MAPUSA: Violations of the child labour prohibition and regulation Act 1986 is punishable with imprisonment up to one year and a fine up to Rs. 20,000.
Every year June 12 is observed as the World Day Against Child Labour by The International Labour Organization (ILO) launched in 2002. Despite the employment of children being banned in the various sectors as per the child labour Act 1986, there are thousands of children employed in the tourism industry and the domestic sector.
Speaking to Herald, the Director of Women and Child Development, Deepak Dessai, said that as per their reports there is no child labour in the State.
The Sarpanch of Calangute, Shawn Martins told Herald that there are several migrant children who are seen selling items in the coastal area.
“The young migrant children, boys and girls come out on the streets after 6 pm selling glow bands, chains, beads, wrist bands and chips in the parking lots and beaches. We have complained to the police and asked them to detain the children and call for their parents,” said Shawn.
When asked if any incident was reported from hotels, shacks or any other commercial establishments in the coastal area hiring child labour, the sarpanch replied, “Nothing has been brought to our notice and the people in our village are well educated. A lot of awareness has been created in the past and they know that it is illegal to hire child labour.”
A social activist, Florence Mendes stated that a lot of children are working as domestic helpers in households for cheap wages.
“At construction sites, several restaurants and at other commercial units there are children hired. They are used for serving water, cleaning the kitchen and bathrooms. The owners give the excuse that they are hired due to poverty. Affidavits are being made by relatives of children involved in child labour claiming they are above18 years but they fail to provide ID proof,” said Mendes.