What is Child Labour?
Child labour refers to the exploitation of children through any form of work that deprives them of their childhood and interferes with their ability to attend regular school. In effect, these activities are harmful to the physical and mental health of children and hinder their proper development. Such exploitation of children is prohibited by legislation worldwide. Although there are some exceptions to it. Including, work by child artists, family duties, internship, etc.
Why is practising child labour wrong?
1) Child labour involves all forms of slavery such as forced labour, trafficking, debt bondage, serfdom, begging, etc. It also includes illegal activities which are threatening to the safety, health, and morals of children, such as prostitution, pornography, drug trafficking, etc.
2) It encompasses hazardous work. Such as domestic tasks carried out for long hours in an unhealthy environment or dangerous places involving the use of dangerous tools or forcing the child to carry heavy objects.
3) The complication of tasks and harsh working conditions create a number of problems such as premature ageing, malnutrition, depression, drug dependency etc.
4) Additionally, a child who works will not be able to get a normal education and will be doomed to become an unschooled adult, having no chance to grow in his or her professional and social life but to stay illiterate.
5) In certain cases, child labour also threatens a child’s dignity and morals, especially when sexual exploitation is involved, such as prostitution and child pornography.
6) Furthermore, a child who works will be exposed to malnutrition. These children are often victims of physical, mental, and sexual violence
7) According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), there are tremendous economic benefits for developing nations by sending children to school instead of making them work at an early age.
Why does child labour happen in India?
The problem of child labour is not new in India. Back in 2011, the national census of India found the total no. of child labourers, aged 5–14, to be at 10.1 million.
Following are some reasons for child labour:
1) Mostly children from disadvantaged backgrounds, minority groups, or abducted from their families make it to child labour. Since these children have no protection.
2) Poor children and their families rely upon child labour to improve their chances of attaining basic necessities.
3) Often is followed the tradition where children are expected to follow their parents' footsteps at a very early age. Be it in a particular trade or to learn and practice that trade.
4) Unemployed elders often find it difficult to get jobs. The industrialists and factory owners find it profitable to employ children so that the exact amount of work is done in less pay.
5) Often than not orphans - children with no parents and relatives have no one to support them. Thus they are forced to work for their own living.
How to prevent child labour?
1) Spread Awareness - Spreading awareness among the poor can prevent pushing of children into a labourer. Lack of understanding of how big of a crime child labour is on the part of parents creates situations where traffickers prey upon children and many children end up in child labour. Awareness also ensures that communities tap growth, education, employment, and create a socially and economically developed society in which children study and not work.
2) Supporting NGOs fighting against child labour: Such NGO's offers immediate aid to victims of child labour, while also working for long-term societal change through policy change. NGOs work to ensure that strict actions are taken against people who practice child labour.
3) There are various ways in which a person can help.
- Call 1098 (A toll-free 24-hour telephone helpline for children in distress can be accessed in 72 cities of
the country) when you see a child in distress.
- Help and educate every vulnerable child you see.