat offence committed
by parent.
 The act has a provision of creating Rehabilitation Fund for the rehabilitation of children.
 The number of hazardous occupations has been brought down from 83 to 3. The three
occupations are mining, inflammable substances, and hazardous processes under the Factories
Act. It empowers Union Government to add or omit any hazardous occupation from the list
included in the act.
 Empowers the government to make periodic inspection of places at which employment of
children and adolescents are prohibited.
 Government may confer powers on a District Magistrate (DM) to ensure that the provisions of the
law are properly carried out and implemented.

Positive Aspects of the Act

With passing of this new legislation, India law is now aligned with the statutes of the International Labour
Organization (ILO) convention. It calls complete ban on child labour so they can get compulsory primary
education under Right to Education. Further, the act has recognized the ground realities of family
enterprises and permitted children to help their parents run their family enterprises. It has increased the
penalties for employing children and made child labour as a cognizable offence.

Criticisms :

 The Section 3 which has this provision does not even specify the hours of work. It simply states
that children can help after school hours or during vacations. It may restrict the children
especially the poor children belonging to low caste to traditional caste-based occupations for
generations. Also, it may be difficult to determine whether an enterprise is owned by a family or
some person has employed the whole family to run the enterprise.
 It has reduced the number of hazardous occupation from 83 to just 3 (mining, explosives and
occupations mentioned in the Factory Act). This paves way for children to be employed in
hazardous chemical mixing units, battery recycling units, among others. In addition, the present
list of hazardous occupation is liable to be removed by the government authorities on their own
discretion. According to Section 4 of the act, they need not approach parliament for doing so.
According to an estimate, nearly 10% of adolescents working in hazardous conditions are
working in family enterprises.
 The bill has also expanded the definition of family to include not only parents and siblings but
also the siblings of either parent.