Parents’ role in Child Protection

Children are our Nation’s most precious resource, but as children, they often lack the skills to protect themselves. It is our responsibility, as parents and responsible citizens, to safeguard children and to teach them the skills to be safe.

Every home and school should teach children about safety and protection measures. As a parent, you should take an active interest in your children and listen to them. Teach your children that they can be assertive in order to protect themselves against abduction and exploitation. And most importantly, make your home a place of trust and support that fulfills your child’s needs. Together we can protect our future generation by teaching them to be smart, strong, and safe.

Tips for discussing child safety

  • A parent is the best person to teach a child about personal safety.
  • Inculcate in your child effective personal safety skills, Smart Thinking and strong character.
  • Age and maturity matter. There is no perfect age when parents should begin teaching children about personal safety. A child’s ability to comprehend and practice safety skills is affected by age, educational, and developmental levels.
  • LISTEN to your children. Know your children’s daily activities and habits. Listen to what they like and what they don’t like. Encourage open communication. Let your children know they can talk to you about any situation. Reassure your children that their safety is your #1 concern.
  • TEACH your children. Set boundaries about places they may go, people they may see, and things they may do. Reinforce the importance of the “buddy system.” It’s OK to say NO – tell your children to trust their instincts.
  • Get INVOLVED Know where your children are at times. Your children should check in with you if there is a change in plans.
  • There is no substitute for your attention and supervision PRACTICE safety skills with your child. Rehearse safety skills so that they become second nature.

Tips for parents to help their children stay safe

Safety at Home

  • Children should have a trusted adult to call if they’re scared or have an emergency.
  • Choose caregiver/nanny with care. Obtain references from family, friends, and neighbours. Once you have chosen the caregiver, drop in unexpectedly to see how your children are doing. Ask your children how the experience with the caregiver was, and listen carefully to their responses.

Safety in the Neighbourhood

  • Make a list with your children of their neighbourhood boundaries, choosing significant landmarks.
  • Interact regularly with your neighbours. Tell your children whose homes they are allowed to visit.
  • Don’t drop your children off alone at fair, market places, railway stations, bus stands or parks.
  • Teach your children that adults should not approach children for help or directions. Tell your children that if they are approached by an adult, they should stay alert because this may be a “trick.”
  • Never leave children unattended in an automobile. Children should never hitchhike or approach a car when they don’t know and trust the driver.
  • Children should never go anywhere with anyone without getting your permission first.
  • Children should never go anywhere with anyone without getting your permission first.

Safety at School

  • Be careful when you put your child’s name on clothing, backpacks, lunch boxes or bicycle license plates. If a child’s name is visible, it may put them on a “first name” basis with an abductor.
  • Walk the route to and from school with your children, pointing out landmarks and safe places to go if they’re being followed or need help. Make a map with your children showing acceptable routes to school, using main roads and avoiding shortcuts or isolated areas. If your children take a bus, visit the bus stop with them and make sure they know which bus to take.

What to do in an emergency

Precautionary Measures: Necessary Materials

  • Keep a complete description of your child.
  • Take colour photographs of your child every six months.
  • Keep copies of your child’s fingerprints.
  • Keep a sample of your child’s DNA.
  • Know where your child’s medical records are located.
  • Have your dentist prepare and maintain dental charts for your child.

What You Should Do In Case Your Child Is Missing

  • Immediately report your child missing to your local law enforcement agency. Dial 100 to contact Police.
  • Limit access to your home until law enforcement arrives and has the opportunity to collect possible evidence.
  • Give law enforcement investigators all information you have on your child including fingerprints, photographs, complete description and the facts and circumstances related to the disappearance.

What you should do if your child is lost

  • Get Help, Contact Friends and Relatives.
  • Look in places where child hides. Think, where can he/she go.
  • Dial 100 for Police Emergency line and Dial 1098 – 24 hour for Child Help line.
  • Phone Phanchayat/Ward Representative
  • Click Here to post details on the National Tracking system for missing and vulnerable children website.

Source : National Tracking System for Missing and Vulnerable Children

Children’s role in Child Protection

Rules for younger children

  • I KNOW my name, address, telephone number, and my parents’ names.
  • I always CHECK FIRST with my parents or the person in charge. I tell them before I go anywhere or get into a car, even with someone I know.
  • I always CHECK FIRST with my parents or a trusted adult before I accept anything from anyone, even from someone I know.
  • I always TAKE A FRIEND with me when I go places or play outside.
  • I SAY NO if someone tries to touch me or treat me in a way that makes me feel scared, uncomfortable, or confused.
  • It’s OK to SAY NO, and I KNOW that there will always be someone who can help me.
  • I KNOW that I can TELL my parents or a trusted adult if I feel scared, uncomfortable, or confused.
  • I am STRONG, SMART, and have the right to be SAFE.

Rules for older children

  • DON’T GO OUT ALONE. There is safety in numbers. This rule isn’t just for little kids, it applies to teens, too.
  • ALWAYS TELL AN ADULT WHERE YOU’RE GOING. Letting someone know where you’ll be at all times is smart. If you’re faced with a risky situation or get into trouble, your family and friends will know where to find you.
  • SAY NO IF YOU FEEL THREATENED.If someone — anyone — touches you in a way that makes you feel uncomfortable, you have the right to say no. Whether it is pressure about sex, drugs, or doing something that you know is wrong, be strong and stand your ground.

What you can do at school

  • lways TAKE A FRIEND when walking or riding your bike to and from school. Stay with a group while waiting at the bus stop. It’s safer and more fun to be with your friends.
  • If an adult approaches you for help or directions, remember grownups needing help should not ask children for help; they should ask other adults.
  • If someone you don’t know or feel comfortable with offers you a ride, say NO .
  • If someone follows you, get away from him or her as quickly as you can. Always be sure to TELL your parents or a trusted adult what happened.
  • If someone tries to take you somewhere, quickly get away and yell, “This person is trying to take me away!” or “This person is not my father (mother)!”
  • If you want to change your plans after school, always CHECK FIRST with your parents. Never play in parks, malls, or video arcades by yourself.
  • If you go home alone after school, check to see that everything is okay before you go in. Once inside, call your parents to let them know that you are okay.
  • Trust your feelings. If someone makes you feel scared or uncomfortable, get away as fast as you can and TELL a trusted adult.

Source : National Tracking System for Missing and Vulnerable Children

Child Protection and the Law

Child Protection – Legal Perspective

Children have the right to be protected from all exploitative and vulnerable situations that have been discussed.  But that is possible only if you make yourself aware of the real problems and risks that children face and of the remedies that are available in law and policy to change the situation in the best interest of children.

A child may need legal help and protection. Resisting legal action when a child needs it the most is a common mistake all of us often tend to make.

What is important?

Ask yourself – Should fear of disapproval or reprimand by family/community/society/the powerful lobby become more important than social justice?

In 2003, five girls from a village in District Karnal managed to stop sale of two minors into marriage. Once they had made up their mind to stop the marriage and the implicit sale their school teacher helped them take necessary steps for legal action. There was immense resistance from the families of the prospective bride and the groom, from the village elders, the entire community. The girls also received threats and their own families tried to stop them from taking such a step. Initially the police too did not come forward to help and book the erring persons. When everything else failed, the school teacher sought help from the local media to write about it. Finally the police was forced to stop the marriage and book the culprits. These five girls received the National Bravery Award for their exemplary courage and fight against all odds. The role of the school teacher was very critical in this case as without his help it would not have been possible for the girls to take the community to task. In fact, the teacher had risked not only his career but also his life in the process. But the quest for justice and commitment to child protection guided his action.

You can perhaps facilitate the process of legal action by taking some of the following steps:

  • Inform the police or the child line.
  • Ensure that the child line provides counselling and legal services to the child.
  • Mobilise community support.
  • Report to the Press only as your last resort.
  • Know your law.

It is important to know the basic law and understand the rights they protect. Only if you understand rights and legal protection available will you be able to convince a child or her/his parent(s)/guardian(s) or the community for legal action. Sometimes the police/administration can also turn out to be difficult. Knowing your law can empower you to deal with them better.

Sex – Selective abortion, Female foeticide and infanticide

The main law for prosecuting persons who are engaging in sex selective abortion is the Pre-conception and Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act, 1994. The offences under the Act include the following.

  • Conducting or associating or helping in the conduct of PND techniques/tests in an un-registered unit
  • Sex selection on a woman or a man or both or on any tissue, embryo, conceptus fluid or gametes derived from either or both of them
  • Taking the services of an un-qualified person, whether on honorary or payment basis.
  • Conducting a PND test for any purpose other than those mentioned as permissible in the Act.
  • Sale, distribution, supply, renting, allowance or authorization of use of any ultrasound machine or any other equipment capable of detecting sex of a foetus to non-registered units.
  • Advertisement or communication in any from in print, electronic media or internet by units, medical professionals or companies on the availability of sex determination and sex selection in the form of services, medicines, or any kind of techniques, methods or ayurvedic medicines.

Apart from this law, the following sections from the Indian Penal Code, 1860 are also important.

  • When death is caused by a person (Section 299 and Section 300).
  • Voluntarily cause a pregnant woman to miscarry the unborn baby (Section 312).
  • Act done with intent to prevent a child being born alive or to cause it to die after birth (Section 315).
  • Causing death of an unborn child (Section 316).
  • Exposing and abandoning of a child below 12 years (Section 317).
  • Concealing the birth of a child by secretly disposing her/his body (Section 318).

The punishment for these offences extends from two years up to life imprisonment, or fine or both.

Child Marriage

  • Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006 envisages preventing child marriages with enhanced punishments of rigorous imprisonment for two years and/or fine of INR 1 lakh.
  • It defines a child to mean a male below 21 years and female below 18 years. A minor is defined as a person who has not attained the age of majority as per the Majority Act.
  • There are provisions for maintenance of the girl child. The husband is liable to pay the maintenance in case he is a major. In case the husband is a minor, his parents would be liable to pay the maintenance.
  • The legal status of a child marriage is voidable at the option of the parties. However, if the consent is obtained by fraud, deceit or if the child is enticed away from his lawful guardians and if the sole purpose is to use the child for trafficking or other immoral purposes, the marriage would be void.
  • The Act also provides for the appointment of a Child Marriage Prohibition officer whose duties are to prevent child marriages and spread awareness regarding the same.

Child Labour

Children (Pledging of Labour) Act, 1933 declares any agreement by a parent or guardian to pledge the labour of a child below 15 years of age for payment or benefit other than reasonable wages, illegal and void. It also provides punishment for such parent or guardian as well as those who employ a child whose labour is pledged.

Article 24 enshrined in the Fundamental Rights and the Directive Principles of State Policy, lays down that no child below the age of 14 years shall be employed to work in any factory or mine or engaged in any other hazardous employment.

The Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act, 1976 prohibits forcing a person into bonded labour for debt repayment. The act extinguishes all debt agreements and obligations. It prohibits creation of any new bondage agreement and discharges bonded labourers from all debts for which they were bonded. Compelling a person to render bonded labour is punishable under the law. This includes punishment for parents who pledge their child or other family members to work as a bonded labourer.
The Child Labour (Prohibition & Regulation) Act (CLPR Act) 1986 prohibits employment of a child in 18 occupations and 65 processes and regulates the conditions of working of children in other occupations/ processes. As per this Act a child means any person who has not completed 14 years of age. The Act provides punishment for the offence of employing or permitting employment of any child in contravention of the provisions of this Act.
List of other labour laws that prohibit child labour and/or regulate working conditions for child labourers and can be used to book the employers is as follows:
• The Factories Act, 1948.
• The Plantation Labour Act, 1951.
• The Mines Act, 1952.
• The Merchant Shipping Act, 1958.
• The Apprentices Act, 1961.
• The Motor Transport Workers Act, 1961.
• The Beedi and Cigar Workers (Conditions of Employment) Act, 1966.
• The W.B. Shops & Establishment Act, 1963.

Child Trafficking

The legal framework available for dealing with a case against child trafficking is as follows:

  • The Indian Penal Code 1860 – The IPC punishes cheating, fraud, kidnapping, wrongful confinement, criminal intimidation, procuring minors, buying and selling of minors for immoral purposes.

Special and Local Laws that can be used to book particular forms and purposes of trafficking include:

  • Andhra Pradesh Devadasi’s (Prohibition of Dedication) Act, 1988 or Karnataka Devadasi (Prohibition of Dedication) Act, 1982
  • Bombay Prevention of Begging Act, 1959.
  • Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act, 1976.
  • Child Labour Prohibition & Regulation Act, 1986.
  • Child Marriage Restraint Act, 1929.
  • Guardian ship and Wards Act, 1890.
  • Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act, 1956.
  • Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1986.
  • Information Technology Act, 2000.
  • Prevention of Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1988.
  • Schedule Caste and Schedule Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.
  • Transplantation of Human Organ Act, 1994.


While a specific law to protect the rights of HIV positive people is in the process of being formulated, there are certain basic rights that the Constitution of India guarantees to all citizens and stand applicable even if a person if HIV positive. These are:

  • Right to Informed Consent – Consent has to be free. It should not be obtained by coercion, mistake, fraud, undue influence or misrepresentation.
    Consent also needs to be informed. This is particularly important in a doctor- patient relationship. The doctor knows more and is trusted by the patient. Before any medical procedure, a doctor is supposed to inform the patient of the risks involved and the alternatives available so the person can make an informed decision to undertake the procedure or not.
    The implications of HIV are very different from most other illnesses. That’s why testing for HIV requires specific and informed consent from the person being tested. Consent to another diagnostic test cannot be taken as implied consent for an HIV test. If informed consent is not taken, the concerned person’s rights may have been violated and he/she can seek a remedy in court.
  • Right to Confidentiality – When a person tells someone in whom she/he places trust something in confidence, it is meant to be confidential. Sharing it with others thus amounts to a breach of confidentiality.
    A doctor’s primary duty is towards the patient and she/he should maintain the confidentiality of information imparted by the patient. If a person’s confidentiality is either likely to br breached or has been beached, the person has the right to go to court and sue for damages.
    People living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHAs) are often afraid to go to court to vindicate their rights for fear of their HIV status becoming public knowledge. However, they can use the tool of ‘Suppression of Identity’ whereby a person can litigate under a pseudonym (not the real name.). This beneficent strategy ensures that PLWHAs can seek justice without fear of social ostracism or discrimination.
  • Right Against Discrimination –
    • The right to equal treatment is a fundamental right. The law provides that a person may not be discriminated against on any grounds of sex, religion, caste, creed, descent or place of birth etc. either socially or professionally by a government-run or government controlled institution.
    • The right to public health is also a fundamental right – something which the state is supposed to provide to all persons. HIV positive persons seeking medical treatment or admission to a hospital cannot be rejected. If they are denied treatment, they have remedy in law.
    • Similarly, a person with HIV may not be discriminated against due to her/his positive status in an employment scenario. Termination in such a situation would give that person an opportunity to seek legal redress. Someone who is HIV positive but otherwise fit to continue the job without posing substantial risk to others cannot be terminated from employment. This has been held by the Bombay High Court in May 1997.

Corporal Punishment

There is no Central legislation in India banning corporal punishment in schools. Different States, however, have enacted laws or made policies to ban it.

States in India that have banned or upheld corporal punishment

StatesCorporal punishment (banned or upheld)Law/Policy
Tamil NaduBannedCorporal punishment was prohibited in Tamil Nadu in June 2003 through an amendment of Rule 51 of the Tamil Nadu Education Rules prohibiting the infliction of mental and physical pain during “corrective” measures.
GoaBannedThe Goa Children’s Act 2003 bans corporal punishment in Goa.
West BengalBannedIn February 2004, the Calcutta High Court ruled that caning in state schools in West Bengal was unlawful
Andhra Pradesh (Hyderabad)BannedGovernment order (GO Ms No 16) issued on February 18, 2002 imposed a ban on corporal punishment in all educational institutions, violations of which should be dealt with under the Penal Code.
DelhiBannedPetition filed by Parents Forum For Meaningful Education. The Delhi School Education Act (1973) had provision for corporal punishment that has been stuck down by Delhi High Court. In December 2000, the Delhi High Court ruled that provisions for corporal punishment in the Delhi School Education Act (1973) were inhuman and detrimental to the dignity of children.
ChandigarhBannedCorporal punishment was prohibited in Chandigarh in the 1990s.

Caste  Discrimination

The Constitution of India guarantees

  • Equality before the law and equal protection of laws to each and every person in the country (Article 14).
  • Prohibits discrimination on grounds of race, caste, sex, descent, place of birth or residence (Article 15).
  • Prohibits discrimination on grounds of race, caste, sex or place of birth in any public employment (Article 16).
  • Abolishes ‘Untouchability’ and declares practice of ‘untouchability’ in any manner whatsoever, a punishable offence (Article 17).

The first Indian law that came into force to provide for punishment for the preaching and practice of ‘Untouchability’ and for any matter connected with it was ‘The Protection of Civil Rights Act, 1955’. Even calling a scheduled caste by her/his caste name e.g. calling a ‘chamar’ a ‘chamar’ is a punishable offence under this law.

In 1989, the Government of India enacted ‘The Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act’, which recognises various kinds of acts of violence and discrimination inflicted upon the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes by Non-Scheduled Castes and Non-Scheduled Tribes as punishable offences. It also provides for establishment of Special Courts at district level to try the offences under this Act, appointment of Special Public Prosecutors for the purpose of conducting cases in Special Courts, and imposition of collective fine by the State.

Street and Runaway Children

Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection) Act 2015 – The JJ Act, 2015 provides for strengthened provisions for both children in need of care and protection and children in conflict with law. Some of the key provisions include:

  • change in nomenclature from ‘juvenile’ to ‘child’ or ‘child in conflict with law’, across the Act to remove the negative connotation associated with the word “juvenile”;
  • inclusion of several new definitions such as orphaned, abandoned and surrendered children; and petty, serious and heinous offences committed by children;
  • special provisions for heinous offences committed by children above the age of sixteen year;
  • separate new chapter on Adoption to streamline adoption of orphan, abandoned and surrendered children;
  • inclusion of new offences committed against children

Drugs and Substance abuse

The Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 – This law declares illegal the production, possession, transportation, purchase and sale of any narcotic drug or psychotropic substance and makes the person, addict/trafficker liable for punishment. Use or threat of use of violence or arms by the offender, use of minors for the commission of offence, commission of the offence in an educational institution or social service facility are some of the grounds for higher punishment.

The Prevention of Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1988 – Under this law, people who use children for drug trafficking can be booked as abettors or conspirators to the act.

Child Begging

Kidnapping or maiming a minor for begging is punishable under Section 363A of IPC. As per Section 2(1) of the Bombay Prevention of Begging Act, 1959, “Begging” means-

  • Soliciting or receiving alms, in a public place whether or not under any pretence such as singing, dancing, fortune telling, performing or offering any article for sale;
  • entering on any private premises for the purpose of soliciting or receiving alms;
  • exposing or exhibiting any sore, wound injury, deformity of diseases whether of a human being or animal, for extorting alms;
  • allowing oneself to be used as an exhibit for the purpose of soliciting or receiving alms;
  • having no visible means of subsistence and wandering about or remaining in any public place in such condition or manner, which makes it likely that the person doing so exist for soliciting or receiving alms;

Presently, there is no Scheme of the Central Government on Beggary nor there is a central law on the matter. The States are responsible for taking necessary preventive and rehabilitative steps. Around 22 States / Union Territories have enacted their own anti-beggary legislation or adopted legislation enacted by other States/UTs.

Existing State Anti Beggary Laws


Child Labour Policies

Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Amendment Rules, 2017

Government of India has notified the amendment in the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Central Rules after extensive consultation with the stakeholders. The Rules provide broad and specific framework for prevention, prohibition, rescue and rehabilitation of child and adolescent workers. It also clarifies on issues related with help in family and family enterprises and definition of family with respect to child, specific provisions have been incorporated in rules. Further, it also provides for safeguards of artists which have been permitted to work under the Act, in terms of hours of work and working conditions. The rules provide for specific provisions incorporating duties and responsibilities of enforcement agencies in order to ensure effective implementation and compliance of the provisions of the Act.

To access the complete Act, click here.

Child Labour (Prohibition & Regulation) Amendment Act, 2016

Government has enacted the Child Labour (Prohibition & Regulation) Amendment Act, 2016 which came into force w.e.f. 1.9.2016. The Amendment Act completely prohibits the employment of children below 14 years. The amendment also prohibits the employment of adolescents in the age group of 14 to 18 years in hazardous occupations and processes and regulates their working conditions where they are not prohibited. The amendment also provides stricter punishment for employers for violation of the Act and making the offence of employing any child or adolescent in contravention of the Act by an employer as cognizable.

In order to achieve effective enforcement of the provisions of the Act, the amendment empowers the appropriate Government to confer such powers and impose such duties on a District Magistrate as may be necessary. Further, the State Action Plan has been circulated to all the States/UTs for ensuring effective implementation of the Act.

To access the complete Act, click here.

Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act 1986

Article 24 of the Indian constitution clearly states that, “No child below the age of fourteen years shall be employed to work in any factory or mine or employed in any hazardous employment.” The Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act of 1986 designates a child as a person who has not completed their 14th year of age. It aims to regulate the hours and the working conditions of child workers and to prohibit child workers from being employed in hazardous industries.

Constitutional Provisions for Child Upliftment

Article 21 A: Right to Education

The State shall provide free and compulsory education to all children of the age of 6 to 14 years in such manner as the State, by law, may determine.

Article 24: Prohibition of employment of children in factories, etc.

No child below the age fourteen years shall be employed in work in any factory or mine or engaged in any other hazardous employment.

Article 39: The State shall, in particular, direct its policy towards securing

(e) that the health and strength of workers, men and women, and the tender age of children are not abused and that citizens are not forced by economic necessity to enter avocations unsuited to their age or strength.

Legislative Provisions Prohibiting and Regulating Employment of Children

  • As per the Child Labour (Prohibition & Regulation) Act, 1986 “child” means a person who has not completed is 14th year of age.
  • The Act prohibits employment of children in 13 occupations and 57 processes contained in Part A & B of the Schedule to the Act (Section 3).
  • Under the Act, a Technical Advisory Committee is constituted to advice for inclusion of further occupations & processes in the Schedule.
  • The Act regulates the condition of employment’s in all occupations and processes not prohibited under the Act (Part III).
  • Any person who employs any child in contravention of the provisions of section 3 of the Act is liable for punishment with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than three months but which may extend to one year or with fine which shall not be less than Rs 10,000 but which may extend to Rs 20,000 or both. ((Section 14).
  • The Central and the State Governments enforce the provisions of the Act in their respective spheres.

ILO core conventions related to Child Labour

International Labour Organisation is a U.N. agency that was established in 1919. ILO brings together governments, employers and workers representatives of 187 member States, to set labour standards, develop policies and devise programmes promoting decent work for all women and men.

The principal means of action in the ILO is the setting up the International Labour Standards in the form of Conventions and Recommendations. Conventions are international treaties and are instruments, which create legally binding obligations on the countries that ratify them. Recommendations are non-binding and set out guidelines orienting national policies and actions.

There are eight Core Conventions of the ILO (also called fundamental/human rights conventions) which are as follows.

  1. Forced Labour Convention (No. 29)
  2. Abolition of Forced Labour Convention (No.105)
  3. Equal Remuneration Convention (No.100)
  4. Discrimination (Employment Occupation) Convention (No.111)
  5. Freedom of Association and Protection of Right to Organised Convention (No.87)
  6. Right to Organise and Collective Bargaining Convention (No.98)
  7. Minimum Age Convention (No.138)
  8. Worst forms of Child Labour Convention (No.182)

The two Core Conventions directly related to child labour are that of ILO Convention 138 and 182. India has ratified both the Core Conventions of International Labour Organization (ILO) Conventions 138 regarding admission of age to employment and Convention 182 regarding worst forms of Child Labour

Convention No.138: (Minimum Age)

ILO Convention No. 138 concerning Minimum Age for Entry to Employment & Work was adopted by the International Labour Conference at its 58th Session in June, 1973. This Convention is one of the 8 Core Conventions of the ILO being referred to as Fundamental or basic Human Rights Conventions and the ILO has been very active in promoting its ratification. Each country ratifying this Convention undertakes to:

  • Pursue a national policy designed to ensure the effective abolition of child labour;
  • Specify a minimum age for Entry to employment or work which will not be less than the ages of completion of compulsory schooling;
  • To raise this progressively to a level consistent with the fullest physical and mental development of young people;
  • Guarantee that the minimum age of entry to any type of employment or work, which is likely to compromise health, safety of morals of young persons shall not be less than 18 years

Convention No.182 on Worst Forms of Child Labour:

ILO Convention No. 182 and the accompanying Recommendation No. 190 concerning Worst Forms of Child Labour was adopted by the ILO in its 87th Session at Geneva in June, 1999. Convention No. 182 is one of the 8 Core Conventions of the ILO being referred to as fundamental or basic human rights Conventions. Main provisions of Convention No 182:

  • For the purpose of this Convention, the term child shall apply to all persons under the age of 18.
  • For the purpose of this Convention, the term worst forms of child labour comprises:
    • All forms of slavery or practices similar to slavery, such as the sale and traff icking of children (debt bondage and serfdom and forced or compulsory labour), including forced or compulsory recruitment of children for use in armed conflict.
    • The use, procuring or offering of a child for prostitution, for the production of pornography o r for pornographic performances.
    • The use, procuring or offering of a child for illicit activities, in particular of the production and trafficking of drugs as defined in the relevant international treaties.
    • Work which by its nature or the circumstances in which it is carried out is likely to harm the health, safety or morals of children.

National Policy on Child Labour


The National Policy on Child Labour, August 1987 contains the action plan for tackling the problem of child labour. It envisages:

  • A legislative action plan
  • Focusing and convergence of general development programmes for benefiting children wherever possible, and
  • Project-based action plan of action for launching of projects for the welfare of working children in areas of high concentration of child labour.

In pursuance of National Child Labour Policy, the NCLP Scheme was started in 1988 to rehabilitate child labour. The Scheme seeks to adopt a sequential approach with focus on rehabilitation of children working in hazardous occupations & processes in the first instance. Under the Scheme, after a survey of child labour engaged in hazardous occupations & processes has been conducted, children are to be withdrawn from these occupations & processes and then put into special schools in order to enable them to be mainstreamed into formal schooling system.

Legislative Action Plan for strict enforcement of Child Labour Act and other labour laws to ensure that children are not employed in hazardous employments, and that the working conditions of children working in non-hazardous areas are regulated in accordance with the provisions of the Child Labour Act. It also entails further identification of additional occupations and processes, which are detrimental to the health and safety of the children.

Government has accordingly been taking proactive steps to tackle this problem through strict enforcement of legislative provisions along with simultaneous rehabilitative measures. State Governments, which are the appropriate implementing authorities, have been conducting regular inspections and raids to detect cases of violations. Since poverty is the root cause of this problem, and enforcement alone cannot help solve it, Government has been laying a lot of emphasis on the rehabilitation of these children and on improving the economic conditions of their families.

Right to Education Bill

In 2009, the government of India made a move of far-reaching consequences by introducing the Right to Education Bill. The implementation of this Act at the grassroots level is a key to the eradication of the problem of child labour that has plagued India for centuries.

Rehabilitation of Children Working in Hazardous Occupations

The government of India launched a major program to remove child labour working in hazardous occupations, and to rehabilitate them by setting up special schools for them. Under the program a total of two million children are sought to be brought out of work and put in special schools where they are provided with education, vocational training, monthly stipends, nutrition and health-checks.

List of Hazardous Occupations & Process

Hazardous Occupations

  1. Transport of passengers, goods or mails by railways
  2. Cinder picking, clearing of an ash pit or building operation in the railway premises
  3. Work in a catering establishment at a railway station, involving the movement of a vendor or any other employee of the establishment from the one platform to another or in to or out of a moving train
  4. Work relating to the construction of a railway station or with any other work where such work is done in close proximity to or between the railway lines
  5. A port authority within the limits of any port
  6. * Work relating to selling of crackers and fireworks in shops with temporary licenses
  7. # Abattoirs/Slaughter House
  8. $ Automobile workshops and garages
  9. Foundries
  10. Handling of toxic or inflammable substances or explosives
  11. Handloom and power loom industry
  12. Mines (underground and under water) and collieries
  13. Plastic units and fibreglass workshops
  14. ** Domestic workers or servants and
  15. ** Dhabas (roadside eateries), restaurants, hotels, motels, tea shops, resorts, spas or other recreational centres
  16. $$ Diving
  17. Caring of Elephant
  18. Working in the circus


  1. Beedi-making
  2. Carpet-weaving
    • carpet weaving including preparatory and incidental process there of.
  3. Cement manufacture, including bagging of cement
  4. Cloth printing, dyeing and weaving
    • cloth printing, dyeing and weaving including processes preparatory and incidental there to.
  5. Manufacture of matches, explosives and fire-works
  6. Mica-cutting and splitting
  7. Shellac manufacture
  8. Soap manufacture
  9. Tanning
  10. Wool-cleaning
  11. Building and construction industry
    • Building and Construction Industry including processing and polishing of granite stones
  12. *Manufacture of slate pencils (including packing)
  13. * Manufacture of products from agate
  14. * Manufacturing processes using toxic metals and substances such as lead, mercury, manganese, chromium, cadmium, benzene, pesticides and asbestos
  15. # “Hazardous processes” as defined in Sec. 2 (cb) and ‘dangerous operation’ as notice in rules made under section 87 of the Factories Act, 1948 (63 of 1948)
  16. # Printing as defined in Section 2(k) (iv) of the Factories Act, 1948 (63 of 1948)
  17. # Cashew and cashewnut descaling and processing
  18. # Soldering processes in electronic industries
  19. $ ‘Aggarbatti’ manufacturing
  20. Automobile repairs and maintenance including processes incidental thereto namely, welding, lathe work, dent beating and painting
  21. Brick kilns and Roof tiles units
  22. Cotton ginning and processing and production of hosiery goods
  23. Detergent manufacturing
  24. Fabrication workshops (ferrous and non ferrous)
  25. Gem cutting and polishing
  26. Handling of chromite and manganese ores
  27. Jute textile manufacture and coir making
  28. Lime Kilns and Manufacture of Lime
  29. Lock Making
  30. Manufacturing processes having exposure to lead such as primary and secondary smelting, welding and cutting of lead-painted metal constructions, welding of galvanized or zinc silicate, polyvinyl chloride, mixing (by hand) of crystal glass mass, sanding or scraping of lead paint, burning of lead in enameling workshops, lead mining, plumbing, cable making, wiring patenting, lead casting, type founding in printing shops. Store type setting, assembling of cars, shot making and lead glass blowing.
  31. Manufacture of cement pipes, cement products and other related work
  32. Manufacture of glass, glass ware including bangles, florescent tubes, bulbs and other similar glass products
  33. Manufacture of dyes and dye stuff
  34. Manufacturing or handling of pesticides and insecticides
  35. Manufacturing or processing and handling of corrosive and toxic substances, metal cleaning and photo engraving and soldering processes in electronic industry
  36. Manufacturing of burning coal and coal briquettes
  37. Manufacturing of sports goods involving exposure to synthetic materials, chemicals and leather
  38. Moulding and processing of fiberglass and plastic
  39. Oil expelling and refinery
  40. Paper making
  41. Potteries and ceramic industry
  42. Polishing, moulding, cutting, welding and manufacturing of brass goods in all forms
  43. Processes in agriculture where tractors, threshing and harvesting machines are used and chaff cutting
  44. Saw mill – all processes
  45. Sericulture processing
  46. Skinning, dyeing and processes for manufacturing of leather and leather products
  47. Stone breaking and stone crushing
  48. Tobacco processing including manufacturing of tobacco, tobacco paste and handling of tobacco in any form
  49. Tyre making, repairing, re-treading and graphite beneficiation
  50. Utensils making, polishing and metal buffing
  51. ‘Zari’ making (all processes)’
  52. @ Electroplating
  53. Graphite powdering and incidental processing
  54. Grinding or glazing of metals
  55. Diamond cutting and polishing
  56. Extraction of slate from mines
  57. Rag picking and scavenging
  58. $$ Processes involving exposure to excessive heat (e.g., working near furnace) and cold
  59. Mechanised fishing
  60. Food Processing
  61. Beverage Industry
  62. Timber handling and loading
  63. Mechanical Lumbering
  64. Warehousing
  65. Processes involving exposure to free silica such as slate, pencil industry, stone grinding, slate stone mining, stone quarries, agate industry
  • * Ins. by Notification No. S. O. 404(E) dated the 5th June,1989 published in the Gazette of India, Extraordinary.
  • # Ins. by Notification No. S. O. 263 (E) dated 29th March,1994 published in the Gazette of India, Extraordinary.
  • $ Ins. Sr. No. 8-13 in Part A and Sr. No. 19-51 in Part B by Notification No. S. O. 36 (E) dated 27th January 1999 published in the Gazette of India, Extraordinary.
  • @ Ins.Sr. No. 52 – 57 part B By Notification No. S.O. 397 (E) dated the 10th May 2001 published in the Gazette of India, Extraordinary.
  • ** Ins. Sr. 14 & 15 in Part A by Notification No. S.O. 1742 (E) dated the 10th October, 2006 published in the Gazette of India, Extraordinary.
  • $$ Ins. Sr. 16 in Part ‘A’ & Sr, No. 58 to 65 in Part ‘B’ by Notification No. S.O. 2280 (E) dated the 25th September, 2008.

Source : Ministry of Labour and Employment