Explain the Fundamental Right-Right Against Exploitation(Article-24).

Explain the Fundamental Right-Right Against Exploitation(Article-24).

Prohibition of Employment of Children in Factories, etc.

May 24, 2019.

The Fundamental Rights are enshrined in part III of the Constitution from Articles 12 to 35. Part III of the Constitution is rightly described as the Magna Carta of India. It contains a very long and comprehensive list of ‘ justiciable’ Fundamental Rights. In fact, the Fundamental Rights in our Constitution are more elaborate than those found in the Constitution of any other country in the World, including the USA.

The Fundamental Rights are guaranteed by the Constitution to all persons without any discrimination. They uphold the equality of all individuals, the dignity of the individual, the larger public interest and unity of the nation.

The Fundamental Rights are meant for promoting the ideal of political democracy. They prevent the establishment of an authoritarian and despotic rule in the country and protect the liberties and freedoms of the people against the invasion by the state. They operate as limitations on the tyranny of the executive and arbitrary laws of the legislature. In short, they aim at establishing’ a government of laws and not of men’.

Article 24 prohibits the employment of children below the age of 14 years in any factory, mine or other hazardous activities like construction work or railway. But it does not prohibit their employment in any harmless or innocent work.

The Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986, is the most important law in this direction. In addition, the employment of Children Act, 1938; the Factories Act, 1948; the Mines Act, 1952; the Merchant Shipping Act, 1958; the Plantation Labour Act, 1951; Apprentices Act, 1961; The Bidi and Cigar Workers Act, 1966; and other similar acts prohibit the employment of children below certain age.

In 1996, the Supreme Court directed the establishment of Child Labour Rehabilitation Welfare Fund in which the offending employer should deposit a fine of Rs 20,000 for each child employed by him. It also issued directions for the improvement of education, health, and nutrition of children.

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