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THE CHILD LABOUR (PROHIBITION & REGULATION) ACT, 1986.
The Child Labour (Prohibition & Regulation) Act, 1986 aims at prohibiting engagement of children aged below 14 in certain hazardous Occupations and Processes as well as regulating the conditions of services of such children engaged in non-hazardous Occupations and Processes. The penal provisions for engaging child labour in hazardous Occupations and Processes is quite rigorous. The State Rules under the Act were framed in 1995 and the State Child Labour Advisory Board constituted by the State Government came up in 1996. At present, the number of Occupations in Part A and Processes in Part B to the Schedule of the Act categorised as hazardous stand respectively at 15 and 57 (Schedule annexed).
The Government of India announced the National Policy on Child Labour in August 1987. The Action Plan under the policy comprises of the following:-
(1) A Legislative Action Plan;
(2) Focusing general development programmes to benefit children wherever possible;
(3) Project based action plan in areas of high concentration of Child Labour engaged in wage / quasi-wage employment.
While the Legislative Action Plan seeks to emphasize strict and effective enforcement of the Child Labour (Prohibition &Regulation) Act, 1986, The Factories Act, 1948; The Mines Act, 1952; The Plantations Labour Act, 1951 and other Acts contain special provisions relating to employment of children. National Development programmes are also in existence with wide coverage in the areas of education, health, nutrition, integrated child development, income and employment generation for the poor. Such programmes are utilized to create socio-economic conditions by which the National Policy on Child Labour adopted in 1987 can be given proper shape.
The Project Based Action Plan proposes that Projects for the welfare of working children are to be taken up in areas of high concentration of working children with a thrust on the following activities:-
(1) Identification of working children.
(2) Setting up of Special Schools of Child Labour having provisions for elementary education, vocational training, supplementary nutrition etc. along with stipend to be disbursed through Bank Accounts or Post Offices to compensate for the lost earnings of the Child.
(3) Stepping up enforcement of the Child Labour (Prohibition & Regulation) Act, 1986 and various other related Acts.
(4) Raising Public Awareness to educate people regarding the undesirable aspects of Child Labour.
(5) Strengthening of formal educational structure.
(6) Coverage of families of Child Labour under various income-generating and poverty alleviation programmes.
(7) Monitoring and evaluation.
The Policy has introduced grant-in-aid scheme for (a) Survey (b) Awareness Generation and (c) establishment of Special Schools of Child Labour under the National Child Labour Project (NCLP). The said scheme was introduced by the Ministry of Labour & Employment, Government of India, way back in 1988 only in 9 districts across the country. The scheme provided for setting up of 40 such schools in each of the districts, sanctioned by the Ministry of Labour , GOI enrolling 50 children in each school, withdrawn from various hazardous Occupations / Processes or from those which adversely affect their health and psyche, thus enrolling a total of 2000 working children under each Project Society. The National Child Labour Project later expanded in 100 districts (out of which 8 were from West Bengal) across 13 Child Labour endemic States by the end of the 9th Plan. During the 10th Plan period, the Government of India extended the coverage of the project to another 150 districts of the country with the target to achieve total elimination of the Child Labour in the hazardous sectors by the end of the said plan period. During this period, the rest 11 districts of West Bengal were covered under the National Child Labour Project. Thus a total of 250 districts from 20 Child Labour endemic states across the country are currently covered under this Project. The annual budget for is Rs 1,02, 34,000/-for an old Project Society and Rs 1,03,34,000/- for a Project Society sanctioned in recent period, both consisting of 40 schools. The budgetary provision for nutrition has been doubled by the Government of India since the 10th Plan period along with provision of funds for certain new components like health check up of children enrolled in the special schools, provision for employing master trainer for vocational training, training of educational instructors etc.
|All districts of West Beangal are now covered under NCLP including Darjeeling. However the details are summarized in the table underneath as on (31.12.2008) :-|
|During 2008-09, 8 new Locked-out units have been brought under FAWLOI scheme.|
The NCLP for the Darjeeting district has already been approved by the Government of India and registration of Project Society as required for the purpose was complete in March, 2007. Funds for setting up of Project office and conducting survey was received in June, 2007. Survey in this district is complete and has already been sent to the Ministry of Labour & Employment, Government of India from the end of the Labour Department, Government of West Bengal. Sanction of Special Schools from the end of the Government of India is awaited.
The Special Schools under NCLP are run either by N.G.Os, or by Local Self Government Bodies or directly by the District Authorities themselves. Awareness Generation on child labour through camps and theatre-based campaigns were organised under the aegis of NCLP, Kolkata during 2002-03 and 2003-04 respectively in which children of the Special Schools under NCLP and the community around them participated. Apart from this, following the directives of the Government of India, special initiatives were taken by the State Government so that sports and cultural activities in all the NCLP districts were organized during the winter months. The enthusiasm of children in such events was extremely encouraging. A number of NGOs work in the field of Child Labour in the districts as well as in Kolkata. Certain new attempts have already been made in this field, be it awareness generation or developing & implementation of strategies and various other forms of partnership.
For welfare of working children by providing food, shelter, clothing, medical care along with educational and vocational training, the State Government has proposed for converting one school under NCLP in each district to a Residential School for which the State Government shall contribute Rs.500/-per month per child for their maintenance. The first residential school was opened in the District of Hooghly on 12th August 2008. Uttar Dinajpur, Nadia, Bardhaman North 24 Pgs. & Paschim Midnapur have opened residential schools Subesequently. The rest of the NCLP districts
are shortly to open residential schools.
In pursuance of Notification S.0 1029 (E) dated 10th July 2006 which came into effect from 10th October, 2006 employment of children as domestic workers or servants and employment in dhabas (roadside eateries) restaurant, hotels, motels tea shops, resorts and recreational centers have been declared hazardous. The Service Rules for State Government Employees also prohibit engagement of children aged below 14 for domestic help by Government servants. For sensitization of the civic society, leaflets containing the main objectives and provisions of the Child labour (Prohibition & Regulation) Act, 1986 and the Rules framed thereunder have been widely circulated. The issue of child labour was taken up for wide awareness generation amongst the civil society through different seminars, programmes and workshops in all over the State.
As per direction of the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) a seminar was held on 12th June 2008 to observe The World Day against Child Labour at Sishir Mancha in which Hon’ble Minister-in-Charge, Minister of State, and Principal Secretary Labour Department were present. Other participants in the seminar were the Commissioner of Police, State Project Director, Sarba Siksha Mission, Kolkata, Director, Sociai Welfare, Principal Secretary, School Education Department, Director, State Urban Development Agency and officers from the Labour Directorate. Discussions held in the meeting proved to be very fruitful for all practical purposes. The seminar ended with a pledge of strong commitment towards taking effective measures for tackling the socio-economic menace of child labour. “The World Day against Child Labour” was also observed in the districts and sub divisions.
On 19th November 2008, a consultation on “Abolition of Child Labour and attainment of Children Right to Education” was held by the Government of West Bengal in association with the National Commission for protection of Child Rights and the UNICEF at Rotary Sadan, Kolkata. All converging Departments participated in the above stated programme.
Labour Department Government of West Bengal organized “State Consultation on elimination of Child labour — Dissemination of INDUS project learning” at Kolkata on 22nd and 23rd December, 2008 at Hotel Lindsay , 8A & 8B Lindsay Street, Kolkata 700,087. The Consultation was supported by ILO and the Labour Department organized the programme in cooperation with the NGO -Save the Children, West Bengal. The Consultation Process was aimed at strengthening existing National Child labour Projects in West Bengal and developing a state specific plan to reduce the incidence of child labour by converging efforts of Government departments , Employers organizations, trade unions, UNICEF and NGOs.
Labour Department has constituted State Level Core Committee with the object of effectively tackling the problems of Child Labour in the State. In addition to this, the State Government has also constituted a State Level Monitoring Committee for the purpose of overseeing and monitoring the implementation of the decisions taken by the recommendations of the State Level Core Committee and also for considering the activities at the district level regarding implementation of the National Child Labour Project (NCLP).
To oversee and monitor the welfare of children in the Residential Schools , the Labour Department also constituted a monitoring committee in each district for residential school. In accordance with the Hon’ble Supreme Court Judgement in the case between M. C. Mehta -vs- State of Tamil Nadu and Others dated 10.12.96, a Child Labour Rehabilitation-cum-Welfare Fund was set up for the Kolkata district in which Rs. 4,20,000/- was deposited against 21 children (during 2008-09) detected working in certain hazardous Occupations / Processes, in accordance with the said judgment. The children concerned were paid interest earnings out of the said fund till they attained the age of 14. The total corpus of the fund taken together with the State Government contribution is Rs. 8,05,000/-. The districts of Paschim Medinipur, Hooghiy ,Bankura, Purulia and Uttar Dinajpur have also opened such a Fund . Opening of welfare fund in other districts are in process
Any occupation concerned with:-
(1) Transport of passengers, goods or mails by railways;
(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 in 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 licenses;
(7) Abattoir / Slaughter House ;
(8) Automobile workshops and garages ;
(10) Handling of toxic or inflammable substances or explosives ;
(11) Handlooms and power-loom Industry;
(12) Mines (underground and under water) and collieries ;
(13) Plastic units and fibre glass workshops ;
(14) Employment of children as domestic workers or servants ;
(15) Employment of children in dhabas (road-side eateries), restaurants, hotels, motels, tea-sops, resorts, spas or other recreational centres.
PART – B
(1) Beedi -making;
(3) Cement Manufacture including bagging of cement;
(4) Cloth printing, dyeing and weaving;
(5) Manufacture of matches, explosives and firework;
(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 operation’ as notice in rules made under section 87 of the Factories Act 1948 (63 of 1948);
(16) Printing as defined in Section 2(k)(iv) of the Factories Act, 1948 (63 of 1948);
(17) Cashew and cashew nut de-scaling and processing;
(18) Soldering processes in electronic industries;
(19) ‘Aggarbatti’ manufacturing;
(20) Automobile repairs and maintenance including processes incidental thereto, namely, welding, lathe work, dent beating and paintin;
(21) Brick kilns and roof tiles units;
(22) Cotton ginning and processing and production of hosiery goods;
(23) Detergent manufacturing;
(24) Fabrication workshops (ferrous and non-ferrous);
(25) Gem cutting and polishing;
(26) Handling of chromite and manganese ores;
(27) Jute textile manufacture and coir making;
(28) Lime kilns and manufacture of lime;
(29) Lock making;
(30) Manufacturing processes having exposure to lead such as primary and secondary smelting, welding and cutting of lead-painted metal constructions, welding of galvanized or zinc silicate, polyvinyl chloride, mixing (by hand) of crystal glass mass, sanding or scraping of leap paint, burning of lead in enameling workshops, lead mining, plumbing, cable making, wiring patenting, lead casting, type founding in printing shops, store type setting, assembling or cars, shot making and lead glass blowing;
(31) Manufacture of cement pipes, cement products and other related work;
(32) Manufacturing of glass, glass wire including bangles, florescent tubes, bulbs and other similar glass products;
(33) Manufacture of dyes and dye stuff;
(34) Manufacturing or handling of pesticides and insecticides;
(35) Manufacturing or processing and handling of corrosive and toxic substances, metal cleaning and photo engraving and soldering processes in electronic industry;
(36) Manufacturing of burning coal and coal briquette;
(37) Manufacturing of sports goods involving exposure to synthetic materials, chemicals and leather;
(38) Moulding and processing of fiberglass and plastic;
(39) Oil expelling and refinery;
(40) Paper making;
(41) Potteries and ceramic industry;
(42) Polishing, moulding, cutting, welding and manufacturing of brass goods in all forms;
(43) Process in agriculture where tractors, threshing and harvesting machines are used and chaff-cutting;
(44) Saw mill-all processes;
(45) Sericulture processing;
(46) Skinning, dyeing and processes for manufacturing of leather and leather products;
(47) Stone breaking and stone crushing;
(48) Tobacco processing including manufacturing of tobacco, tobacco paste and handling of tobacco in any form;
(49) Tyre making, repairing, re-trading and graphite beneficiations;
(50) Utensils making, Polishing and metal buffing;
(51) Sari making (all process);
(53) Graphite powdering and incidental processing;
(54) Grinding and glazing of metals;
(55) Diamond cutting and polishing;
(56) Extraction of slate from mines;
(57) Rag picking and scavenging.