Focus on Elimination of Child Labour
Elimination of child labour continued to be one of the major focus areas of the Labour Ministry. It took an initiative for framing an omnibus legislation prescribing 14 years as the minimum age for employment and work in all occupations except agricultural activity in family and small holdings producing for own consumption. The proposed legislation would also fix a minimum age of not less than 18 years to any type of employment and work which by its nature or circumstances is likely to jeopardize the health, safety or morals of young persons. As of date, employment of children has been prohibited in 13 occupation and 51 processes in the country bringing the total to 64. It is proposed to raise their number to 73 by notifying additional nine hazardous occupations and processes.
In 2006, the Central Government has amended the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986 prohibiting employment of children below 14 years of age even in non-hazardous industry like restaurants, motels and also as domestic servants.
To further augment resources for elimination of child labour, the Ministry of Labour signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the ILO extending International programme on Elimination of Child Labour (IPEC) in India for another two years. India under the ILO’s IPEC programme has taken up 154 action programmes on child labour covering more than ninety thousand children with direct funding by the ILO/Area Office to the NGOs.