Child Labour Act – Prohibition, Amendments Of Child Labour Act 1986 & 2016

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 14th, 2023

Child Labour Act 1986 came on the Statute Book as the Child Labor Prohibition and Regulation Act, 1986. This Act aims to suppress any form of child abuse in the name of hazardous employment of children who haven’t completed 14 years of age. The main objective of the Child Labour Act is to prohibit children’s engagement in dangerous occupations and processes and regulate the conditions of non-precarious works and processes.

The legislature strongly desired the prohibition of child labour, check out the amendments of the Act. The Child Labour Act 1986 is a bold step towards that goal. Its preamble indicates the twin objective of this Act: to forbid the engagement of children in hazardous employment and regulate guidelines for a segment of work that children are allowed to engage in.

What is Meaning of Child Labour?

Child labour is a method where minors are compelled to get employed in economic practice on a full-time or part-time basis. Children introduced under this practice are deprived of fundamental rights like schooling, and the youth are mentally and physically traumatized.

Child Labour Act 1986

The fundamental causes referring to child labour can be outlined as follows:

  • Lack of proper schooling and education.
  • Development of informal economy.
  • Poverty

The consequences of child labour are victimizing a juvenile and depriving them of nurturing and healthy surroundings to grow. The child labour faces different types of abuses, which stops them from prospering into happy grown-ups.

Child Labour in India

As per the Child Labour Prohibition and Regulation Act of 1986, children of or below 14 years are strictly forbidden from engaging in dangerous professions. The government has taken some initiatives, which include:

Year Initiatives by Government
1979 The Gurupadswamy Committee was designated to analyze and tackle the child labour issue.
1986 Child labour prohibition and regulation act 1986 was passed.
2016 Child Labour Prohibition And Regulation Amendment Act forbids the employment of youths less than 14 years of age.
2017 Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Amendment Rules – wide framework against child labour.

UNICEF’s Move Toward Preventing Child Labour in India

UNICEF has taken major initiatives to prevent and mitigate child labour in India. They have extended their initiatives and programs to numerous places. The program catered to and aims at mitigating child labour in places where more cases of child labour are witnessed such as Gujarat, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh etc.

Features of CLPRA

The Child Labour Prohibition and Regulation Act 1986 was passed with its main features being as follows:

  • Banning employment for children below the age of 14 years in specific occupations and processes.
  • Formulating the procedure to decide on modifications to the Schedule of banned occupations and processes.
  • Modulate the work conditions of children in employment where they are not prohibited from working.
  • Formulate the enhanced penalties for children’s employment in violation of the guidelines of the Act.
  • To empower the Central Government to constitute a Child Labor Technical Advisory Committee to advise the Central Government to add occupations and processes to the Schedule appended to the Child Labour Prohibition and Regulation Act 1986.

Salient Features of Child Labour Act 1986

This Act has played an essential role in reducing the rate of child labour employment in India, reducing the hazardous risks to children’s life and child exploitation. It played an instrumental role in making it clear that the rights of children are inalienable and indivisible.

After the mentioned guideline, if an employer is found contravening the rules and regulations, they will be liable to punishment, including a fine, imprisonment, or both.

  • Although child labour has reduced after Child Labour Prohibition and Regulation Act 1986, this evil practice still persists in society due to illiteracy and poverty.
  • The community has to take a collective responsibility to build more awareness about this immoral practice to overcome this issue.

Amendments of Child Labour Prohibition And Regulation Act 1986

Listed are the amendments of the child labour prohibition and regulation act 1986 that took place in 2016 and 2017. Walk through the amendments of the Child Labour Prohibition Act.

Child Labour Act 2016

The child and adolescent labour (prohibition and regulation) act 1986 (amended in 2016) stated as:

  • As per this amendment, the country’s government will provide more severe penalties for employers who disobey the Act.
  • The Act also permits the Government to ban the hiring of children that are working in unsafe conditions.

Child Labour (Prohibition And Regulation) Amendment Rules, 2017

Provisions under the child labour prohibition and regulation act Amendment are listed below:

  • A particular framework was created to prevent, restrict, recover, and restorative juveniles and young workers.
  • Protection against visionary employees regarding working hours and conditions under the Act.

Provisions of the Child Labour Amendment Act 2016

The Child Labour (Prohibition & Regulation) Act of 1986 was amended in 2016 and was reintroduced as the Child Labour Amendment Act 2016. The newly modified act prohibited the involvement of children who are less than 14 years of age, in any kind of occupation. It also restricts the involvement of adolescent children in harmful jobs.

  • Further, the amendment provides that the Government will be strictly penalizing the people who violate the provisions of the Child Labour Act.
  • The Child Labour Amendment Act of 2016 also mentions that the Government is authorized to cease the employment of adolescent children who are found to be working under harmful conditions.

Global Initiatives for Mitigating Child Labour

One of the major global initiatives for mitigating child labour is the ‘International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour’. This programme was launched in 1991 by the International Labour Organization. India was the first country to be a part of this programme in the year 1992.

  • Apart from this programme, the International Labour Organization also announced 12th June as the World Day Against Child Labour in 2002.
  • India also introduced the National Child Labour Project (NCLP) on a national level in 1988.
  • The initiative was launched in order to recover the children forced into child labour.
UPSC Notes
Child Marriage Restraint Act Child Protection Act
National Commission for Protection of Child Rights Integrated Child Development Services
Citizenship Amendment Act Immoral Traffic Prevention Act
POCSO Act Right to Education Act
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