Agnivesh Condemns Govt's Move to Amend Child Labour Act

New Delhi
Agnivesh Condemns Govt's Move to Amend Child Labour Act

Social activist Swami Agnivesh today condemned the Union Cabinet's move to allow employment of children below 14 years of age in 'non-hazardous' family enterprises, entertainment industry and sporting events after school hours and said it is denial of child's fundamental right to childhood.

Agnivesh claims that Central government attempts to dilute the present provisions of Child Labour (Prohibition & Regulation) Act, 1986 as amended in 2012. He said that to legitimise forced child labour in the name of harsh socio-economic reality is simply unacceptable.

Cabinet today allowed children below 14 years of age to help their family or family enterprises in non-hazardous occupations, but only after school hours and during vacations. In addition to this, children working as artists in films, television serials, advertisements, sports activities, etc may also be allowed to work after school hours.

"The cabinet approval of child labour before or after school hours or during vacation is denial of child's fundamental right to childhood which includes good quality holistic full time education and playing and dreaming like a normal child," Swami Agnivesh, chairperson of Bandhua Mukti Morcha (Bonded Labour Liberation Front) told PTI.

Agnivesh questions that which cabinet minister, politicians or government officials would like his/her child below 14 years to do any manual or menial labour before and after school hours?

Agnivesh said that his organisation will mobilise MPs against this.

"In final resort we will challenge this repugnant move in the Supreme Court together with Dr Shanta Sinha former National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) and other social activist," Agnivesh said.

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