Japan Desk

July 02, 2015

Changes proposed to India's law on child labour

In a move to overhaul the existing child labour law of India and to enforce a complete ban on the employment of children, the Union Cabinet has on May 13, 2015, approved amendments to the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2012 (“Child Labour Bill”) which seeks to amend the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act 1986 (“Child Labour Act”). The current law on child labour in India prohibits the employment of children in certain specified occupations1 such as carpet weaving, soap manufacture, manufacture of explosives, gem cutting and polishing, manufacture of dyes, etc.

The objective of the proposed amendments is to ensure that:

  • education of children between the age group of 6 - 14 years is not compromised;
  • the law is brought in line with the Indian Right to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009 (“Right to Education Act”); and
  • the law is aligned with the International Labour Organization standards.

The Child Labour Act once amended by the Child Labour Bill will be titled the ‘Child and Adolescent Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986’ to reflect the expanded scope of the statute. For the Child Labour Bill to become law, it will have to be passed by both the houses of the Parliament and receive the assent of the President of India.The important amendments proposed under the Child Labour Bill (as amended by the Union Cabinet) include:

1. Definition of ‘child’: The Child Labour Bill proposes to sync the law on child labour with the Right to Education Act by amending the definition of ‘child’ to mean a person who has not completed 14 years of age or such age as specified under the Right to Education Act, whichever is higher.

2. Definition of ‘adolescent’ introduced: ‘Adolescent’ has been defined to mean a person who has completed 14 years of age but not completed 18 years of age.

3. Prohibition of child labour: The Child Labour Bill envisages a complete ban on employing children, except in the following two cases, wherein:

  • Children are helping in their family or family enterprise(s) provided that (i) such enterprise is not involved in hazardous processes and (ii) the work is carried out after school hours or during vacations.
  • Children are working in the audio-visual entertainment industry including advertisement, films, television serials or any such other entertainment or sports activities except circus subject to (i) compliance with prescribed conditions and adoption of safety measures, and (ii) the work does not affect the school education of the child.

4. Prohibition on employment of adolescents: New provision prohibiting employment of adolescents in hazardous occupations and processes has been introduced.

5. Child labour to be made a cognizable offence: Offence of employing a child or adolescent in contravention of the law by an employer is proposed to be made a cognizable offence. Accordingly, the authorities can file a first information report and commence investigations into the offence without a court order and can arrest without a warrant.

6. Punishments for contravention: While significant increase in the punishment for employers has been proposed, the punishment for parents / guardians is proposed to be relaxed. As per the Child Labour Bill, there shall not be any punishment in case of a first offence by parents/guardians. In case of a second and subsequent offence, the penalty prescribed is a maximum fine of Rs. 10,000 (approx. USD 150).

7. Constitution of Child and Adolescent Labour Rehabilitation Fund: A special fund proposed to be created for rehabilitation of rescued children and adolescents.

However, please note that the above is only a proposal and will be effective as law once it is passed by both the houses of the Parliament and receives the assent of the President of India. We shall keep you informed on all updates in relation to the same.


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1 18 occupations and 65 processes laid down under Part A and Part B of the Schedule to the Child Labour Act 




  • 6歳から14歳の児童の教育が妨げられることがない
  • 同法が2009年無償の義務教育を受けるインド人の権利法(「義務教育の権利法」)と調和する
  • 同法が国際労働機関(ILO)の基準に一致する


1. 「児童」の定義:「児童」の定義を14歳未満の個人または義務教育の権利法において定められた年齢のいずれか年齢の高いほうと修正することで、児童労働法案は児童労働に関する法令と義務教育の権利法の歩調を合わせることを提案する。

2. 「青少年」の定義の導入: 「青少年」は14歳以上18歳未満の個人と定義される。

3. 児童労働の禁止:児童労働法案は以下の2つの場合を除いて児童の雇用の完全禁止を想定する。

  • 児童が家庭内で家事を手伝うまたは家業を手伝う場合。家業を手伝う場合、(i) その家業が有害な危険行程を伴わないこと、(ii)作業が放課後または休校中に行われることが条件となる。
  • 児童が広告、映画、テレビ番組及びその他娯楽、またはサーカスを除くスポーツ活動を含む視聴覚娯楽産業に従事する場合。(i) 前提条件と安全措置の適用順守、(ii) 児童の教育に影響を及ぼさない仕事であることが条件となる。

4. 青少年の雇用の禁止:有害で危険な職種と作業工程における青少年の雇用を禁止する新たな対策が導入された。

5. 児童労働を違法行為(cognizable offence)とする:児童または青少年を雇用するという雇用主による違反を違法行為(cognizable offence)とすることを提案する。したがって、当局は初期調書を作成し、裁判所命令を待つことなく違反についての調査を開始し、令状無しで逮捕することができる。

6. 違反に対する処罰:雇用主に対する処罰の著しい強化が提案される一方、親や保護者に対する処罰の緩和が提案される。児童労働法により、親や保護者が初犯である場合は処罰対象とはならない。2度以上の再犯の場合の処罰は、最高10,000ルピー(約150米ドル)の罰金である。

7. 児童と青少年の労働リハビリテーション基金の設立:救助された児童と青少年のリハビリテーションのための特別基金設立が提案されている。





1 18の職種と65の作業工程が児童労働法の別表パートAとパートBに規定されている

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