“The ultimate test of a moral society is the kind of world that it leaves to
its children” this quoted by the German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer. The soul
is healed by being with children. Children are the future of a country; children
are the assists of the nation. But as we all know that the children are the most
vulnerable. Every child has right to lead a decent life. Child means a person
between birth and puberty. The main aim of the article is, to understand what
are the legislations especially for the protection of child and the offences
against the child. The object of the article is to understand offences against
child and child protection law.
There are several definitions relating to a child.
According to Article 1 of the CRC, “Child means every human being below the
age of eighteen year unless under the law applicable to the child, majority is
Child Labour (Protection and Regulation) Act,1986
“Child means a person who has not completed his fourteenth year of age. This
Act aims at prohibiting the engagement of children in work. Therefore, this Act
makes provisions for the persons who have not completed their fourteenth year of
S. 2(c) of the Plantation Labour Act, 1951
Child means a person who has not completed his fifteenth year”
S. 25 of the act prohibits the engagement of ‘child' in the plantation work
except between the hours 6 am and 7 am and the child not complete the age of 15
years is not allowed to work.
This is the same definition was given in Motor Transport Workers Act, 1961, S.
21 of the act prohibits the employment of a child in motor transport
The Beedi and Cigar Workers (Conditions of Employment) Act, 1966 define
“Child means a person who has not completed fourteen years of age. In this act
S. 24 Deals with No child is required or allowed to work in any industry
Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006
According to this act a male child means who is not completed the age of 21
years and female is not completed the age of 18 years. S. 3 of the act is a deal
with child marriage is voidable at the option of a person who was a child at the
time of marriage.
S. 2(d) of the POCSO Act, 2012 deals with “Child means any person below the
age of eighteen years”
The main object of the act is for the protection of children from sexual
offences and harassment.
S. 2(12) The JJ Act defines child means a person who has not completed 18
years o age.
· Child according to S. 2(12) The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection
of Children) Act,
Important Child Protection Laws In India 
1948 : Factories Act
1956 : Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act
2006- Child Marriage Restraint Act
2009- Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act
2012- Protection of Children From Sexual Offences Act
2015- Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act
Offences Against children/ major child issues
- Child labour
- Child marriage
- Child trafficking
- Child pornography
- Sexual exploitation
- Kidnapping and abduction
Child labour is the practice of having children engages in economic activity, on
part or full time basis. The practice deprives children of their childhood, and
in harmful to their physical and mental development. Poverty, lack of education
and growth of informal economy are considered as the important causes of child
labour in India.
Causes of Child Labour
- Primary causes
- Cultural causes
- Macroeconomic causes.
ILO Suggests poverty is the greatest single cause behind child
labour. For impoverished households, income from a child's work is usually
crucial for his or her own survival or for that of the household.
In many cultures, particular where informal economy and small household
businesses thrive, the cultural tradition is that children follow in their
parents footsteps, and at the same time many cultures the education of girls is
less valued and these girls pushed into child labour such as providing domestic
The macroeconomic factors causes encouraged widespread wild spread child labour
across the world, over most of human history. This is based on a demand and
Consequences of child labour
The presence of a large number of child labours is regarded as a serious issue
in terms of economic welfare. The child labour leads to illiteracy, commit crime
etc…children in hazardous working conditions are even in worse condition.
Children who work, instead of going to school, will remain illiterate which
limits their ability to contribute to their own well being as well as to
community they live in. child labour has long term adverse effects for India.
The major National legislative developments include the following:
The Factories Act, 1948- The act prohibits the employment of children below the
age of 14 years in any factory.
The Mines Act, 1952- The act prohibits the employment of children below 18 years
of age in a mine.
The Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act,1986 – The act prohibits the
employment of children below the age of 14 years in hazardous occupations
identified in a list by the law.
The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection) of Children Act, 2000 and JJ Act
2015- The law made it a crime, punishable with a prison term, for anyone to
procure or employ a child in any hazardous employment or in a bondage.
The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act,2009-the law mandates
free and compulsory education to all children aged 6 to 14 years.
Initiatives against child labour
In 1979, the Indian government formed the Gurupadswamy committee to find about
child labour and means to tackle it. The child labour prohibition and regulation
act was not enacted on the recommendations of the committee in 1986.a National
policy on rehabilitating children working in hazardous occupations.
Many NGOs like Bachpan Bachao Andolan, CARE India, child Rights and you, Global
march against Child labour, RIDE India etc. have been working to eradicate child
labour in India.
Pratham is India's largest non- governmental organization with the mission ‘
every child in school and learning well.'
People union for civil liberties V. UOI
SC observed that it was clear breach of Article 24 of the constitution to employ
children below the age of 14 in construction work. The court proceeds to
prohibit any kind of violation article 14 in construction work. The court
proceed to prohibit any kind of violation of Article 23 and 24 and further laid
emphasis on strict observance of Fundamental Rights by private individuals and
spoke strongly against any form of forced labour.
Bandhua mukti morcha V. UOI $ ors
In this case, The employment of children in the carpet manufacturing industry in
mirzapur, utter Pradesh. It is instructed the district magistrate to conduct
raids, and subsequently got 144 children, who were under the forced custody of
the owners, released.
Sheela Barse V. UOI
In this case the supreme court give an direction to release the children's who
were being exposed to chemical fumes and coal dust from their employment.
M. C Mehta V. State of Tamil Nadu
The supreme court gave directions to the government to eliminate child labour,
which included the conducting surveys and withdrawal of children working from
The child sexual abuse also called child molestation, is a form of child abuse
in which an adult or older adolescent uses a child for sexual stimulation. The
sexual abuse can occur in a variety of settings, including home, school, or any
To deals with child sexual abuse case, government was enacted asocial law. The
POCSO Act, 2012 is a comprehensive law to provide for the protection of children
from the offences of the child at every stage of the judicial process by
incorporating child friendly mechanism for reporting, recording evidence,
investigation and speedy trial of offences through designated special courts.
S.7 of the act deals with sexual assault and s. 8 respectfully deals with the
punishment for sexual assault.
Child pornography is that exploits children for sexual stimulation and
commercial gains. Such exploitation may take many forms.
POCSO Act s.13, 14, 15 are deals with the child pornography and punishment.
53% of girl children in India are victims of sexual exploitation in one form or
another. The sex crimes include rape, child molestation, lewd conduct,
possession and distribution of child pornography or obscene material,
prostitution, solicitation for prostitution, pimping, pandering, indecent
exposure, penetration of the genital or anal region by a foreign object and
sexual battery etc.
Ghanashyam Mishra V. State
In this case a 10 years old child was raped by 39 years old men and the court
held that the person is liable for 7 years of imprisonment and also pay
compensation to the father and the child.
The crime of unlawfully seizing and carrying away a person by force or fraud, or
seizing and detaining a person against his or her will called Kidnapping
S. 359 deals with kidnapping and s. 360 deals kidnapping from India
s. 363 deals with punishment for kidnapping
Ghouse Hj kadeer Mastan V. Rex
The girl was from Hanafi School who has attained puberty and had been
taken away by the accused and they got married.
The accused was convicted for kidnapping.
Child abduction or child theft is the unauthorized removal of a minor from the
custody of the child's natural parents or legally appointed guardians.
The begging is one of the crime faced by the children's. some of the people used
children for begging and it also affect their future.
Adoption is a legal process by which a child is placed with a married couple or
a female who agree to raise her as a their own child and assume all
responsibility for her. The following are the child laws exist in India.
Hindu adoption and maintenance Act of 1956 deals with adoption laws relating
Hindus, jain, Sikhs or Buddhist.
Guardian and Wards Act of 1890 deals adoption by foreign citizens, NRIs and
Indian nationals who are Muslims, Christians or Jews.
Juvenile Justice Act also deals the law relating adoption of children by non-
L. K Pandey V. UOI
The supreme court of India has laid down certain guidelines for foreign adoption
in an attempt to safeguard the interests of the children. The first guideline is
the applications made under the Guardian and Wards Act, 1890 has to be disposed
of within months. And other one is requirement for personal presence of the
The constitutional safeguards discussed in Article 23 and 24 and Article 21A was
incorporated right to education is a fundamental right. The state shall provide
free and compulsory education to all children of the age of six to fourteen
years in such manner as the state may, by law, determine.
Art 51A (k) who is parent or guardian to provide opportunities for education to
his child or as the case may be, ward between the age of six and fourteen years.
Unnikrishnan V. State of AP
The right to education is a fundamental right and it was incorporated in Art 21
A of the Indian Constitution.
Ashok Kumar Thakur V. UOI
The case is also deals with Child Education. The strict order for compulsory
education is passed. The age between 6-14 years must be provide free and
one of the crime faced by the children is earlier marriage child marriage
restraint act prohibit the child marriage. The child marriage prevents a child
to attend their schools and act as a servant for domestic purpose.
Related Case Laws
Ganesh Ram V. State of Jharkhand and Ors.
A bench of S Mukhopadhya, N Tiwari held “if a person, below 14 years of age, is
appointed, penal order can be passed against the employer under the Child Labour
(Prohibition and Regulation Act 1986) but no order, penal in nature, be passed
against the employee”
Jaya Kumar Nat $ Anr V. State of NCT of Delhi $ Anr
Delhi High Court directs the Government of Delhi to come out with a proper
scheme to address the issue of rehabilitation of these rescued the children and
provide free and compulsory education.
P.U.D.R V. UOI
In this case Supreme Court directed the state government to amend the schedule
of the employment of children Act, 1938. Further court held that construction
work is hazardous occupation.
Salal Hydro project V. State of J $ K
In this case the court held that the child labour is a difficult problem and it
is purely on account of economic problem and it cannot be solved by mere
legislation. So long poverty continues the problem of child labour education is
Lakshmi Kumar Pandey V. UOI
The court held that, the uniform law of adoption applicable to all communities
including the Muslims also.
Sakshi V. UOI
The case of child abuse and rape are increasing at alarming speed and
appropriate legislation in this regard is, therefore, urgently required the
parliament will give serious attention to make laws seriously and child friendly
approach also be taken.
Seema Roy V. State NCT of Delhi
The court held that take necessary steps to prevent children in hazardous work
place. and make several guidelines.
- There is a need to increase the punishment for offences against child.
- Child related offence are increases day by day so effective controlling
- There is a need for implement several child protection measures.
In the history of human rights, the rights of children are most ratified. The
constitution of India provides that the state as a directive principle of state
policy, must seek to ensure and protect the child rights. In the present times
protection of children from all kinds of exploitation and abuse has become the
main objective of our society. This writing deals the child rights and as well
as the child laws and crimes against child.
- Convention on rights of child
- Protection of offences from sexual offences Act, 2012
- Juvenile justice (care and protection of children ) Act,2015
- People union for civil liberties V. UOI,(2002) SCR 294
- Bandhua mukti morcha V. UOI $ ors. AIR 802,1984 SCR(2) 67
- Sheela Barse V. UOI,JT1986,scale 92) 230
- M. C Mehta V. State of Tamil Nadu 1987SCR(1) 819 AIR 1989
- Protection of children from sexual offences Act,2012
- Ganesh Ram V. State of Jharkhand and Ors,2006 (2) JCR 489
- Indian Penal Code, 1860
- Ghouse Hj kadeer Mastan V. Rex,1949 CriLJ 535
- Indian constitution,1949
- Unnikrishnan V. State of AP,1993 AIR 217SCR (1) 47
- Ashok Kumar Thakur V. UOI $ ors (2008)
- Jaya Kumar Nat $ Anr V. State of NCT of Delhi $ Anr 2015
- Ganesh Ram V. State of Jharkhand and Ors.
- P.U.D.R V. UOI,1984 SCR (1) 456
- Salal Hydro project V. State of J $ K,(1984) 3 SCC538
- Lakshmi Kumar Pandey V. UOI,1984 AIR 469
- Sakshi V. UOI,1994 Crlj 5025
- Seema Roy V. State NCT of Delhi, W. P (CRL)1548 of 2015