UP govt frames rules for welfare of adolescent workers

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Lucknow, Jan 22 (IANS) The Uttar Pradesh government has proposed stringent rules prohibiting lifting of heavy weight and ensuring mandatory paid weekly holidays for young workers, among others.

The move is aimed at eradicating child labour and ensuring welfare of adolescents.

“The state government is framing rules as a follow-up to various amendments made to the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation Act), 1986 by the Centre in 2016,” said a senior labour department official.

“The government has invited public comments to draft rules before finalising the same,” he added.

One of the key provisions stipulates that no adolescent shall be permitted to lift, carry, or keep a weight exceeding 10 kg. This restriction is aimed at preventing physical strain and injury to young workers.

Recognising the importance of leisure and rest in the growing years, the regulations seek to enshrine the right of each adolescent worker to a paid weekly holiday, and not just a holiday.

The rules also address concerns related to the education of adolescent workers. If a child receiving education in a school remains absent consecutively for 30 days without notifying the school authorities, the principal/headmaster will be mandated to report such absences to the nodal officer concerned.

“This provision will ensure that educational interests of adolescent workers are protected, and any prolonged absence triggers appropriate intervention since a long absence of a child from the school will be seen as the possibility of a young student being a potential child worker,” the official stated.

The proposed rules also mandate the state government to launch public awareness campaigns, utilising various media platforms, to educate the general public, employers, and young workers about the provisions of the Act.

The rules further emphasise the establishment of the Child and Adolescent Labour Rehabilitation Fund, with specific guidelines on crediting, depositing, and investing amounts recovered from various sources. The proposed regulations outline the meticulous process of ensuring that the funds are paid to the child or adolescent in a timely and structured manner.

Furthermore, the rules address working conditions for adolescents employed in non-hazardous occupations and processes. Employers are now mandated to uphold standards of cleanliness, ventilation, lighting, and safety measures. The regulations also underscore the importance of providing facilities such as safe drinking water, toilets, and medical aid.

In a bid to strike a balance between education and familial responsibilities, the draft rules outline provisions allowing children to assist their families without compromising their school education.

However, these provisions come with strict conditions, including limitations on working hours, type of work, and adherence to existing laws.

Moreover, the rules permit children to engage in artistic pursuits, subject to approval from the district magistrate, and adherence to safety guidelines.

The draft rules notified by principal secretary, labour and employment, Anil Kumar are currently open for public scrutiny and feedback, with a 45-day window for objections and suggestions.



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