Child Labour in India

Topics: Child Labor, India, Government of India Pages: 9 (3100 words) Published: December 24, 2012
Child labour in India

The problem of child labour exploitation is a major challenge to the progress of developing countries. Children work at the cost of their right to education which leaves them permanently trapped in the poverty cycle, sadly without the education and literacy required for better-paying jobs. This is particularly serious in India as it tops the list with the highest number of child labourers in the world. The 2001 national census of India estimated the total number of child labour, aged 5–14, to be at 12.6 million.[1] Out of the 12.6 million, about 1 million engages in hazardous job. However according to informal labour force statistics, the problem seems to be more severe than reflected. Child labour is estimated to be as large as 60 million in India, as many children are "hidden workers" working in homes or in the underground economy.[2] In the long run, this phenomenon will evolve to be both a social and an economic problem as economic disparities widen between the poor and educationally backward states and that of the faster-growing states. India has the highest number of labourers in the world under 14 years of age.[3] Although the Constitution of India guarantees free and compulsory education to children between the age of 6 to 14 and prohibits employment of children younger than 14, most are working in 18 hazardous occupations and 65 hazardous processes,[4][5] child labour is prevalent in almost all informal sectors of the Indian economy.[6] Companies including Gap,[7] Primark,[8] Monsanto[9] and others have been criticised for using child labour in either their operations in India or by their suppliers in India. In India, child labour is prohibited under the Indian Penal Code, the Juvenile Justice (care and protection) of Children Act, 2000, the Child Labour prohibition and regulation Act. Recently, following a demand by Bachpan Bachao Andolan, the Union Govt. has announced that a new law — Child Labour Abolition Act, for a total abolition of child labour. Contents  [hide]  * 1 Causes * 2 Bonded child labour in India * 3 Consequences of child labour * 3.1 Diamond industry * 3.2 Fireworks manufacture * 3.3 Silk manufacture * 3.4 Domestic labour * 3.5 Construction * 3.6 Brick kilns * 4 Initiatives against child labour * 4.1 Legislation * 4.2 Non-governmental organisations * 5 See also * 6 References * 7 External links| -------------------------------------------------

Many Indian families send their children to work, with some living away from home. Reasons are often associated with poverty, keeping up with the large-size family subsistence and inadequate public education infrastructure.[10] Families generally are also unable to afford their children’s education.[11] “Families will have to go without their children's income for several years, a choice many poor parents will be unable to make without help.” -BBC news[12] Attending school means forgoing a source of income for the family. This is a common problem, especially in the low caste and minorities of India.[13] The demand for child labour further aggravates the situation. Many manufacturing firms and sweatshops are strategically located at poverty-stricken areas to attract children to work as labourers. One example is the textile factory in Delhi where clothes for the International brand “GAP” were manufactured. Though these children were rescued by Bachpan Bachao Andolan activists, but rehabilitation of child labourers still remains an issue. In 2010 Master ABHILASH rescued many children in Andhra Pradesh. With profit maximizing objectives, firms are incentivised to employ children rather than adults due to their cheaper wages, higher efficiency and most importantly, absence of union problems.[14][15] The biggest cause of child labour remains the lack of effective law enforcement against child labour employers and...
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