Child labourers are exploited, exposed to hazardous work conditions and paid a pittance for their long hours of work. They belong to the unorganized labour force. The Constitution of India says that: Child labourers are exploited, exposed to hazardous work conditions and paid a pittance for their long hours of work. They belong to the unorganized labour force. The Constitution of India says that: (a) No child below the age of 14 years shall be employed to work in any hazardous employment (Article 24) (b) Childhood and youth are to be protected against exploitation and against moral and material abandonment (Article 39 (f)). (c) The State shall endeavour to provide within a period of 10 year from the commencement of the Constitution free and compulsory education for all children until they have completed the age of 14 years (Article 45). A survey conducted by a research group sponsored by the Ministry of Labour, Government of India (Joshi, 1986) has reported that of the estimated 102.3 million households in the country, 34.7% had working children. Seventy nine per cent working children are in the rural areas. Two thirds of the working children belong to the 12-15 years age-group and the rest are below 12 years. A survey conducted by the Operations Research Group (ORG) Baroda (Vadodara) in 1985 had put the figure of working children at 44.5 million. 2. Nature of Child Work
A majority of the working children are found in rural area. In urban areas, they are found in canteens/restaurants, or are found engaged in picking rags and hawking goods on foot-path. But some children are working in highly hazardous conditions. For examples fireworks and match box units in Sivakasi in Ramanathapuram district in Tamil Nadu employ 45,000 children. A large number of children are working in stone polishing units in Jaipur, brassware industry in Moradabad, lock making units in Aligarh, Slate- industry in Markapur (Andhra Pradesh), Mandsaur (Madhya Pradesh) and the...
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