A law that allows child labour

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The Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Amendment Act, 2016 suffers from several flaws.

At first glance, the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Amendment Act, 2016, passed last month in Parliament, seems progressive. It prohibits “the engagement of children in all occupations and of adolescents in hazardous occupations and processes” wherein adolescents refers to those under 18 years; children to those under 14. >The Act also imposes a fine on anyone who employs or permits adolescents to work. However, on careful reading, the new Act suffers from many problems. One, it has slashed the list of hazardous occupations for children from 83 to include just mining, explosives, and occupations mentioned in the Factory Act. This means that work in chemical mixing units, cotton farms, battery recycling units, and brick kilns, among others, have been dropped. Further, even the the ones listed as hazardous can be removed, according to Section 4 — not by Parliament but by government authorities at their own discretion. [Read full article]

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