The Government of India is committed for eradication of child labour from the country. The Government has amended the Child Labour (Prohibition & Regulation) Act, 1986 and enacted the Child Labour (Prohibition & Regulation) Amendment Act, 2016 which came into force with effect from 1.9.2016. The Amendment Act, inter-alia, provides for complete prohibition of work or employment of children below 14 years of age in any occupation and process and prohibition of adolescents in the age group of 14 to 18 years in hazardous occupations and processes. The Amendment Act also provides for stricter punishment for employers for violation of the Act and has made the offence as cognizable.
After strengthening the legislative framework through amendment in Child Labour Act, the Government has also framed the Child Labour (Prohibition & Regulation) Amendment Rules, 2017 which, inter-alia, specifies the duties and responsibilities of State Governments and District Authorities to ensure effective enforcement of the provisions of the Act. The Government has also devised a Standard Operating Procedure as a ready reckoner for trainers, practitioners and enforcing and monitoring agencies.
The Ministry of Labour and Employment is also implementing the National Child Labour Project (NCLP) Scheme since 1988 for rehabilitation of child labourers. Under the NCLP, the children in the age group of 9-14 years are rescued/withdrawn from work and enrolled in the NCLP Special Training Centres, where they are provided with bridge education, vocational training, mid-day meal, stipend, health care, etc. before being mainstreamed into formal education system. The children in the age group of 5-8 years are directly linked to the formal education system through a close coordination with the SarvaShikshaAbhiyan.
The Scheme is regularly monitored and evaluated by the Chairman, Project Director of the Society, District Nodal Officer, Labour Commissioner and Ministry of Labour and Employment.
To ensure the effective enforcement of the provisions of the Child Labour Act and smooth implementation of NCLP Scheme, a dedicated online portal named PENCIL (Platform for Effective Enforcement for No Child Labour) is developed in order to make the NCLP successful through better monitoring and implementation. The Portal connects Central Government to State Government(s), District(s), all Project Societies and the general public.
As per the information received from the States/UTs, the total number of children rescued from child labour, rehabilitated and mainstreamed to formal education system, during the last five years is given below:
No. of children
2019-20 (till December,2020)
During the current year (2019-20), budgetary provision (Revised Estimate) of Rs. 78.00 crore has been made for the Central Sector Scheme – National Child Labour Project, which aims at rehabilitation of children rescued/withdrawn from work.
Social Security Fund (SSF) is being maintained with Life Insurance Corporation of India and meant for providing only share of Central Government’s contribution in respect of converged PradhanMantriJeevanJyotiBimaYojana (PMJJBY) and PradhanMantriSurakshaBimaYojana (PMSBY) schemes.
This information was given by Shri Santosh Kumar Gangwar Union Minister of State (I/C) for Labour and Employment in written reply to a question in Lok Sabha today.