An Essay On Child Labour – A Global and Indian Perspective
It is an essay on Child labour (Child labour essay) that explains the concept of child labour in detail and showcases several minute details about this prevailing global and local issue.
What Is Child Labour?
Child labour is engaging children in economic activities on a full-time or part-time basis, such as in industries and hotels.
- It is a universal issue that is more common in developing and underdeveloped countries like India, African Nations, Bangladesh, Nepal, etc.
- Child labour violates Human rights and involves activities that physically or mentally harm children and expose them to potentially dangerous and life-threatening situations. However, every type of activity children perform does not come under child labour, so they need not be eliminated.
- Some activities that do not negatively impact health, regular schooling, and personal development are considered as something positive. For example, it is helping parents with household works and their businesses. Generally, have a positive impact on children with their skills and productivity.
Alarming though is that millions of children worldwide are victims of child labour even in today’s twenty-first century. In this essay on Child Labour, we will discuss the current situation of child labour in detail.
Most of their involvement is in factories, restaurants, mines selling the market, and housemaids. Nearly 1 in 10 children (approx. 152 million) – are in child labour and almost half of them in hazardous situations.
However, child labour is illegal in most countries but is still common due to various reasons like poverty, backwardness, lack of education, etc.
Child labour is one of the burning global issues requiring immediate attention from government civil societies and the general public, various national and international humanitarian. The organization has been actively working for years. Child labour still needs severe observations and actions.
In the following essay on child labour, we will go through the various aspects of child labour like its causes, types, control measures, And current scenario.
Overview Of Child Labour In the World
Child labour is far more common in developing countries, where children as young as seven—still toil in mines, factories, and service enterprises. Child labour constitutes more than 10 percent of the labour force in some Middle East countries and ranges from 2 to 10 percent in Latin America and some parts of Asia.
- Child exploitation prevails on all continents, and forms differ according to the place’s traditions and cultures.
- Mainly In Southeast Asia and the Pacific, people sell girls in large numbers to supply prostitution networks or work as domestic workers. Mainly boys are also sold to work in textile factories.
- In Africa, there is extreme poverty that even parents sell their children, often for livestock. These children are exploited in plantations, mines or will become domestic workers.
- In developed nations like North America and Latin America, children are victims of prostitution to satisfy tourists’ perverse appetites and are exploited more and more by drug traffickers.
Child Labour In Numbers
As per recent estimates of the International Labour Organization in 2017, 152 million children between 5 and 17 are victims of child labour.
- Nearly 1 in 10 children between the age of 5 and 17 years involved in work,
- Around 4.3 million children aged below 18 years are forced. labour,
- 9% works in the agriculture sector,
- 2% in the service enterprises,
- 9% in heavy factories,
- Most child labour takes place in the informal area.
- Nearly 70% of the children do unpaid work supporting their families.
Indian Scenario Of Child Labour
According to the Census 2001 figures, there are 1.26 crore working children in the age group of 5-14 compared to the total child population of 25.2 crores. As per a survey conducted by the National Sample Survey Organization (NSSO) in 2004-05, the Estimated number of child labourers is 90.75 lakh. According to the recent Census 2011, the number of working children in the age group of 5-14 years decreased to 43.53. It shows that the measures of the Government have worked quite significantly.
(Video) Child Labour Around the World is more complicated than you think!
History – The Movement Against Child Labour- Global Perspective
The initial movement to modulate child labour started in Great Britain at the ending of the 18th century. It was a high possibility for exploitation due to large-scale manufacturing.
Thus, it gave rise to the movement. The first law, in 1802, had an aim to control the situation of poor children to cotton-mill owners. This law failed enforcement. In 1833 the Factory Act made a provision for factory inspection.
- The first International Labour Conference held in Berlin in the year 1890 was the beginning of Organized international efforts to regulate child labour.
- Representatives from many countries established the International Association for Labour Legislation in 1990 to promote child labour provisions as part of other international labour legislation.
- ILO formulated the International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour (IPEC) in 1992 and worked to date with its various programs worldwide.
- The International Labour Organization (ILO) launched the World Day Against Child Labour on June 12, 2002, to emphasize the global degree of child labour and the efforts needed to eliminate it.
- ILO’s current focus is to detect and nullify the “worst forms” of child labour that include labour that negatively impacts a child’s normal development.
Causes Of Child Labour
Poverty is the foremost reason children have to be involved in paying jobs or – especially for young girls – domestic work that may be unpaid. According to the U.N. 2005 data, 1/4th of the people worldwide lives in extreme poverty; what makes it more gruesome is the covid situation.
Social Issues like discrimination and marginalization are the leading social causes of child labour. Even Young Girls, ages 13-17, are forced into sex slavery and prostitution.
There is a kind of established social norm to engage children in agriculture works in rural areas.
Children are available at lower costs to work in industries, markets, and restaurants. Many times they work free of cost just for food and a place to live.
Situation of crisis
When there are emergencies like conflicts or natural disasters where families need to escape to other places, they often have to use their children to earn money to pay for food. According to UNICEF, 30 million children live in countries other than their birth country. It further increases the probability of child labour.
Due to the shortage of employment opportunities for primary earning members, children are compelled to support themselves and their families.
Inadequate Laws and enforcement
Child labour laws worldwide are there but often not implemented correctly or include individual freedoms that allow child labour to persist in agriculture or domestic work. Despite having strict Child labour laws in many countries failed to enforce due to inadequate funding and fewer staffs.
Pay off the debt
Traditions prevails that push low-income families into indebting themselves heavily for social or religious events like marriage, then relying on their children’s work to pay off the debt. Bonded labourers still widespread due to the extra financial pressure on families.
The Child Labour Experiment
Types Of Child Labour
It is the type of child labour where one person is owned by another person who makes. The person who owns makes any work and another person must do it without having any say over what happens to them. Mostly Slaves are held against their will from the time of their capture, purchase, or birth. Victims of slavery are not allowed to leave or escape work.
The illegal buying, selling, and movement of children for labour or sexual exploitation is child tracking. Various reasons for child trafficking are reasons forced labour, prostitution, and recruitment as beggars.
The type of child labour is widespread in rural areas of developing countries. It is a kind of forced labour where work is exchanged to pay off loans that people cannot pay off with money or goods. Children from low-income families are supposed to work for a certain number of years to pay off their debts.
It is when somebody forces a person to live and work on his/her land belonging, often with little or no pay.
Children are in the compulsion to work against their wishes. It is popular in armed conflict. People use children as cooks, porters, and messengers and sometimes even force them to kill another person.
This form of child labour includes prostitution, pornography, and pornographic performances. Sexual exploitation is a grim issue where children of a young age are used for monetary gain through pornographic images or forcefully involving them in sexual slavery. There are a large number of kidnappings of children to traffick them across the borders.
Producing and illegal buying and selling of drugs is an illicit activity that often involves children. People often lure children with money and status. Children who produce or trade drugs are at significant risk of abuse, and many become addicted to drugs at a very young age.
Effects of Child Labour
In this essay on child labour we will discuss some crucial effects of child labour in a nation.
Childhood is the primary human of everyone, which he should live under the love and care of his parents, but this illegal Act of child labour forces a child to live life like a grown-up. Child labour often has severe short and long-term consequences. Children are continuously at a high risk of physical abuse, malnutrition, and sexually transmitted diseases. Following are the significant effects of child labour.
Loss of Quality childhood
As humans, we have the privilege to make our choices, set priorities, and infinite learning potential. And childhood is the foundation for everything. We must enjoy each stage of development. A child should spend time with friends, play games, and make memories to recollect later in a lifetime. Youths should explore and form a strong base that would define their lives ahead.
Therefore, child labour leads to a loss of childhood quality as children lack the opportunity to enjoy the fantastic experiences, love, and care that come with being young. Children are often motivated to play because it helps in their mental and physical growth and development. A child forced to work will miss many of the good things associated with childhood.
Almost all child labour victims have high chances of health complications due to undernourishment and poor working conditions. People who employ children don’t have the moral capacity to ensure that they have the right working conditions.
The atmosphere in mines and poorly conditioned factories can cause lifetime health issues for children. A child assigned physically demanding duties may suffer physical trauma that may result in handicapped.
It might negatively impact a child’s mind when age-mates are out playing and going to school. Children cannot also protect themselves from most of the challenges that occur in the workplace. Bullying, sexual exploitation, and unfavorable working hours may leave a long term mental trauma in these children. Child labour may also result in a lack of emotional growth and thus lack empathy and insensitivity.
Almost all children don’t get the opportunity to attend a regular school life. Lack of formal education limits the options for children who are a victim of child labour. Lack of education also deprives them of essential skills to face several challenges in society and overcome life’s problems. The school and college education somehow prepares you to extend to approach certain situations in life.
Impact Of Covid-19 In Child Labour In India
Covid-19 has made an impact on child labour in numerous ways. According to reports, in May 2020, 12 million children lost their jobs. The marginalized group was most affected. A vast number of people are sliding into the Poverty zone that increases child labour. The research found that for every percent increase in poverty, Child labour five 0.7%.
Studies suggest there is a high chance that the number of school-going students will also decrease drastically because, on the one hand, many parents will not send their kids to school. On the other hand, children in child labour are not able to attend schools. Labour minister Santosh Gangwar Child labour will increase in India Post pandemic.
Laws Against Child Labour
In countries like Europe, North America, Australia, and New Zealand, children under age 15 rarely work except in commercial agriculture because of the effective enforcement of laws passed in the first half of the 20th century.
For example, in the United States, the Fair Labour Standards Act of 1938 set the minimum age at 14 for employment outside of school hours in non-manufacturing jobs, at 16 during school hours in interstate commerce, and at 18 for occupations deemed hazardous.
Laws in India Against Child Labour
- Following Article 23 of the Indian Constitution, there is a prohibition in any labour work by force.
- Article 24 of the Indian constitution states that Nonone can assign a child under 14 years to involve any hazardous work.
- Another one, Article 39, says that the health and strength of workers, men, and women, and children’s tender age are not to be abused.
- In the same manner, the Child Labour Act (Prohibition and Regulation) 1986 prohibits children under the age of 14 years from being working in hazardous industries and processes.
Efforts To Control Child Labour In India
In 1979, the Government set up the first committee called Gurupadswamy Committee to study child labour and suggest measures to tackle it. The committee’s finding was that without eliminating poverty, it is impossible to wipe out child labour from India completely.
Union Government accepted the Gurupadswamy Committee’s suggestions to pass the child labour prohibition and Regulation Act 1986. This Act regulates the working condition in your head places and bans working in certain hazardous occupations.
In May of 2015, the primary amendment children made in the child labour prohibition and Regulation Act 1986. The new reformation of the Act does not allow children between 5 to 14 years to work in any position. However, there is no restriction to work in the entertainment industry.
Several NGOs and NGOs and numerous child rights activists work in Frontline to deal with child labour in India. Following are the list of significant NGOs working against child labour in India:
Numerous child rights activists and NGOs have been at the forefront of tackling the child Educating the communities about the ills attached to child labour and discouraging them from sending their children to work.
Save the Children India
This NGO struggles towards policymaking In collaboration with National and International Governments. It works to minimize child labour along with child marriage, child pregnancies, and abuse.
Bachpan Bachao Andolan
This NGO works to rescue and provide support to the victims of child labour. It has already supported about 83550 victims in rehabilitation.
Pratham Education Foundation
This NGO is striving to solve the primary cause of child labour that is lack of education. Work for helping the children to access higher education who cannot afford it.
With several coordinated measures, the Government and the civil society organizations can work collaboratively to battle this social ill and ensure that no child loses their childhood working in fields and factories.
Measures To Control Child Labour
(Essay on Child Labour) Here are some major measures to adopt to control child labour.
Awareness is the most effective and instant measure to control child labour. In many cases, a lack of understanding of parents leads to a condition where traffickers prey upon children, and many trafficked children end up in child labour.
The awareness should significantly focus on the importance of education, especially in rural and marginalized communities. Awareness should address the problem of gender discrimination make people understand sons and daughters are equal.
More Stringent Laws And Effective Implementation
Policymaking and enforcement can make a long-lasting impact to control child labour. This change requires relationships with several stakeholders – media, lawmakers, citizens, fellow civil society members, etc. NGOs also maintain coordination with district and state-level authorities for a vigilant eye on implementing pro-child laws.
Discouraging people to employ children in work.
Many leading global level industries around the world, especially in developing countries, openly use child labour. Major sectors include retail, hospitality, and menial work. So it is vital for the general public not to use child labour and discourage others to do so.
Ways to Regulate Child Labour In Working Areas
- Create a procedure for age verification of applicants as part of the hiring policy.
- Establish a protocol for how to respond when harmful child labour is detected.
- Communicate the policy to employees, suppliers/contractors, and the community.
- Obtain the support for senior management and provide training to all senior staff.
- Create a mechanism by which employees and others can report violations with the assurance of confidentiality.
Child Labour in India! Real Cost of Child Labour.
Child labour is an act of employing the children in any work that doesn’t allow children to have a childhood, which interferes with their ability to attend regular school, mentally, physically, socially, or morally dangerous and harmful.
The current situation of child labour is grim, and it seems nowhere to stop soon. UNICEF has approximated that by 2025, an estimated 121 million children will be in child labour, with 52 million enduring hazardous work. The coronavirus pandemic worsens the situation. Child labour hampers the physical and mental development of the child.
A child with a traumatic childhood being a victim of child labour often finds difficulty to adjust appropriately in society in adulthood. Many organizations and governments are working independently with their hands together to fight child labour at a nation and international level. There are child protection laws in the majority of the country but lack proper enforcement.
Child labour is not easy to eradicate; the public should work together to eliminate it. Education is the most critical key to fight with child labour, a curse to humanity.
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