Minister warns employers not to employ children under 18June 22, 2012, 9:28 pm
By Don Asoka Wijewardena
Labour and Labour Relations Minister Gamini Lokuge on Wednesday warned employers not to employ any person under 18 years of age in hazardous employments such as metal quarries, fire cracker manufacturing enterprises, explosives manufacturing firms and machinery manufacturing industrial complexes. The employers who flouted the law would be fined Rs.10,000 or be liable to 12 months imprisonment.
The International Labour Federation, which held its meeting in Geneva recently, had introduced a new set of rules and regulations on child labour. Sri Lanka’s Labour Act No 47 of 1956 was amended to incorporate new provisions, he told The Island.
Minister Lokuge said that it was illegal to employ any child under 14 years of age in any occupation, but many unscrupulous employers were detected employing under-aged boys and girls in various occupations. Many employers were secretly hiring under-aged children as domestic aides.
He pointed out that the principal goal of the government would be to eradicate child labour from Sri Lanka by 2016. A comprehensive survey conducted on employing under-aged in hazardous occupations had revealed that many under-aged children were being employed in stone quarries, explosive manufacturing firms, fire cracker manufacturing companies and industrial complexes without protective gear.
The Ministry had intensified its sudden raids on such organizations. A new set of penalties had been imposed on the defaulting employers.
Commissioner General of Labour Ms. Pearl Weerasinghe, said that a set of new fines had been introduced to penalize errant employers who were exploiting under-aged children. Inspections of industrial complexes, houses where domestic servants are employed and hazardous items manufacturing firms, had been intensified.
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Last Updated May 25 2013 | 03:45 pm