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Kerala High Court: Selling Small Articles with Parents does Not Amount to Child Labour

  • Posted on January 11, 2023
  • News
  • By Akta Yadav
Kerala High Court:-
Judgment of the Kerala High Court A single bench of the Kerala High Court consisting of VG Arun J., while deciding in a child labour matter of Pappu Bawariya and Anr v. District Collector Civil Station and ors., laid down that children who are engaged with parents in the sale of small articles cannot be said to fall under child labour. The court defined that “child labour” is a highly commercial activity where there are chances that children maybe exploited, however, assisting one’s own family for earning money is not a commercial but only a need of the poor family. Hence, such an act would not be covered under child labour. Background of the Case On 29th November 2022, the police had taken away the two children, Vikas and Vishnu from their parents on the grounds of child labour and relocated them to a shelter home called Snehabavan Shelter Home with the aid of the local Child Welfare Committee (CWC). Kerala High Court Kerala High Court The Kerala High Court condemned this action of the police and CWC and dismissed charges of child labour. It also said that separating the child from its biological family on the pretext of child labour would be detrimental to the development of the child. What do Small Articles Include? Small articles according to the Kerala High Court are pens, rings, chains, bangles, etc or any other articles procured or produced by the family itself as a source of earning. Selling such articles would not amount to child labour. Social Issues Pointed Out by the Kerala High Court The Court took support from the following statement of Mahatma Gandhi: “To be poor is not a crime and to quote the father of our nation, poverty is the worst form of violence.” It expressed that it does understand that these tender years are important for education and children must be found in schools rather than roaming on streets engaged in child labour, however, it is not the fault of a child that he/she is born to a poor family. Assisting one’s own family in mitigating its financial condition cannot be a ground for punishing the child or his/her poor parents for child labour. Kerala High Court Kerala High Court   Child Labour and Poverty are very closely inter-linked. Both of these problems need to be tackled with an integrated approach by the Government. Laws need to be sensitive towards the financial conditions of families.
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Akta Yadav

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