Article 24 of the Indian Constitution
- The need of Article 24 of the Indian Constitution arises in order to saveguard children from ‘Child Labour’.
- Children around the world are routinely engaged in paid and unpaid forms of work that are not harmful to them. However, they are classified as child labourers when they are either too young to work, or are involved in hazardous activities that may compromise their physical, mental, social or educational development.
Hence, let’s find out what Article 24 of Indian Constitution does in order to protect rights of the children.
What is Article 24 of the Indian Constitution?
- Article 24 of the Indian constitution is Prohibition of children in factories, etc.
- It prohibits the employment of children below the age of 14 years in any factory, mine, or other hazardous activities like construction work or railway.
- But it does not prohibit their employment in any harmless work which might be safe for them.
Child Labour Rehabilitation Welfare Fund
- In 1996, the Supreme court directed the establishment of the ‘Child Labour Rehabilitation Welfare Fund’ in which the offending employer should deposit a fine of Rs. 20,000 for each child employed by him.
- It also issued directions for the improvement of education, health & nutrition of children.
Children Banned as ‘domestic Servants’ in view of Article 24
- In 2006, the government banned the employment of children as ‘domestic servants’ or workers in business establishments like hotels, Dhabas, restaurants, shops, factories, resorts, tea-shops, and so on.
- It also warned that anyone who is employing children below 14 years of age would be liable for prosecution and penal action.
Commissions for Protection of Child Rights Act, 2005 to support Article 24
- The Commissions for Protection of Child Rights Act, 2005 was enacted to provide the establishment of a National Commission and State Commissions for Protection of Child Rights.
- It has also provided speedy trial of offenses against children or of violation of child rights in children’s court.
Amendment of ‘Child Labour (Prohibition & Regulation) Act, 1986’
- The Child Labour (Prohibition & Regulation) Amendment Act, 2016, amended the Child Labour (Prohibition & Regulation) Act, 1986.
- It has renamed the Principal Act ‘Child Labour (Prohibition & Regulation) Act, 1986‘ into ‘Child And Adolescent Labour (Prohibition & Regulation) Act, 1986‘.
Acts in favor of ‘Prohibition of Employment of Children’ in Factories, etc.
- The Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986 – the most important Law in this direction.
- Employment of Children Act, 1938.
- The Factories Act, 1948.
- The Mines Act, 1952.
- The Merchant Shipping Act, 1958.
- The Plantation Labour Act, 1951.
- The Motor Transport Workers Act, 1961.
- The Bidi & Cigar Worker Act, 1966.
There are many other similar Acts under Article 24 which Prohibit the employment of children below a certain age. Some of them are mentioned above. You can read about them by clicking the above linked acts.
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