May 28, 2024


It is usually believed that children are near to God. They are regarded as bearers of joy, happiness, and hope wherever they travel. Children are the future of this country, as they are without a doubt the first to shape any nation’s destiny. A country’s performance in the future will be reflected in how well it treats its children and provides for their basic needs. It is the nation’s moral obligation to safeguard every child’s childhood.

In India, child labour is still a major issue that poses significant barriers to the country’s advancement in society. Even in a nation with strong legal frameworks aimed at banning child labor, the practice persists on account of a number of socioeconomic issues.

what is child labour?

  • Work done by a child that could violate their right to an education or be detrimental to their physical, mental, spiritual, moral, or social development is referred to as “child labour.”
  • Any labour performed by minors under the age of fifteen is prohibited, as is any hazardous work performed by minors under the age of eighteen.

child labour

child labour in india

causes of child labour

  • Lack of Resources: The primary source of this problem in India is poverty. Youngsters from low-income homes frequently need to labor to support their families financially. They can be employed in the unorganized sector, on farms, or in manufacturing.
  • Inability to Get High-Quality Education: In India, a large number of children lack access to quality education. Children who lack access to high-quality education are more likely to choose to work over attending school.
  • Growth of the Informal Sector: Small companies and independent contractors comprise the informal sector. They are frequently employed in the informal economy since it is challenging to enforce rules against underage labor in this sector.
  • Absence of Knowledge: The negative effects of this problem on one’s body, mind, and psyche are not well known to most parents.

problem of child labour

  • Health Risks: Children are exposed to dangerous working conditions, emotional and physical abuse, and extended labor hours, all of which increase their risk of disease, injury, and developmental problems.
  • Lack of Education: Children who work are frequently deprived of an education, which results in a deficiency in basic literacy, restricts their prospects in the future, and keeps them trapped in a cycle of poverty.
  • Stunted Development: It interferes with a child’s ability to grow normally in all areas, physically, cognitively, and emotionally, by denying them opportunities for play, social contact, and emotional well-being.
  • Social Disintegration: When children are pushed to work rather than receive the care and education they need, it throws off the dynamics of the family and the community. Intergenerational poverty and the disintegration of social systems may result from this.

Important child labour laws in india

  • The Minimum Wages Act of 1948 establishes the minimum wages that all workers, including child laborers, must receive from the State Government. The wages of workers were set by the government based on their class and type of labor.
  • The Plantation Labour Act of 1951 forbade the employment of minors under the age of twelve. However, children over the age of twelve may be employed provided they have a fitness certificate from the designated physician.
  • The Mines Act of 1952 states that no kid shall be employed for mining activities or be present in areas where mining is taking place.
  • The Apprentices Act of 1961 states that a kid is not eligible to participate in an apprenticeship program until he or she turns 14 and passes a physical fitness exam.
  • According to the Indian Factories Act of 1948, no child under the age of 14 is allowed to work in a factory. A factory must also abide by certain regulations if it hires pre-adults who are between the ages of 15 and 18.
  • As per the Prohibiting and Regulating Child Labour Act 1986, a child under the age of 14 is not allowed to work in any dangerous occupation that is listed by law.
  • Under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection) of Children Act, 2000 there are consequences for anyone who uses a child as a bond laborer or employs them in dangerous labour.
  • Under the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act of 2009, every child under the age of 14 must have access to free and compulsory schooling. In reality, in order to effectively implement this Act, every private school has set aside 25% of its seats for students from underprivileged backgrounds and students with physical disabilities.

child labour act

Under the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Amendment Act, 2016, it is illegal for children under the age of 14 to work in 18 professions and 65 procedures that pose a risk to their health and well-being.

1ImprisonmentMinimum- 3 Months Maximum- 1 YearMinimum- 6 Months Maximum- 2 Years
2FineMinimum- 10,000 rupees Maximum- 20,000 rupeesMinimum- 20,000 rupees Maximum- 50,000 rupees
3Repeated OffencesMinimum- 6 Months Maximum- 2 YearsMinimum- 1 Year Maximum- 3 Years


A detailed and well-coordinated child labour law implementation is required to address child labour in India. It is crucial to strengthen the legal system by mandating that current laws be strictly followed and that offenders face harsh penalties. To achieve universal education, families must be encouraged to prioritize education over child labour and work to improve infrastructure. Programs for targeted social protection are required to ensure that families in need of food, healthcare, and support with their livelihoods receive it. 

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