Kharge seeks state governments cooperation for enforcement of child labour laws

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New Delhi, Jan 22(ANI): Union Labour Minister Mallikarjun Kharge on Friday sought cooperation of state governments for effective implementation of child labour laws.

Speaking at the State Labour Ministers' Conference in New Delhi, Kharge said that enforcement of child labour prohibition and regulation act 1986 remained one of the main issues for the state governments.

"Enforcement of child labour prohibition and regulation act 1986 still remains one of the main issues. State governments have to apply resources in identification and withdrawal of children working in hazardous industries and ensuring employment of one adult person of the family of the child labour," Kharge said.

"State governments have to work closely with the central government for effective implementation of NCLP that is the National Child Labour Project scheme," Kharge added.

According to Child rights activists, India has been failing to enforce a ban on child labour, with not a single conviction in the past three years since the law came into effect.

More than 12 million children below the age of 14 are working as domestic servants or in other jobs such as in stone quarries, embroidery units, mines, carpet-weaving units, tea stalls, restaurants and hotels, according to government data.

A law prohibiting employing children in homes and in the hospitality industry came into effect in October 2006. However, there have only been 1,680 prosecutions and not a single conviction.

The law, according to which violators face a jail term of up to two years and a maximum fine of Rs 20,000 is an extension of a previous ban dating from 1986, which prohibited children from working in jobs deemed "too hazardous" for minors, such as in factories, quarries and mines.

Child rights campaigners claim that like the previous ban, the 2006 law has neither been properly implemented nor enforced. (ANI)

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