All the children in our country have the right to be protected from all exploitative and vulnerable situations. But that is possible only when we are aware of the problems children are facing and the remedies regarding the same. A child may need legal help and protection.
What is important to protect the children from all exploitative situations?
The most important points to keep in mind are as follows which can help us to protect the children from all exploitative situations.
- inform the police or the childline
- Ensure that the childline provides counseling and legal services to the child.
- Report to the press only as your last resort
- Know your law
Child marriage in India is a marriage in which either the woman is below the age of 18 years or the man is below the age of 21 years. Child marriages are prevalent in India. That’s why there is a prohibition of the child marriage act, 2006 which prevents child marriages with enhanced punishments of rigorous imprisonment for two years and a fine of Rs. 1 lakh.
- Child marriages are voidable at the option of the parties. However, if the consent is obtained by fraud, deceit, or if the child is enticed away from his lawful guardians and if the child is used for immoral purposes then marriage would be void.
child labour means exploitation of the children through any form of work. Due to this exploitation, the children are been deprived of their childhood, necessities of life and is harmful to their health.
- The agreements of child labour are void.
- whoever, being the parent or guardian of a child agrees to pledge the labour of that child, shall be punished with a fine. (section 4)
the labour laws that prohibit child labour and can be used to book the employers is as follows:
- The child labour (prohibition and regulation) act 1986
- The factories act 1948
- The plantation labour act, 1951
- The mines act, 1952
- The apprentice’s act, 1961
child trafficking means that the children are forced to leave their homes and then they are moved to other places where they are exploited and forced to do harmful work.
The punishment for child trafficking is mentioned in the Indian penal code 1860.
Street and Runaway children
Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection) Act 2015 has come into force on January 15, 2016, and repeals the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000
some of the provisions of this act are:
- Inclusions of several new definitions like an orphan, abandoned, and surrendered children.
- Inclusions of new offenses committed against children
- A separate new chapter on adoption to streamline adoption of orphan abandoned and surrendered children.
Kidnapping or forcing a minor for begging is punishable under section 363A of IPC. Under section 2(1) of the Bombay Prevention of begging act 1959 begging means –
Allowing oneself to be used as an exhibit to solicit or receive alms.
It is very important to know the basic law and understand the protected rights. Only if we understand the right and legal protection available only then we will be able to convince a child or his/her parents/ guardians or the community for legal action. Knowing our law can empower us to deal with such situations better.