Child Labour in India

Topics: India, Child Labor, Government of India Pages: 10 (2957 words) Published: November 28, 2011
The problem of child labor 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, 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 ,0.12 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 in any hazardous environment, child labour is prevalent in almost all informal sectors of the Indian economy.[4] Companies including Gap,[5] Primark,[6] Monsanto[7] etc. have been criticised for using child labour in either their operations in India or by their suppliers in India. Contents


1 Definition
2 Causes
3 Bonded Child Labour in India
4 Consequences of Child Labour
4.1 Diamond industry
4.2 Fireworks manufacture
4.3 Silk manufacture
4.4 Domestic labour
4.5 Construction
4.6 Brick kilns
5 Initiatives against child labour
5.1 Legislation
5.2 Non-governmental organizations
6 References
7 External links

[edit] Definition

Child labour, as defined by the International Labour Organization, refers to work that leads to the deprivation of one’s childhood and education opportunities. Effects include a loss of potential and dignity in self, which is harmful to a child’s physical and mental development. [edit] Causes

Many Indian families are sending their children to work, with some even living away from home. Reasons behind are often associated with poverty, keeping up with the large-size family subsistence and inadequate public education infrastructure. [8]Families generally are also unable to afford their children’s education.[9]

“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[10]

As the above quote suggests, poor families are unable to make the right decision for their children’s education as the child’s income plays a role in sustaining the family’s livelihood. Attending school would also mean forgoing a source of income for the family. This is a common sight, especially in the low caste and minorities of India.[11]kid are raped

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 would be the textile factory in Delhi where clothes for the International brand “GAP” were manufactured. 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.[12][13] [edit] Bonded Child Labour in India

The worst form of child labours would probably be bonded labour. It refers to children who are “sold” by their parents for a petty sum, a loan or to pay off debts.[14] A form of long run employer-slave relationship is formed when these children are...
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