Child Labour in Ent Industry, houses: Par panel wants govt to study

Fearing that child labour is rampant in domestic households and entertainment industry, a Parliamentary panel has asked the government to study the situation in these sectors and take remedial steps.

The remarks by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Labour came against the backdrop of the fear that some of the child labourers who have been rehabilitated are back to work due to lack of monitoring.

The Census 2011 had identified around 1.01 crore child labourers, including 81.02 lakh in rural areas, in the country and the number of children who were rescued is 12 lakh.

The panel made the recommendation on child artistes and domestic workers as it felt that there is a large gap between the identified and rehabilitated child labourer. “The committee is pained to note that additions have been witnessed in the number of child labour during the last six years after the Census 2011,” it said while expressing fear about the possibility of children going back to work after being rehabilitated.

This could ultimately lead to these children “getting lost to the vicious circle of being a labourer again,” it said adding that the rehabilitation process must be strengthened along with appropriate monitoring mechanism to ensure that there is no scope for the children going back to work again.

“The commitee also feel the need to identify child labour in domestic households and also in the motion pictures/documentaries industry, and rehabilitate them. The committee desires to be apprised of the measures the Ministry (of Labour and Employment) proposes to take in this direction,” the panel said.

The issue of presence of child artistes in reality shows and other programmes in entertainment industry had raised a furore earlier. The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) came out with guidelines to regulate child participation in TV serials, reality shows and advertisement.

“During the course of their short careers, some children may get exposed to sudden wealth and fame. The possibilities of such children being exploited increases as their parents are likely to then be tempted by the spotlight or the possibility of augmenting the family income by pushing them into new assignments. Since the contracts and/or dealings are carried out by the adults (the parent/caretaker), there is currently no way of ensuring that the income is protected and set aside for the child,” the NCPCR said in the guidelines.

(An edited version appeared in Deccan Herald on Mar 21, 2017)

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