NILA along with Save the Children organized Consultation to review the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) bill, 2012 held on 15/09/2015 at ASCI, Banjarahills Campus, Hyd- from 11 AM to 2 PM. Hon’ble Union Minister of labour and employment Sri Bandaru Dattatreya was the Chief Guest and Hon’ble Minister for Home & Labour, Employment & Training, Telanagna Sri Nayani Narsimha Reddy was the Guest of Honour.
Dr Vasantha Lakshmi, Founder of NILA while giving her Welcome remarks said that NILA always strives to fill up the gaps in the Legislations related to women & children. She told that to focus the loop holes in the New Child Labour Amendment Bill 2012 this Consultation has been arranged.
Dr Mamatha Raghuveer, Founder, NILA while explaining the Objectives of the workshop said that The Child Labour (Prohibition & Regulation) Bill, 2012 is a great boon to Adolescents as for the first time 15 to 18 years children are coming under the purview of this Act. But Services for the Adolescents and Wages to be paid if working under non-hazardous circumstances have to be given clarity in the Bill. She said many Activists opposed the inclusion of the provision that 5-14 year old children can work in the family based occupations. She also focussed the issue of Infant Begging and requested the Ministry of Labour to include 0 to 18 years in the Child Labour Bill so that this issue can be addressed.
Ms Alka Singh, Program Manager, Southern Region, Save the Children while speaking said their organization is always ready to work for issues of children and since hundred years Save the Children had helped many child labour to come out of this evil practice. She also said that they are ready to prepare a Child Labour Policy for Telangana.
Sri Sadguru Prasad a retired Judge and pioneer of Labour Courts in the State opined that the Government brought in Free & Compulsory Education Act in 2009 but still children are languishing in the work. The education should be job oriented and children should be taught Vocational skills in their school curriculum.
Sri Nayani Narsimha Reddy Garu, Labour & Home Minister, Telangana while speaking in the Consultation about the Child Labour issue, said that their Government is very much committed for eradicating this Child Labour problem. He said their Government is starting KG to PG hostels to help curb drop out problem. The Department of Labour, Telangana is bringing out new Policy on Child Labour eradication and for this they are holding a meeting with all the related departments like Women & Child Welfare, Revenue, Police and Agriculture very shortly to prepare Standard Operating Procedures on Child Labour. There is a major problem interstate migration for employment. Their Government had rescued Hundreds of migrated Child Labour and sent them back to their States.
Hon’ble Union Minister for Labour & Employment, Sri Bandaru Dattatreya garu said that the new Amendment for Child Labour Act has been approved by Cabinet and is yet to be placed before Parliament. The Bill clearly defined ‘Family’ and the notion that children can work in Family based vocations after school hours is a correct one. Anyway children are already working and helping the families. But if children are exploited for commercial purpose then parents will be penalized according to the new Amendments. He agreed that there are few lacunae in the Law although it is according to the standards of International Labour Organization. We invite more deliberations on this new Amendments and Ministry is planning a Consultation involving all the Labour Ministers of different States on this issue. He appreciated NILA’s effort in focussing the lacunae in the Bill and asked them to submit a detailed Note on this issue.
Principal Secretary, Dept. of Labour Telangana Sri Harprit Singh IAS, Commissioner for Labour Sri Nadeem, IAS and Hyderabad Collector Sri Rahul Bojja IAS were the other guests.Many Child Rights Activists, Academicians, Psychologists, Advocates NGOs and students of Symbiosis Institute of Management participated actively in the consultation. The Ministers and participants appreciated the Founders of NILA – Dr Mamatha Raghuveer and Dr Vasantha Lakshmi Ravi Kumar for organizing this Consultation which will help to fill the up the gaps in the Bill.
The Consultation ended with a vote of thanks by Dr Vasantha Lakshmi, Founder of NILA.
RECOMMENDATIONS ON AMENDMENTS TO CHILD LABOUR (PROHIBITION & REGULATION) BILL 2012 EVOLVED DURING THE HYDERABAD DECLARATION -15/09/2015
|CLPR AMENDMENT BILL 2012
|“3. No child shall be employed or permitted to work in any occupation or process:Provided that nothing in this section shall apply where the child helps his family after his school hours or helps his family in fields, home-based work, forest gathering or attends technical institutions during vacations for the purpose of learning, but does not include any help or attending technical institutions where there is subordinate relationship of labour or work which are outsourced and carried out in home.”.
|Ø It was suggested that the provision allowing a child to help his/her family after school hours should be deleted. As children are already helping their families and there is no need to bring it in to the Law when there is no machinery to monitor whether the child is made to work after attending his / her school hours. Monitoring mechanisms should be suggested in the Act itself so that all States will incorporate them in their State Rules for this Act.Ø As it was also felt that more children are likely to be trafficked to work in home-based environment as nobody will check whether they belong to the same family or not and more invisible forms of child labour and much more exploitation will take place unseen and unheard. Hence, Child Labour cards should be issued to each child who has the record of working commercially which makes it easy to track and monitor.Ø In the name of skill development, the child is forced to take upon the traditional family work be it that of a barber, shoemaker, tailor, and so on. It’s leading to addressing the child in school by the name of his caste instead of his actual name. Hence, traditional occupations should be made a part of the High School curriculum so that all children can equip themselves with Skills which will make them self-sustained after their schooling.Ø Similarly, there will be nobody to check if the child has migrated to another place to work with the family in any kind of seasonal work. Hence Inter State Convergence of Labour Departments is a must and there should be a National level online Child Labour Website where the details of the children who are in child labour can be uploaded.
|“3A. No adolescent shall be employed or permitted to work in any of the hazardous occupations or processes set forth in the Schedule.”.
|Ø No Services described for Adolescents in the Bill when it says that ‘to regulate the conditions of services of adolescents’. There are no rehabilitative services available in our present systems whenever an Adolescent is rescued from a Hazardous occupation. Hence, a Special Policy and programmes are to be designed for Adolescents for Education, training and employment. For this, seats should be reserved for rescued adolescent child labour in Industrial Training Institutes (ITI) in the country and also introduce Open School System in the curriculum of these institutions for Adolescents as a dual program so that they can continue their education along with training.Ø Criteria for their wages and settlement of disputes with regard to age of the child not included in the Bill along with regulation of working conditions of the adolescents. Like in other western countries, wages should be prescribed for the work the adolescent do in un-hazardous sectors, so that it becomes their right to get proper wages.Ø The participants opined that adolescents should complete their elementary education before being allowed to be employed in any occupation.
|4. ‘(ii) “child” means a person who has not completed his fourteenth year of age or such age as may be specified in the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009, whichever is more;’.
|Ø The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009 defines child as 6-14 years, but even 3-6 year old children are also being used as Labour in some of the occupations. Hence, CLPR Act should define ‘child’ as 0 to 14 years so that small children are not used in labour.
|THE SCHEDULE (See section 3)PART A Occupations of CLPR Act IPC Section 363-A states, it is a crime to kidnap or maim a minor for the purpose or employment of begging. If a person if found employing a minor for begging, and that person is not the legal guardian of the child, it is assumed that the child has been kidnapped for the purpose of employment in begging.
|Ø Using children particularly infants as Labour for Begging by the mafia has been on rise and there is no clarity on this in the CLPR Bill although IPC Section 363-A has some provisions. Hence, using children & minors for begging should be included in the Schedule -Part –A of CLPR Act.
|Ø Bill does not address the issue of its implementation and relationship between the Department of Labour and the Department of Women Development and Child Welfare. Hence, there should be a mention of the need for convergence of various Line Departments in the Act.Ø As mentioned by Standing Committee, Rajya Sabha that It recommended that instead of entrusting various ministries with this task, the government should bring a New Child Labour Policy and the machinery to implement laws, policies and projects should be specified therein.This Declaration also recommended New Child Labour Policy.
|Ø There seems to be overlapping relationship between section 26 of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000 and the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2012. Hence, all the Child related Laws should be aligned so that they speak on the same lines for the benefit of children.
|Ø The Standing Committee noted that the Bill contains no provision for rescue and rehabilitation of children. Hence, the Declaration proposed for the setting up of a Child and Adolescent Labour Rehabilitation Fund and also requested for clarity about who will manage this Fund and how.