The Government has enacted the Child Labour (Prohibition & Regulation) Act, 1986 which was amended in 2016. The amended Act is called the Child and Adolescent Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) [CALPR] Act, 1986. The Act provides for complete prohibition of work or employment of children below 14 years in any occupation and process and adolescents in the age group of 14 to 18 years in hazardous occupations and processes. The amendment also provides for stricter punishment of employers for violation of the Act and made the offence as cognizable.
The Child and Adolescent Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986 is enforced by the State Government except in railway administration, major port, mine, oil field where Central Government is the appropriate Government. The details of child labour released, action taken against the owners of industries for violating the CALPR Act, amount of fine recovered from violators of CALPR Act, etc. are not maintained at the level of Central Government.
Ministry of Labour & Employment has been implementing National Child Labour Project (NCLP) Scheme for rehabilitation of child labourers through District Project Societies under the chairmanship of the District Magistrate. Under the NCLP scheme, the children in the age group of 9-14 years are rescued / withdrawn from work and enrolled in the NCLP Special Training Centres (STCs), where they are provided with bridge education, vocational training, mid-day meal, stipend, health care, etc. before being mainstreamed into formal education system. NCLP scheme has now been subsumed under Samagara Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) Scheme with effect from 01.04.2021. Henceforth, the rescued child labourers will be mainstreamed into formal education system through STC operational under SSA.
Further, the Government has developed an online portal PENCIL (Platform for Effective Enforcement of No Child Labour) for effective enforcement of CALPR Act. The portal has also a complaint corner for registering the complaint regarding child labour. These complaints are dealt by the respective District Nodal Officers of the District. Besides, Ministry of Labour & Employment also carries out public awareness about child labour through its website and various social media handles.
Around 14 lakh child labourers have been rescued / withdrawn from work, rehabilitated and mainstreamed under National Child Labour Project (NCLP) Scheme since inception of the Scheme in 1988. During the financial year 2022-23 (upto 17.03.2023), Rs. 12.45 Crore has been released to District Project Society to operate STCs and Rs. 3.20 Crore has been released as stipend to children enrolled in the STCs under NCLP scheme.