Right Against Exploitation – Abolition of Slavery and Bonded Labour
The founding fathers of our Constitution use more extensive terms ‘exploitation’ or ‘traffic in human beings’ rather than simply slavery and it prohibits not only slavery but traffic in women or children or the crippled, for immoral or other purposes.
- Prohibition of Traffic in Human beings and Forced Labour – Traffic in human beings, begar and other similar forms of forced labour are prohibited, any contravention of this provision is a punishable offence in accordance with law.
- Begar – compulsory work without remuneration (indigenous practice). Human traffic includes selling & buying of humans, immoral traffic in women and children including prostitution, slavery etc.
- The right is available for both citizens and non citizens. It provides protection to individuals not only against the State but also against private persons or bodies.
- Nothing in this article shall prevent State from imposing compulsory service for public purposes and imposing such service State shall not make discrimination on grounds only of religion, race, caste or class or any of them.
- The clause only prohibits coercive employment of person action where he is lawfully entitled but it doesn’t prohibit forced labour as punishment for an offence.
- Several laws have been enacted to give effect this clause such as Immoral Traffic Prevention Act (1956), Bonded labour abolition act (1976), Minimum wages act (1948) or Equal remuneration act (1976).
Article 24 (Protection of Child Rights)
- Prohibition of Employment of Children in Factories etc. – No child below age of 14 yrs shall be employed to work in any factory or mine or engaged in any hazardous environment.
- The prohibition guarantees under this article is absolute and no exception is applicable against the prohibition of employment of children in factories etc.
- In 1996, SC directed the govt for establishment of Child Labour Rehabilitation Welfare Fund in which every offending employer shall be fined with Rs 20000 for each child labour employed by him.
- In Protection of Child Rights Act 2005, National/State Commission for Protection of Child Rights and Children courts have established for speedy trial of offences against children or of violation of child rights.
- In 2006, govt completely banned the employment of children below 14 yrs in any area such as domestic worker/servant in hotels, shops, restaurants etc. Also such employer shall be liable for prosecution and penal action.