The Lok Sabha has passed the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2016, despite several MPs opposing the same.
Rajya Sabha had passed the the Bill on July 19, after which it was put on a clause by clause vote in the Lok Sabha followed a five hour long discussion in which 37 MPs spoke with several, including BJP MP Varun Gandhi who vehemently opposed many of its clauses.
The Bill soughts to amend Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986, which prohibits the employment of children younger than 14 in 83 hazardous occupations and processes. The amendment also extends the ban on employment of the children under 14 years of age across all sectors, prohibits the employment of adolescents aged 14-18 years in hazardous occupations and introduces more stringent jail term and fines for offenders: a jail term of six months to two years and a fine of Rs 20,000 to Rs 50,000.
Several MPs have objected to the bill mainly on the grounds that children under 14 years will be allowed to work in family businesses, outside of school hours and during holidays, and in entertainment and sports. They have further objected that definition of family not only includes parents but also siblings of either parent.
UNICEF and various other Child Right activists, have raised their concerns regarding the provisions of the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2016 passed in Parliament on Tuesday which allow children under 14 years will be allowed to work in family businesses, outside of school hours and during holidays, and in entertainment and sports.