In 1986 a law to protect children from forced labor and exploitation, was enacted by the Indian Parliament. It had put a blanket ban on employing children under the age of 18 in any job. There were several protests and even trade unions cited practical difficulties especially for poor families.
The Child Labor (Prohibition and Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2012 prohibits employment of children below 14 years of age in all occupations. But it allows adolescents (between 14 and 18 years of age) to work in non-hazardous occupations and processes. They can work in family-run establishments like a grocery store but can’t work in a chemical factory. The new law while giving some relaxation for employment makes it mandatory that the child can help his or her family and a family enterprise only after school hours or during vacations.
In case of violation only the employer will be held responsible. He may pay up to Rs 50,000 as penalty and face imprisonment between 6 months and 2 months. For subsequent offence, the penalty will be imprisonment between one and three years.