The Punjab Government has amended the Punjab Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Rules, 1997 that have been formulated under the Child Labour and Adolescent Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986.
By the amendment, the government intends to create public awareness on the prohibition of child and adolescent labour, facilitate reporting of such instances, specifies the limited participation of children in the family enterprise, and defines the scope of children and adults working as artists and ensure their working conditions.
As per the new rules, no adolescent shall be required or permitted to work in an establishment in excess of such number of hours of work as is permissible under the law for the time being in force regulating the hours of work of the adolescent in such establishment. Further, the manner of payment of amount and interest to the child or adolescent worker upon majority, from the Child and Adolescent Labour Rehabilitation Fund, has been prescribed.
The new rules mandate the requirement and the manner of certification of age by the appropriate medical authority if it is apprehended that particular employment is prohibited under the Act and bring into its scope the implied responsibility of school authorities upon knowledge or apprehension of a prohibited child or adolescent labour.
It also lays down the manner of compounding of offences under the act if the accused is a first-time offender or is a member of the family or guardian of the child/adolescent. The amendment has further added the duties of the magistrate and the state government to appoint nodal officers and take action to rescue children and adolescents working in prohibited conditions and monitor and record such activities within the state, and the duties of inspectors to comply with the regulation of the act and report quarterly to the state government.