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Child Rights Commission wants harsher punishment for perpetrators of child labour

Maharashtra State Commission for Protection of Child Rights Commission (MSCPCR) writes to Ministry of Labour and Employment, recommending harsher punishment for culprits

Following a series of complaints by activists and social groups in and around Mumbai highlighting myriad cases of child labour the Maharahstra State Commission for Protection of Child Rights Commission (MSCPCR) recently wrote to the Ministry of Labour and Employment, recommending stringent punishment for the perpetrators of the crime.

One of the several child labourers rescued from an industrial unit in the city. File pic
One of the several child labourers rescued from an industrial unit in the city. File pic

“Perpetrators of such crimes must booked under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), including sections 317 (exposure and abandonment of child under 12 years, by parent or guardian), 370 (buying or disposing of any person as a slave) and 34, which will result in harsher punishment for the guilty. Our main aim is to eradicate child labour from our country,” reads the letter, written by MSCPCR secretary, A N Tripathi.

The letter further states that the existing laws in the country, including the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act as well as Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, appears to have instilled little fear in the minds of the culprits because the degree of punishment they face for the heinous crimes is miniscule.

“Looking at the cases cropping up in and around Mumbai, it seems that the city has become a hub for many middlemen to bring in children from other parts of the country to work in factories and homes. This is an alarming trend,” Tripathi mentioned in his letter.

He also pointed out that several children are forced to do household work in residences, which was a clear violation of the law. He alleged that in many cases, these children are kept as ‘slaves’. Tripathi stated that besides the middlemen and employers, even of the parents of these children must fear the law before they force their kids to take up such jobs.

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