It is the first legally binding international instrument, which provides in a single text universally recognized norms and standards concerning the protection and promotion of the rights of the child.
It is the most rapidly and widely ratified international human rights instrument in the world. Such unprecedented wide participation clearly demonstrates a common political will to improve the situation of children.
The Convention emphasizes the spirit of complementarity and interdependence of human rights by combining civil and political rights with economic, social and cultural rights. It calls for a holistic approach in analysis and recognizes that the enjoyment of one right cannot be separated from the enjoyment of others.
It establishes a new vision of the child, combining provisions aimed at protecting the child through positive action by the State, the parents and relevant institutions, with the recognition of the child as a holder of participatory rights and freedoms.
In so doing, it establishes rights in new areas which were not covered by previous international instruments, such as the right of the child to freely express views and have them given due weight, and the right of the child to a name and nationality from birth. In addition the Convention established standards in new areas including the issue of alternative care, the rights of disabled and refugee children; and the administration of juvenile justice. The need for recovery and social reintegration of a child victim of neglect, exploitation or abuse is also set forth.
The Convention acknowledges the primary role of the family andparents in the care and protection of the child, while stressing the obligation of the State to help families in carrying this task. It calls for positive action by institutions and the State or parents.
It constitutes a useful tool for advocacy and greater awareness of the new perspective of children's rights, and attaches special importance to international cooperation and assistance as ways of achieving the effective protection of children's rights.
Four general principles are enshrined in the Convention. They express the philosophy it conveys and provide guidance for national programmes of implementation.
Key provisions focus on:
Best interests of the child;
Right to life, survival and development;
Views of the child.
Article 43 of the Convention
establishes the Committee on the Rights of the Child, a monitoring body of ten
experts, for the purpose of examining the progress made by States parties in
implementing the Convention.
Child Labour is a perennial problem in India. It is deemed as the legacy of the old feudal system. The architects of the Indian Constitution were fully aware of this menace and incorporated Articles 15(3), 23,24, 39(e), (i) and 45 which mandate non employment of children and their induction into schools. Another mandate is provision of a free and compulsory elementary education for all children upto the age of 14 within a period of 10 years of adoption of the Republican Constitution in 1950. These were augmented with the Prohibitive Laws namely Bonded Labour System Abolition Act 1976 and Child Labour Regulation Act, 1986.
Indian Constitution provisions:
Article 24 Prohibition of employment of children in factories, etc.
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.
Article 39 Certain principles of policy to be followed by the State
The State shall, in particular, direct its policy towards securing
(a) that the citizen, men and women equally, have the right to an adequate means of livelihood
(b) that the ownership and control of the material resources of the community are so distributed as best to subserve the common good
(c) that the operation of the economic system does not result in the concentration of wealth and means of production to the common detriment
(d) that there is equal pay for equal work for both men and women
(e) that the health and strength of workers, men and women, and the tender age of children are not abused and that citizens are not forced by economic necessity to enter avocations unsuited to their age or strength
(f) that children are given opportunities and facilities to develop in a healthy manner and in conditions of freedom and dignity and that childhood and youth are protected against exploitation and against moral and material abandonment.
Article 45 Provision for free and compulsory education for children
The State shall endeavor to provide, within a period of ten years from the commencement of this Constitution, for free and compulsory education for all children until they complete the age of fourteen years.
India has all along followed a proactive policy with respect to the problem of child labor, and has stood for constitutional, statutory and developmental measures to combat child labor. Six ILO conventions relating to child labor have been ratified, three of these as early as the first quarter of this century.
The first Act in India relating to child labor was the Enactment of Children (Pledging of Labor) Act of February 1933. Since then there have been nine different Indian legislations relating to child labor. The strategy of progressive elimination of child labor underscores India's legislative intent, and takes cognizance of the fact that child labor is not an isolated phenomenon that can be tackled without simultaneously taking into account the socio-economic milieu that is at the root of the problem.
This was followed by the Employment of Children Act in 1938. Subsequently, twelve additional legislations were passed that progressively extended legal protection to children. Provisions relating to child labor under various enactment such as the Factories Act, the Mines Act, the Plantation Labor Act etc. have concentrated on aspects such as reducing working hours, increasing minimum wage and prohibiting employment of children in occupations and processes detrimental to their health and development.
The Child Labor (Prohibition & Regulation) Act 1986 of India was the culmination of efforts and ideas that emerged from the deliberations and recommendations of various committees on child labor. Significant among them are the National Commission on Labour (1966-69), Gurupadaswamy Committee on Child Labour (1979), and the Sanat Mehta Committee (1984).The Child Labor (Prohibition & Regulation) Act, 1986 of India prohibits the employment of children below the age of 14 in factories, mines and in other forms of hazardous employment, and regulates the working conditions of children in other employment. India has announced a National Policy of Child Labor as early as 1987, and was probably the first among the developing countries to have such a progressive policy. Through a notification dated May 26, 1993, the working conditions of children have been regulated in all employment not prohibited under the Child Labor (Prohibition and Regulation) Act. Further, following up on a preliminary notification issued on October 5, 1993, the government has also prohibited employment of children in occupations such as abattoirs/slaughter houses, printing, cashew de-scaling and processing, and soldering.
The Act,, in particular,
- bans the employment of children, i.e. those who have not completed their 14th year, in specified occupations and processes (listed in the Schedule to the Act, attached at Annexure I);
- lays down a procedure to make additions to the schedule of banned occupations or processes;
- regulates the working conditions of children in occupations where they are not prohibited from working;
- lays down penalties for employment of children in violation of the provisions of this Act,, and other Acts which forbid the employment of children;
- brings uniformity in the definition of the "Child" in related laws
Section 5 : TECHNICAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE ON CHILD LABOUR
The Child Labour Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) has been set up in accordance with the provisions of Section 5 of the Child Labour (prohibition & Regulation) Act, 1986.
7. HOURS AND PERIOD OF WORK. - (1) No child shall be required or permitted to work in any establishment in excess of such number of hours, as may be prescribed for such establishment or class of establishments.
(2) The period of work on each day shall be so fixed that no period shall exceed three hours and that no child shall work for more than three hours before he has had an interval for rest for at least one hour.
(3) The period of work of a child shall be so arranged that inclusive of his interval for rest, under sub-section (2), it shall not be spread over more than six hours, including the time spent in waiting for work on any day.
(4) No child shall be permitted or required to work between 7 p.m. and 8 a.m.
(5) No child shall be required or permitted to work overtime.
(6) No child shall be required or permitted to work in, any establishment on any day on which he has already been working in another establishment.
8 Weekly Holidays
9 Notice to Inspector
10 Disputes as to age
11 Maintenance of Register
12 Display of notice containing abstract of sections 3 and 14
13 Health and Safety
14. PENALTIES.- (1) Whoever employs any child or permits any child to work in contravention of the provisions of Sec. 3 shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than, three months but which may extend to one year or with fine which shall not be less than ten thousand rupees but which may extend to twenty thousand rupees or with both.
(2) Whoever, having been convicted of an offence under Sec. 3, commits a like offence afterwards, he shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than six months but which may extend to two years.
(3) Whoever - (a) fails to give notice as required by Sec. 9, or
(b) fails to maintain a register as required by Sec. 11 or makes any false entry in any such register; or
(c) fails to display a notice containing an abstract of Sec. 3 and this section as required by Sec. 12; or
(d) fails to comply with or contravenes any other provisions of this Act or the rules made there under, shall be punishable with simple imprisonment which may extend to one month or with fine which may extend to ten thousand rupees or with both.
However, due to cultural and economic factors, these goals remain difficult to meet. For instance, the act does nothing to protect children who perform domestic or unreported labor, which is very common in India. In almost all Indian industries girls are unrecognized laborers because they are seen as helpers and not workers. Therefore, girls are therefore not protected by the law. Children are often exploited and deprived of their rights in India, and until further measures are taken, many Indian children will continue to live in poverty.
PART A OCCUPATIONS
Any occupation connected with - (1) Transport of passengers, goods or mails by railway;
(2) Cinder picking, clearing of an ash pit or building operation in the railway premises;
(3) Work in a catering establishment at a railway station, involving the movement of a vendor or any other employee of the establishment from one platform to another or into or out of a moving train;
(4) Work relating to the construction of a railway station or with any other work where such work is done in close proximity to or between the railway lines;
(5) A port authority within the limits of any port.
(6) Work relating to selling of crackers and fireworks in shops with temporary licences.
(7) Abattoirs/slaughter Houses.
PART B PROCESSES
(3) Cement manufacture, including bagging of cement.
(4) Cloth printing, dyeing and weaving.
(5) Manufacture of matches, explosives and fire-works.
(6) Mica-cutting and splitting.
(7) Shellac manufacture.
(8) Soap manufacture.
(11) Building and construction industry.
(12) Manufacture of slate pencils (including packing).
(13) Manufacture of products from agate.
(14) Manufacturing processes using toxic metals and substances, such as, lead, mercury, manganese, chromium, cadmium, benzene, pesticides and asbestos.
(15) "Hazardous processes" as defined in Sec. 2 (cb) and dangerous operations as defined in rules made under Sec. 87 of the Factories Act, 1948 (63 of 1948).
(16) Printing as defined in Sec. 2(k) (iv) of the Factories Act. 1948 (63 of 1948).
(17) Cashew and cashew nut decaling and processing.
(18) Soldering processes in electronic industries.
|Article / Schedule||Title|
|Fundamental Rights||13||Laws inconsistent with or in derogation of the fundamental rights|
|15||Prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth|
[Inserted by the 86th Amendment in December, 2002, but yet to be brought into force.]
|28||Freedom as to attendance at religious instruction or religious worship in certain educational institutions|
|30||Right of minorities to establish and administer educational institutions|
Directive Principles of State Policy
|37||Application of the principles contained in this Part|
|38||State to secure a social order for the promotion of welfare of the people|
|39||Certain principles of policy to be followed by the State|
|41||Right to work, to education and to public assistance in certain cases|
Text in force –
|Duty of the State to raise the level of nutrition and the standard of living and to improve public health|
|IV A||Fundamental Duties||Fundamental Duties|
|The Panchayats||243B||Constitution of Panchayats|
|Powers, authority and responsibilities of Panchayat|
|IX A||The Municipalities||243Q||Constitution of Municipalities|
|243W||Powers, authority and responsibilities of Municipalities, etc.|
The Scheduled and Tribal Areas
|Administration of Scheduled Areas and Tribal Areas|
|Fifth Schedule||Provisions as to the Administration and Control of Scheduled Areas and Scheduled Tribes|
|Sixth Schedule||Provisions as to the administration of tribal areas in the States of Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram|
Relations between the
|246||Subject-matter of laws made by Parliament and by the Legislatures of States|
|254||Inconsistency between laws made by Parliament and laws made by the Legislatures of States|
|Official Language||344||Commission and Committee of Parliament on official language|
|350A||Facilities for instruction in mother-tongue at primary stage|
|Directive for development of the Hindi language|
|XXI||Temporary, Transitional and Special Provisions||371 E||Establishment of Central University in Andhra Pradesh|