Section 2

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Debt bondage

Section 2 prohibits any agreements under which a parent or guardian of a child pledges the labour of the child in exchange for an economic consideration or other benefits.

Notes

The pledging of a child´s labour is a traditional form of debt bondage in India, in which typically parents pledge the labour of children in exchange for an advance payment or loan.

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Text

Section 2. Definitions.- 

In this Act, unless there is anything repugnant in the subject or context,–

“an agreement to pledge the labour of a child” means an agreement, written or oral, express or implied, whereby the parent or guardian of a child, in return for any payment or benefit received or to be received by him, undertakes to cause or allow the services of the child to be utilised in any employment:

Provided that an agreement made without detriment to a child, and not made in consideration of any benefit other than reasonable wages to be paid for the child’s services, and terminable at not more than a week’s notice, is not an agreement within the meaning of this definition;

“child” means a person who is under the age of fifteen years; and “guardian” includes any person having legal custody of or control over a child.

Law / 24 February 1933 /India / The Children (Pledging of Labour) Act, 1933

This law was introduced to prohibit agreements under which a parent or guardian of a child would pledge the labour of the child in exchange for an economic consideration or other benefits.

The Act provides that such agreements shall be null and void. However, any agreement which is not harmful and prejudicial to the child and has been made in consideration of any benefit in lieu of the services rendered by the child, and is terminable at not more than a week’s notice, is not deemed to be illegal under the Act.