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‘Over 3 lakh child labourers rescued in 5 years’

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New Delhi, July 08: Over three lakh child labourers were rescued from various states in the last five years.

This information was given by Santosh Kumar Gangwar, Union Minister of State (I/C) for Labour and Employment, in a written reply to a question the Lok Sabha on Monday.

‘Over 3 lakh child labourers rescued in 5 years’

The Minister informed that a total number of 320488 children were rescued from all forms of child labour, and were rehabilitated and mainstreamed to formal education system during the last five years.

This figure is based on information received from the District Project Societies set up under the National Child Labour Project (NCLP) Scheme, he added.

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The Minister said that under the Child & Adolescent Labour (Prohibition & Regulation) Act, 1986, a total of 16540 violations were reported in which 9034 offenders have been prosecuted and 3704 have been convicted.

Ganwar also informed the House that the government has enacted the Child Labour (Prohibition & Regulation) Amendment Act, 2016 which came into force w.e.f. 1.9.2016.

"The Amendment Act inter alia provides for complete prohibition of work or employment of children below 14 years in any occupation and process and prohibition of adolescents in the age group of 14 to 18 years in hazardous occupations and processes. The Amendment Act also provides stricter punishment for employers for violation of the Act and has made the offence as cognizable," said Gangwar.

Talking about the NCLP Scheme, the Minister said children in the age group of 9-14 years are rescued/withdrawn from work and enrolled in the NCLP Special Training Centres, where they are provided with bridge education, vocational training, mid-day meal, stipend, health care, etc. before being mainstreamed into formal education system.

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Since September 2017, a separate online portal PENCIL (Platform for Effective Enforcement for No Child Labour) has been operational to ensure effective enforcement of the provisions of the Child Labour Act and smooth implementation of the NCLP Scheme.

Ministry of Women and Child Development is implementing 'Child Protection Services' (CPS) (erstwhile Integrated Child Protection Scheme), for care, protection, rehabilitation and reintegration of children in difficult circumstances.

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