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Karnataka tops in child labour prosecution

Karnataka tops in child labour prosecution

Context:

Ninety-nine cases of prosecution were recorded in 2017 in Karnataka under the Child Labour (Prohibition & Regulation) Act, making the State number one when it comes to prosecutions.

Facts:

  • Karnataka is followed by Jharkhand at 86 in 2017. The number of prosecutions in Karnataka was 70 and 65 in 2016 and 2015, respectively
  • The number cases recorded in other States are: Gujarat – 34, Haryana – 4, Himachal Pradesh – 1, Jammu and Kashmir – 8, Kerala – 2, Madhya Pradesh – 48, Odisha – 64, Punjab – 81, and Tamil Nadu – 1. In the country, 428 cases of prosecution were recorded in 2017, while the number was 1,567 in 2016 and 2,471 in 2015.

Background:

  • After strengthening the legislative framework through amendment to the Child Labour Act, the Union government has framed the Child Labour (Prohibition & Regulation) Amendment Rules, 2017 which ensures effective enforcement of the provisions of the Act.
  • As per the 2011 Census, the number of main workers in the age group of 5 to 14 years in the country is 43.53 lakh, down from 57.79 lakh as per the 2001 Census.

Who is child?

As per the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986, amended in 2016 ("CLPR Act"), a "Child" is defined as any person below the age of 14 and the CLPR Act prohibits employment of a Child in any employment including as a domestic help. It is a cognizable criminal offence to employ a Child for any work. 

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