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Practice of child labour continues despite law

As the world observes Child Labour Day on Thursday, children continue to be employed in houses as officials express their helplessness, citing lack of power.
By HT Correspondent | PTI, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JUN 12, 2008 06:32 PM IST

Nearly 20 months after a law on domestic child labour came into force, authorities have managed to rescue only eight children from households in the Capital.

As the world observes Child Labour Day on Thursday, children continue to be employed in houses as officials express their helplessness, citing lack of power.

KS Wahi, Secretary, Delhi Labour Department says, "our officials don't have the right to raid households of the offenders as per the amended act on child labour. We have sought a change in the law".

"In the absence of power, we are finding it difficult to enforce the law and rescue domestic child labour from houses," he said.

The Child Labour Prevention Act, which was amended on October 10, 2006, bans children under 14 working as domestic servants and in 'dhabas,' restaurants, hotels, and other hospitality sectors.

Officials have submitted the amendments to a working group set up by the Union Labour ministry exclusively to study the proposed amendments in the law prohibiting child labour.

"However, it must be ensured that, if such a power is granted, it should not revive the inspector raj," another official cautioned.

Giving the breakup of number of children rescued in 2007, the official said eight children were rescued in this period.

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