The Labour Ministry has proposed the draft Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Amendment Rules, 2017 to fix the working conditions for child artistes and for employing children in family enterprises.
- While a child artiste will not be allowed to work for more than five hours a day, a child “assisting” in a family business can only work for three hours a day.
- Children will be allowed to assist their family in running family enterprises “without affecting” their school education. The family would include parents, real siblings, and “real brother and sister of the parents”. Such children will not be allowed to engage in any production, supply or retail chain which is “remunerative for the family and hazardous activities.”
- At least 20% of the income earned by the child artiste will be required to be deposited in a fixed deposit account “in a nationalised bank”. The money would be credited to the child after she turns 18.
- The permission of the district magistrate would be mandatory for engaging a child artiste. The production unit must nominate a person, who would be held responsible for the safety and security of the child artiste. A child cannot take part in a “street performance for monetary gain”.
The government had brought a new law to govern child labour, known as the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Amendment Act, 2016, which put a blanket ban on employment of children below 14 years of age. However, it had made two exceptions in favour of child labour: children could work as child artistes (in the entertainment sector), and could “help” in their family enterprises.