Amendment of Child Labour Act 2016

The Act came into force to amend the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986. It prohibits “the engagement of children in all occupations and of adolescents in hazardous occupations and processes” wherein adolescents refers to those under 18 years; children to those under 14. 

Insertion of new section 3A: 

No adolescent shall be employed or permitted to work in any of the hazardous occupations or processes set forth in the Schedule: Provided that the Central Government may, by notification, specify the nature of the non-hazardous work to which an adolescent may be permitted to work under this Act. 

Substitution of the Schedule by the new Schedule 

THE SCHEDULE (See section 3A) 

  1. Mines.  
  1. Inflammable substances or explosives.  
  1. Hazardous process.  

Explanation —For the purposes of this Schedule, “hazardous process” has the meaning assigned to it in clause (cb) of the Factories Act, 1948.’. 

The above list has replaced a list of 18 hazardous occupations and 65 hazardous processes in the earlier schedule. 

Amendment in section 14: Substitution of term “child” by “adolescent”  

Section 14 which enumerates the punishment/fine for the person employing children is now, thus, applicable only to adolescent. 

Adolescent is defined as “a person who has completed his fourteenth year of age but has not completed his eighteenth year” while child is defined as “a person who has not completed his fourteenth year of age or such age as may be specified in the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009, whichever is more” by this law.  

Insertion of section 14A, 14B, 14C and 14D 

  • 14A makes any offence committed by an employer and punishable under section 3 or section 3A shall be cognizable 
  • 14B outlines the creation of Child and Adolescent Labour Rehabilitation Fund by the appropriate government, in every district or for two or more districts, to credit the realised fine. In addition, he appropriate Government shall credit an amount of fifteen thousand Rupees for each child/adolescent for whom the fine amount has been credited. Interest would accrue on both the above amounts. 
  • 14C states that “The child or adolescent, who is employed in contravention of the provisions of this Act and rescued, shall be rehabilitated in accordance with the laws for the time being in force.” 
  • 14D provides exclusive power to the District Magistrate whereby he may, on the application of the accused person, compound any offence committed for the first time by him and lists down related processes. 

Insertion of new sections 17A and 17B 

17A lists the powers and duties of a District Magistrate to implement the provisions of this Act 

17B delegates the duty, to the appropriate Government, to ensure periodic inspection of the places at which the employment of children is prohibited and hazardous occupations or processes are carried out 

Amendment of section 18 (Sub section 2) 

  • Term “Child Labour Technical Advisory Committee” is substituted by “Technical Advisory Committee 
  • 3 clauses added 
  1. the manner of payment of amount to the child or adolescent under sub-section (4) of section 14B 
  1. the manner of composition of the offence and payment of amount to the appropriate Government under sub-section (1) of section section 14D 
  1. the powers to be exercised and the duties to be performed by the officer specified and the local limits within which such powers or duties shall be carried out under section 17A.