District-level labour dept. teams asked to be vigilant about any commercial establishment engaging child labour: Prestone

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Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong said all the district-level labour department teams have been asked to be extremely vigilant about any commercial establishment resorting to engaging child labour.

 Replying to a call attention notice tabled by Umroi MLA George B Lyngdoh on Thursday, Tynsong said the teams were also directed to conduct surprise checks of the premises of the commercial establishments to detect cases of child labour engaged by the employers.

 All such cases when detected shall be strictly dealt with as per the law, he said.

 On the allegation of using un-documented labour and child labour at MN Saw-cum-Veneer Mills Pvt Ltd, Umiam Industrial Area, Tynsong said the inspection was conducted on February 24 to ascertain the presence of underaged workers below the age of 18 years.

 A total of 6 permanent and 20 casual workers were found to be present and working on the premises on the said say.

 During the inspection, there was no evidence of engaging underaged child labour by the sawmill, he said.

 The deputy chief minister however informed that the government has constituted a district task force in each district under the Child Labour (Prohibited and Regulation) Act, 1986, to monitor all initiatives by the designated team of officers for identification, pre-rescue planning, rescue operation, interim care, as well as for persecution of employers/violators under the said Act.

 He said the district task force is headed by the deputy commissioner and assisted by 12 other members from police, labour, social welfare, BDOs of the district, and district child protection officer respectively.

 The DTF will meet at regular intervals to review the actions carried out by the members to ensure that no child labour is engaged in any commercial activities in any district in the state, he added.