Section 26



Child labour Criminal liability Debt bondage Forced labour

This section criminalises the exploitation of juvenile or child workers,  including procuring a juvenile for the purpose of hazardous employment, keeping him or her in debt bondage, or withholding or using his or her earnings.


In Save the Childhood Foundation v Union of India and Others, the Delhi High Court established that where a victim of child labour is rescued, the relevant business’ license can be suspended or cancelled and the premises can be sealed, until back wages are paid to the victims or court fines, as applicable, are paid. A conviction is not required.

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Section 26. Exploitation of juvenile or child employee.– Whoever ostensibly procures a juvenile or the child for the purpose of any hazardous employment keeps him in bondage and withholds his earnings or uses such earning for his own purposes shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years and shall be liable to fine.

Law /India / Juvenile Justice Act 2000

The Juvenile Justice Act 2000 defines a juvenile as a person under the age of 18. The Act criminalises subjecting a juvenile to cruelty, employing a juvenile for begging and procuring a juvenile for the purpose of hazardous employment or for bonded labour.