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Monday, June 26, 2006

India Intelligence Report

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   Bihar Amends Child Labor Law

 

 

  • Bihar amends laws to ban child labor in shops, businesses, and family-owned businesses

  • Promises education for all children

  • Other states are also proceeding to fulfill Supreme Court order banning child labor

Responding to Supreme Court ordering ban on all forms of child labor, Bihar has banned employment of children below the age of 14 in the State’s shops, establishments, and businesses by amending the Bihar Shops and Establishments Act. Amendments will also include Section 3 of Child Labor (Prohibition and Regulation) Act 1986 to ban children from working with their parents in beedi and brick kiln industries.

The state also agreed to comply with Constitutional requirements and provide compulsory education to children between the ages of 6 to 14. Refreshingly, State’s Labor Secretary Chandra Nath Jha also admitted tardy implementation of providing education to children due to poverty, lack of awareness, illiteracy and prevailing social customs.

Jha revealed that in the last five years, the state charged 1,493 employers of child labor and freed 438 bonded laborers to be rehabilitated under Federally-sponsored schemes.

Bihar has the unenviable reputation of being the crime capital of India. While these numbers may not be big enough to tackle the vast hordes of illiterate and employed children in Bihar, it is encouraging that the new Government is initiating the right policies and making right decisions without ducking responsibility.

Recently, Andhra Pradesh has also initiated new schemes to curb child labor in the cotton industry. Maharashtra became the first state in the nation to make child labor a non-bailable crime. The International Labor Organization (ILO) has also predicted impressive advances in the fight against Child Labor.


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