Human Rights Violation

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The prevention of child labor has become a crucial issue because it is not merely a question of exploitation but also creates the problem of juvenile crime. The recent legislative curbs have brought about some changes in the pattern of employment of children in the organized industry. Child workers fall mostly in the age category between 10 and 15 and are engaged in gainful occupation which exposes them to hazardous work hampering any chance of their development. According to the Labor Force and Planning Commission, the number of child labor had gone up to 3, 765 lakhs till 1995 and by the year 2000, there could be a threefold rise to 25 millions. At the root of the problem lies the question of poverty and the very low family income of child workers. In recent years, there has been a decline in the proportion of child labor in the organized sector but it has spread its tentacles in the unorganized sectors such as road construction, weaving industry and restaurants. According to the 1981 census, Jammu and Kashmir had 10.53 per cent, the highest number of child labor incidence out of which about 85 per cent was engaged in handicrafts and handlooms. Aristotle had compared the superiority of the educated over the unlettered and said that it was as much as the living are to the dead. The importance of education for the physical, intellectual and moral will of an individual cannot be overemphasized and its success lies in releasing the individual from the clutches of ignorance in all possible permutation and combinations. The National Human Rights Commission NHRC has concentrated on eliminating child labor, particularly child prostitution, which in a way has become an organized, clandestine profession. The Commission has made stupendous progress in eliminating child labor in the glass industry of Ferozabad district in Uttar Pradesh. The news of the deportation of 75 Indian children, including girls, from Saudi Arabia points the underground functioning of a powerful syndicate which sells poor, deformed children, particularly female children, from the Murshidabad district of West Bengal. The Commission can play an active role by involving nongovernment organizations and creating awareness among the general masses. It is paradoxical that while the percentage of literacy is increasing, the total number of unlettered has also been increasing. Besides, there is a tremendous difference between the male and female literacy ratio. In 1931, there were 560 male literates for every 100 literate females In 1991, the tally was 63.9 and 39.31. Though there has been a significant improvement in the literacy rate of the females and the difference has narrowed down to a certain extent, the overall position of women has not improved much. Women workers are exploited in the private and public sectors. In certain unorganized sectors, the womenfolk, especially those belonging to the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes, face sexual harassment and are denied equal wages. Concerted efforts by the NHRC and nongovernment organizations are needed to remedy the situation. Another major challenge is the alarming population growth 16 per cent of the world's population, rendering efforts towards tacking unemployment difficult. The International Labor Organization's report on World Employment, 199697 says that the economies of most countries have noticed a declining trend in employment opportunities but the overall scenario of employment in India, the Philippines, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Myanmar is particularly pessimistic. It is important that a major portion of the national resources should be used to generate more job opportunities. A Home Ministry report, Crime In India, says that 5, 692 cases of juvenile crime such as a criminal breach of trust, burglary and counterfeiting were registered in 1994, Tamil Nadu reported the highest number of juvenile offences 3.521 followed by Gujarat 703. Education can play a major role in...
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