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.
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. 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[->0] has the highest number of labourers in the world under 14 years of age. Although the Constitution of India[->1] 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. Companies including Gap[->2], Primark[->3] etc. have been criticised for using child labour in either their operations in India or by their suppliers in India. Child labor” is, generally speaking, work for children that harms them or exploits them in some way (physically, mentally, morally, or by blocking access to education). 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. Families generally are also unable to afford their children’s education. “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 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. 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 Fireworks manufacture It is estimated that around 135,000 children work in the Indian fireworks industry. The town of Sivakasi in South India is supposed to be the capital of child labour in fireworks manufacture sector. They mainly start work in April in preparation for the Hindu festival of Diwali.
Children work daily with minimal wages, no leave and without any health or safety precautions in factories manufacturing fireworks. An estimated 30 people have died in two separate accidents, and many more cases of death and injuries are not reported. These child workers are usually forced to work after their parents have accepted a cash advance of 1000-5000 rupees (? 15-? 75). HELP FOR THEM Many NGOs like CARE India[-;gt;4], Child Relief and You[-;gt;5], Global march against child labor[-;gt;6] etc. have been working to eradicate child labour in India.
In 2005, Pratham[-;gt;7], an Indian NGO was involved in one of the biggest rescue operations when around 500 child labourers were rescued from zari[-;gt;8] firework industry in North East Delhi[-;gt;9] though child labour still goes on today. How Can Ordinary People Help Reduce Child Labor? Learn about the issue. Support organizations that are raising awareness, and providing direct help to individual children. What Causes Child Labor Today? Poverty is widely considered the top reason why children work at inappropriate jobs for their ages. But there are other reasons as well — not necessarily in this order: family expectations and traditions buse of the child lack of good schools and day care lack of other services, such as health care public opinion that downplays the risk of early work for children uncaring attitudes of employers limited choices for women