The child labour is not a recent phenomenon and that too not confined to any particular state. The main thrust of the ILO conventions have been on:
1) minimum age for employment of children and
2) prohibition of night work for children.
The Supreme Court in many cases has emphatically stated that the International Labour Organization (ILO) has been playing an important role in the process of gradual elimination of child labour and to protect the child from industrial exploitation including prohibition of child labour, protecting child labour at work, attacking the basic causes of child labour, helping children to adapt to future work and protecting the children of working parents. Till now the ILO in the interest of working children all over the world has adopted 18 conventions and 16 recommendations.
The constitutional mandates and call on the subject are contained in certain articles in the constitution including most notably Article 24 which deals with the prohibition of employment of children in factories etc. it states that No child below the age of fourteen years shall be employed to work in any factory or mine or engaged in any other hazardous employment. There are also certain directive principles that have been interpreted by the court to safeguard the interest of the children in India including Article 45 which provides for provision for free and compulsory education for children till the age of fourteen. Thus the constitution recognizes and acknowledges the fact that the abolition of child labour is unquestionably a matter of great public concern and significance.
The Child Labour (Prohibition And Regulation) Act, 1986
expresses the strong desire of the legislature of prohibiting child labour. As its preamble points out it has a twin objective; it intends to prohibit the engagement of children in certain employments and to regulate the conditions of work of children other employments where children are allowed to work.
Although there are may Acts which prohibit the employment of children below 14 years and 15 years in certain specified employments or processes, but there is no procedure laid down in any law for deciding in which employments or processes the employment of children should be banned.
At the direction of the Tamil Nadu government filed a detailed counter stating, inter alia that number of persons who died was 39. The court gave certain directions regarding the payment of compensation and thought that an advocates committee should visit the area and make a comprehensive report relating to the various aspects of the matter, as mentioned in the order passed by the court on 14-8-1991.Keeping in view the provisions contained in article 39(f) and 45 of the constitution, it gave certain directions as to how the quality of life of children employed in the factories could be improved.
These directions include that a survey would be made by the states on the type of child labour, which would be completed within 6 months from the date of passing of the order. The court further stated that work could be taken up regarding those employments which have been mentioned in Article 24, which may be regarded as core sector, to determine which hazardous aspect of the employment would be taken as criterion. The hazardous employment may rank first in priority to be followed by comparatively less hazardous and so on. The welfare scheme envisaged by the Supreme Court enshrined in the judgment is really the need of the time.
I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.
If you are interested in participating in the same, do let me know.
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