Child Labour Bill 2012

Background and Context:The magnitude of child labour in India is grave. According to an estimate, every 17th working child in the world is in India. Using 2011 Census data, Child Right and You (CRY) calculated that one in eleven children (5-18 years) is working in India and hence deprived from their childhood (CRY, 2015). Despite, this persisting cruelty India has been reluctant to implement the ILO conventions on child labour. The two ILO conventions- numbers 138 (Minimum Age Convention, 1973) and 182 (Worst Form of Child Labour Convention, 1999) set some international standards in order to gradually abolish employment of children in all sectors. India has signed both of these conventions and assured the international community that it will incorporate all required progressive changes in its domestic child labour law. India has the largest share of world child labourers, however it has not yet implemented the long pending internationally agreed international standards of child labour. The current legislation regulating child labour in India namely ‘Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986 (CLPR Act, 1986) is not in line with both of the ILO conventions mentioned earlier. The UPA government in 2010 initiated a process of amending this law in order to make it in line with the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009 and ILO convention numbers 138 and 182. Accordingly, the ‘Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2012’ (CLPR Amendment Bill, 2012) was introduced in Rajya Sabha on 21 December 2012, which was then referred to Parliamentary Standing Committee on Labour by the house for further deliberation.