Royal Commission on Labour in India: Report(1929)||
As a result of the consideration given to the Washington Convention fixing the minimum age for admission of children to industrial employment, the Indian Legislature passed an Act in 1922 making it obligatory on the local Government to frame rules under the Indian Porte Act of 1908 prohibiting the employment of children under the age of 12 years "upon the handling of goods at piers, jetties, landing places, wharves, quays, docks, warehouses and sheds." Although such rules have been duly promulgated in the only port in which we found children employed, some children below the prescribed age were employed in the coaling of ships. We were uncertain if such employment was an infringement of the law, in view of the fact that the coaling was done on the waterside of the ship and not at a pier, jetty, etc., mentioned in the Indian Ports (Amendment) Act of 1922. Since our visit, an amending Act has been passed, which should put the matter beyond doubt. Provincial Governments are now required to frame rules prohibiting the employment of children under the age of 12 years upon the handling of goods " in any port subject to this Act". As in our view work of this kind is not suitable for children and a system of half-time working is not practicable, we recommend that the minimum age should be raised to 14 years. It should be the duty of the factory inspector to secure the due observance of the law in this respect.