Child Labour Listed as ‘Dangerous Occupation’ – NCPA Chair
By Sulcohana Ramiah Mohan
Child labour, which includes underage domestic workers, has been listed under ‘Dangerous Occupations’ and will soon be enacted as a law, said Chairman of the National Child Protection Authority (NCPA), Prof. Muditha Widanapathirana.
He said currently the proposal is with the legal draftsman and it would be soon enacted as a law. The NCPA Chairman said, “Prior to 18 June 2021, there were 52 occupations that were considered as dangerous occupations and now the list has increased to 76, including child labour.
He said a child between 16 and 18 cannot be engaged in a dangerous occupation in the country. He added the age limit for anyone to be employed had been raised from 14 years of age to 16 from 18 June 2021. He also said children under 16 years of age cannot go fishing in deep sea as it will also be considered a dangerous occupation once the law is enacted.
He said the punishment for employing underage children is severe and so far it is not been amended. “The punishment for employing a minor is quite tough in the existing law, he added. Child abuse takes place within the four walls and it has to be brought to the NCPA’s attention, he underlined. “We need to be alerted,” he told Ceylon Today