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Deaths of 4 Bihar child workers in Jaipur : Child Labour In India

In mid-July this year, police in Jaipur registered an FIR after the body of a minor boy was found in a house where lac bangles were manufactured. The 14-year-old boy had been working as a child labourer at the facility for the past year.


  Complete eradication of child labour is a crucial issue for India as children are a major component of its population. According to the 2011 Census, the share of India’s population below 14 years is as high as 29 per cent while the young in the 14-18 age group constitute another 10 per cent.

  • India, in its 2011 census, estimated the country had 8.3 million child labourers. Uttar Pradesh state alone accounted for 1.8 million of that total. UNICEF says child labour has declined overall in India but its urban areas have seen an increase.
  • The Indian government’s 2011 census records about 4.3 million children between age of five and 14 years are working in hazardous and non-hazardous jobs. A damning report by International Labour Organization is claiming a much higher number.
  • ILO claims India has 10.3 million child labourers. Of these, whopping 70 percent are girls.
  • India in 2017 ratified two core ILO Conventions on child labour, namely ILO Convention 138 regarding the age of admission for employment and ILO Convention 182 that deals with the worst forms of child labour.


The Fundamental Rights enshrined in our Constitution prohibit child labour below the age of 14 years in any factor or mine or engaged in any hazardous employment under Article 24.

Article 21A and Article 45 promise to provide free and compulsory education to all children between the ages of 6 and 14.

Article 39(e) directs the state to ensure that health of workers be protected and children not to be exploited.

In 2009, India passed the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act (RTE).

In July 2016, India amended the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act 1986, paving way for juveniles aged below 14 years to work in specific jobs only.

  1. It prohibits “the engagement of children in all occupations and of adolescents in hazardous occupations and processes” wherein adolescents refers to those under 18 years; children to those under 14.
  2. The act has completely banned employment of children below 14 in all occupations and enterprises, except those run by his or her own family, provided that education does not hampered.
  3. The number of hazardous occupations has been brought down from 83 to 3. The three occupations are mining, inflammable substances, and hazardous processes under the Factories Act.
  4. The act makes child labour a cognizable offence.

The Factories Act of 1948 prevents the employment of children below 14 years in any factory.

Further, the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection) of children Act made the employment of children a punishable offence.