[JURIST] A new child labor law [MOL press release], which criminalizes the hiring of children under the age of 14 as house servants or restaurant workers [MOL notice, PDF], took effect in India [JURIST news archive] on Tuesday. Offending employers are eligible for a maximum penalty of a year in prison and a $217 fine. Proponents of the law say it will encourage children to stay in school [PM press release], while opponents say the law does not address the root causes of child labor, namely, poverty, and that the poorest children will continue to work.
According to a report [text] prepared by the Embassy of India in Washington, DC, 3.6 percent of the total labor force is under the age of 14, 85 percent of which work on family farms. AP has more.