Child Labour

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EVILS OF CHILD LABOUR
INTRODUCTION:
Childhood is the most innocent stage in a human life. It is that phase of life where a child is free from all the tensions, fun-loving, play and learns new things, and is the sweetheart of all the family members. But this is only one side of the story. The other side is full of tensions and burdens. Here, the innocent child is not the sweetheart of the family members, instead he is an earning machine working the entire day in order to satisfy the needs and wants of his/her family. This is what is called 'CHILD LABOUR'. Child Labour, consisting of children below 14 years of age, is defined by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) as the type of work performed by children that deprives them of their childhood and their dignity, which hampers their access to education and acquisition of skills and which is performed under conditions harmful to their health and their development. Children are the greatest gift to humanity and the same gift is being misused for personal gains as child labour. They constitute 36% of India’s population but a large majority of children. The flower (Child) withers before it blossoms. There are various causes and effects of child labour. Eliminating child labour is one of the biggest challenges that the whole world is facing. Child labour includes working children who are below a certain minimum age. This practice is going on since long and is one of the worst forms of child exploitation. Child labour not only causes damage to a child’s physical and mental health but also keep him deprive of his basic rights to education, development, and freedom. According to statistics provided by UNICEF, there are an estimated 250 million children aged 5 to 14 years employed in child labour worldwide and this figure is continuously increasing. In many developed countries, it is considered inappropriate or exploitative if a child below a certain age works (excluding household chores, in a family shop, or school-related work).An employer is usually not permitted to hire a child below a certain minimum age. This minimum age depends on the country and the type of work involved. States ratifying the Minimum Age Convention adopted by the International Labor Organization in 1973, have adopted minimum ages varying from 14 to 16. The incidence of child labour in the world decreased from 25 to 10 percent between 1960 and 2003, according to the World Bank. Child labour is not only affecting under-developed and developing countries, but developed countries are also facing this though the rate is comparatively very less. Child labor in Asia accounts for the highest percentage of child labour (61%) followed by Africa (32%). According to International Labour Organization (ILO), if child labor will be banned and all children gets proper education, world's total income would be raised by nearly 22% over 20 years, which accounts for more than $4 trillion. Banning child labor will help in boosting the economy of a country. CAUSES OF CHILD LABOUR:

The main causes of child labor include poverty, unemployment, and excess population. Among these, poverty is the primary cause of child labour. You must have observed that poor families have more number of children, so it becomes very difficult for them to survive on the income of only one family member which is also quite less. So they make their small children their source of income. They make their children work in factories, shops, even selling items on streets. Some parents even carry infants on the streets to earn money from begging. Some percentage of child labour also comes from harassment by parents, step-parents or relatives. There are many cases of child labor where a child has to work against the repayment of a loan which was taken by his father who was unable to pay it off. This is called as 'bonded child labour'. Bonded child labor normally happens in villages. Such children work like slaves in order to pay the loan taken. Not...
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