A recent study reveals that a child below the age of 15 in the entertainment industry in India, works for more than 12 hours a day.
- The report titled ‘Child Artists in India’ by Child Rights and You, a non-governmental organisation, highlights that casting agencies are violating the Child and Adolescent Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act (CALPRA) that prohibits engagement of children in all occupations.
- While it is clearly mentioned in CALPRA, 1986, that no child shall be allowed to work for more than five hours in a day, and for not more than three hours without rest. The study has found that the work shift stretches to 12-13 hours for six days a week by production houses because guardians often do not interfere in the scheduling.
- The provisions of CALPRA also state, at least 20% of the income earned by the child from the production or event is to be directly deposited in a fixed deposit account in a nationalised bank in the name of the child which may be credited to her/him on attaining majority. However, the study states the money is being utilised completely on the families.
What is Child Labour?
- The term “child labour” is often defined as work that deprives children of their childhood, their potential and their dignity, and that is harmful to their physical and mental development.
- Whether or not particular forms of “work” can be called “child labour” depends on the child’s age, the type and hours of work performed ad the conditions under which it is performed. This definition varies from country to country.
Child Labour in India –
- There are around 12.9 million children in India, engaged in work between the ages of 7 to 17 years old.
- Rural India has the highest percentage of child labour, accounting to 80% of the total burden in India.
- The highest number of child labourers work in Uttar Pradesh.
- Apart from industrial and agricultural tasks, many are made to work as maids, baby sitters by the privileged.
About the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Amendment Act, 2016 –
- The Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Amendment Act, 2016 amended the original Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act of 1986.
- The Amendment Act provides for complete prohibition on employment or work of children below 14 years and also prohibits employment of adolescents (14-18 years) in hazardous occupations and processes.
- A child is permitted to work only to help family, in family enterprise or as child artist after school hours or during vacations.
- The offences under the Act have now been made compoundable and cognizable notwithstanding the provisions of the Criminal Procedure Code.
- It provides for setting up of the Child and Adolescent Labour Rehabilitation Fund in which all the amounts of penalty have to be realised.
- After strengthening the legislative framework through amendment in Child Labour Act, Government has framed the Child Labour (Prohibition & Regulation) Amendment Rules, 2017.
- The Child Labour (Prohibition & Regulation) Amendment Rules, 2017 specifies the duties and responsibilities of State Governments and District Authorities to ensure effective enforcement of the provisions of the Act.