[op-ed snap] No time to work

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[op-ed snap] No time to work


Mains Paper 2: Governance | Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.

From UPSC perspective, following things are important:

Prelims level: Particulars of the Child Labour Act and the ILO

Mains level: It is an important topic for Mains Paper 2. Child labour is a hot topic for questions on Human Rights. (Read attached story for more details on the topic)



  1. The article is about the recent ratification of two key global conventions(by India) to keep children away from work
  2. These conventions were originally adopted by the International Labour Organisation

Target of ILO Treaties

  1. The ILO treaties are about the minimum age at which a person may begin work and the hazardous industries where a child should not work

What do the ILO says?

  1. Conventions 138 and 182 of the ILO leave it to the member-states to determine what constitutes acceptable or unacceptable work for children at different ages

 Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Amendment Act, 2016 of India

  1. The Act contains the controversial provision that accepts the employment of children below 14 years under the rubric of family enterprises and the declassification of several industries as hazardous occupations

Why is protection of vulnerable children from exploitation a difficult task?

  1. Because in India, 90% of the workforce is outside the ambit of organised sector

Small concessions in Child labour amendment act

  1. The rules notified by the Ministry of Labour and Employment for the enforcement of the 2016 amendment include some small concessions
  2. Children may work in domestic enterprises only for three hours after school, and not between 7 p.m. and 8 a.m
  3. These restrictions are intended to ensure attendance at school

The way forward

  1. Scenario of unlawful child labour is unlikely to improve in the absence of a vibrant mechanism of collective bargaining among stakeholders
  2. Without this, the total elimination of child labour will remain a difficult task


The Child and Adolescent Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act of 1986

  1. The Act prohibits the employment of children below the age of 14 years in hazardous occupations identified in a list by the law
  2. The list was expanded in 2006, and again in 2008. In 2016, the Act was amended (not in force as of 30 July 2016) to prohibit employment of child below 14 years in all occupation (except for helping in non-hazardous family business and of child artists in the entertainment industry and sports)
  3. Further, adolescents between 14–18 years will not be allowed to work in hazardous industries and processes

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