Passage of child labour amendment bill raises activists' hackles

Passage of child labour amendment bill raises activists' hackles

Passage of child labour amendment bill raises activists' hackles

 Child rights activists have expressed concern over the repercussions of the passing of the contentious Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2016.

The Bill was passed by Parliament recently, despite stiff resistance from the Opposition and a section of the BJP members. The Bill allows children below 14 years of age to work in family-run enterprises, besides reducing the number of banned professions for adolescents. 

Kripa Amar Alva, chairperson of the Karnataka State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (KSCPCR), said the committee had sent a booklet, opposing the draft of the Bill several months ago, to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and to all sitting members of Parliament from Karnataka.

“Passing a bill like this has taken our country back by almost 50 years. This is contrary to the Right to Education Act, which mandates free and compulsory education,” Alva said. She said that the number of child labourers was hardly coming down.

“There is a provision for children to work in family-run enterprises. The definition for family could extend to even far relatives. Who will keep a watch on this?” she said.

Nagasimha G Rao of the Child Rights Trust said there is no point using the word “regulation,” when it is a strict no to child labour.

He said that the ‘earn while you learn’ concept would not be apt for a country like India where chances of it being misused are high.

“Take for instance, Bengaluru. There are so many children coming here from various parts of the state. If they are allowed to work, who will keep tabs,” he questioned.

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