Child labour is the employment of children for work that is mentally, physically, socially or morally dangerous and harmful to children, and/or interferes with their schooling. It is regulated under the Child and Adolescent Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986.
The law absolutely prohibits the employment of children below 14 years. Some exceptions are allowed for children helping out in family businesses or working as child artists. The prohibition of employment of children below fourteen years is linked to children’s right to education, as it prevents them from attending school.
The law also prohibits the employment of adolescents (14 to 18 years of age) in certain hazardous occupations and processes including mining, domestic work, handloom industry etc. It also regulates the hours and period of work of adolescents.
Employers who violate the law and engage children/adolescents are punishable with imprisonment from six months to two years, and/or a fine of Rupees twenty thousand to fifty thousand.