Press Information Bureau
Government of India

01 August 2006
  Ministry of Labour & Employment  
 
EMPLOYMENT OF CHILDREN AS DOMESTIC SERVANTS AND IN DHABAS BANNED FROM OCTOBER

 
  12:50 IST  
 
  The government has decided to prohibit employment of children as domestic servants or servants or in dhabas (roadside eateries), restaurants, hotels, motels, teashops, resorts, spas or in other recreational centres. The ban has been imposed under the Child Labour (Prohibition & Regulation) Act, 1986 and will be effective from 10th October 2006. The Ministry of Labour has recently issued a notification to this effect giving three-month mandatory notice. The Ministry has warned that anyone employing children in these categories would be liable to prosecution and other panel action under the Act.

It may be recalled that the government servants have already been prohibited from employing children as domestic servants. By issuing this notification, the Government has imposed these restrictions on everyone.

The decision has been taken on the recommendation of the Technical Advisory Committee on Child Labour headed by the Director General, ICMR. The Committee considers the occupations mentioned in the above notification as hazardous for children and has recommended their inclusion in the occupations which are prohibited for persons below 14 years under the Child Labour (Prohibition & Regulation) Act, 1986. The Committee while recommending a ban on employing children in these occupations had said that these children are subjected to physical violence, psychological traumas and at times even sexual abuse. It said that invariably such incidents go unnoticed and unreported as they take place in the close confines of the households or dhabas or restaurants. It said that these children are made to work for long hours and are made to undertake various hazardous activities severely affecting their health and psyche. The Committee has said that the children employed in road-side eateries and highway dhabas were the most vulnerable lot and were easy prey to sex and drug abuse as they came in contact with all kinds of people. The measure is expected to go a long way in ameliorating the condition of hapless working children. The Labour Ministry is also contemplating to strengthen and expand its rehabilitative Scheme of National Child Labour Project, which already covers 250 child labour endemic districts in the country.

MLD//L -53 (cpi-iw) 1.8.06