Since the adoption
of a National Child Labour Policy in 1987,
the Government of India has spearheaded a
major child labour elimination programme through
its flagship National Child Labour Projects
(NCLP). Thus far, 150 NCLPs have been launched
across the country to provide educational
and other rehabilitation services to children
withdrawn from hazardous industries. The programme
is supplemented by a budgetary allocation
by the Government of Rs6,020 million (about
US$131 million) during the Tenth Five-Year
Plan 2002-07 to cover 250 districts out of
a total of 601 districts during the plan period.
The national programme is complemented by
efforts aiming at universal elementary education,
whilst several major states (provincial governments)
are implementing time-bound programmes for
the elimination of child labour. India has
been participating in IPEC since 1992 and,
building on the experience, a comprehensive
and large-scale project on child labour –
INDUS – is now being implemented by
the federal and state governments, with support
from IPEC in 20 districts of four large states.
The project is co-fi nanced by the Government
of India and the United States Department
of Labor. It aims to develop an integrated
multi-sectoral approach through several components
dealing with education, training and income
generation for poor families. The project
has a strong partnership approach, involving
the social partners in particular.
CHILD LABOUR IN INDIA -
Special Reference-Construction Industry
According to the 'National Institute of Public
Cooperation and Child Development' Child Labour
is economically unsound, psychologically disastrous
and physically as well as morally dangerous
and harmful. It involves the use of labour
at its points of lowest productivity and is
there, an inefficient utilisation of labour
power. Child labour precludes the full unfoldment
of a child's potentialities. It deprives him/her
of education, training and skills which are
the necessary prerequisites of earning power
and economic development. A working child
is denied the opportunity to educate himself.
Indian Constitution Say
According to Article 24 of the Indian constitution,
"No Child below the age of 14 (fourteen)
years shall be employed to work in any factory
or mine or engaged in any other hazardous
Indian Labour Laws & Child Labour
1881 — Factory Act — below 7 years
of age not allowed to work.
1933— Factory Act — amended minimum
age for work raised to 15 yrs.
1948— Factory Act — amended again
minimum age for work reduced to 14 yrs.
1950— 'Central Minimum Wage
recommended for 4 hours duty
in a day for child labour. 1986— 'Child
Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986
— mentioned minimum working hours for
a child in a day will be 6 hours (section
7) with an interval of 1 hour after continuous
work for 3 hours.
Law breakers punishment (Section-14)
(1) Rs. 10,000/- to Rs. 20,000/- fine and
(2) One month to 12 month jail.
There is total bann on Child Labour engagement
in Building & Construction Industry as
per Section 3 of 'Child Labour (Prohibition
and Regulation) Act 1986'
Section 12 of 'Building and Other Construction
Workers' (Regulation of Employment and Conditions
of Service) Act 1996.
There are some other Labour Laws which
deal about child labour besides the Acts mentioned
1) Beedi and Cigar Workers (Conditions of
Employment) Act, 1966.
2) Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act, 1976.
3) Minimum wages Act, 1948.
4) Plantations Labour Act, 1991 5) Mines Act,
Extent of Child Labour in India
As per census report
1971— 1.07 crores (5-14 yrs child)
1981 — 1.36 crores (5-14 yrs child)
1991 —1.70 crores (5-14 yrs child)
2001 — 2.05 crores (5-14 Yrs child)
But as per other sources the total child labour
in different industries and service sector
is about 5 crores in our country.
In Construction Industry in India about 4-7
lakh child labour engaged in work. They are
in unskilled manual job. These child labour
used to move from one place to another along
with their parents.
Participation rates of total male, female
children in school, labour force-See chart
As per Global Report on Child Labour
In 2004 there were 218 million child labourers
globally fell by 11% in the last four years,
while that of children in hazardous work decreased
Causes of Child Labour in India
1. Poverty and unemployment.
2. No land reform in most of the states.
3. Unequal distribution of Assets;
4. Non implementation of Government declared
5. Non extention of existing social security
benefits as per laws of the land;
6. The low literacy levels of adults;
7. The legacy of the Zamindari system and
prevalance of bonded labour;
8. General acceptance of the society in engagment
of child labour.
Child labour— Nature of Job
In building & construction industry these
child labour used to do the following type
a. earth cutting,
b. bucket carrying,
c. brick stacking,
d. brick loading and unloading,
e. helper to Mason, Carpenter, Painter, Plumber,
f. helper to cook for preparing food at the
g. Prepare tea and supply,
h. Operation of water pump etc.
Benefits (1) extended to these Child
Practically speaking these child labourers
are not getting Govt. declared minimum wage,
other statutory benefits as they are under
18 years of age.
These Labour did not get opportunities for
sports & recreation and primary education
The girld child labours are sometimes in some
projects become victim of sexual harrassment.
In some states these child labour when moved
along with their parents from one district
to another one state to another they are being
Government Role Against Child Labour
The National Policy on child labour
envisages the focusing of different
development and welfare programmes under project
based plans of action (National child labour
project or NCLPS) in areas with high concentration
of child labour. NCLP work covered 133 child
labour endemic districts covering 13 States.
A National Authority for the Elimination
of child Labour has already been constituted
by the Govt. of India to facilitate coordination
and convergence of poverty alleviation health
and education programme targeting child Labour
December 1996 Supreme Court Judgement
directing the Union and State Govts.
to indentify all child labourers working in
hazardous processes and occupation withdraw
them from work and provide them with quality
education. Employers engaging children in
hazardous industries are required to pay Rs.
20,000.00 to a child labour welfare-cum-Rehabilitation
Fund for each child worker found employed.
The State Govt. is required to provide employment
to an adult member of the child Labourer's
failing which it must contribute Rs. 5000.00
to the welfare fund.
Inspite of this judgement and GOI policy dicisions
the problem of child labour not reduced.
Role of the Employer
Specially I like to refer here the attitude
of thousands of small & medium size contractors
are not positive in accordance with GOI policy
declaration for eradication of child Labour.
The Labour suppliers are used to supply child
labour along with other adult workers in earth
cutting, site leveling and masonary work.
You will find child labour in all the big
construction projects at the initial stage.
Role of the Unions
CITU and our Federation took this issue with
due importance and campaign all over India
alone and through ILO-IPEC campaign programme
as follows -
1. Industry level, State level, National level
2. Organise media campaign by video films,
audio cassattes, Street plays;
3. Issue Leaflet and posters in regional languages;
4. Parliament March with mass signature Campaign;
ILO Global Goal and Targets ( finalised
in 95th Session in 2006)
The action plan proposes that ILO and its
member states continue to persue the goal
of effective abolition of Child labour by
committing themselves to the elimination
of all worst forms of child labour by 2016.
To this effect, all member states would, in
accordance with Convention No. 182, design
and put in place appropriate time-bound measures
by the end of 2008.
The proposed action plan rests on
1. Supporting national responses to child
labour, in particular through more effective
of child labour concerns in national development
and policy frame
2.deepening and strengthening the world-wide
movement as a catalyst; and
3.promoting further integration of child labour
concern within overall ILO priorities.
Click on the link to view the Tables:
1A , Table