Poll panel warns against employing children in election work

May 1st, 2009 - 9:53 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, May 1 (IANS) The Election Commission Friday asked the chief secretaries and chief electoral officers of all states to ensure that children below the age of 14 are not employed in any election-related work.
“The Commission has taken strong exception to use of children in work connected with elections. It is highly objectionable. In order to ensure that no such insensitivity is shown by the election related officials anywhere in the country, the Commission has directed that such violation of child rights for any work connected with the election process is in no way acceptable to the Commission,” the poll panel said in a letter to the chief secretaries and poll officials.

The Election Commission’s warning comes after photographs of children carrying electronic voting machines in Bhagalpur, Bihar during the ongoing polls were published in a newspaper.

The poll panel also said that the district election officers/returning officers will be personally held responsible for any such violation of the Child Labour Act and will face severe disciplinary action apart from facing the consequences of law in case of any such instance.

The Child Labour Act, 1986 bans the employment of children below 14 years of age in specified occupations such as transport of goods, which are considered unsafe and harmful to them.

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