Cabinet approves amendments to child labour act

New Delhi : The government on Wednesday approved amendments to the Child Labour (Prohibition & Regulation) Amendment Bill which prohibits employment of children under 14 years in all occupations.

“However, the prohibition will not apply if a child is helping his family or family enterprise, which is other than any hazardous occupation or process, after his school hours or during vacation,” said an official statement released after a meeting of the union cabinet which decided in the matter.

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An exception has been made for a child working as artist in an audio-visual entertainment industry, except in a circus, provided that the school education of the child is not affected, the statement added.

“Striking a balance between the need for education for a child and the reality of the socio-economic condition and social fabric in the country, the cabinet has approved that a child can help his family or family enterprise,” the statement said.

The changes in the law also provide for stricter punishment for employers for violation. While there is no penalty provision for parents for the first offence, the employer would be liable for punishment even for the first violation.