Child Labour is a quite familiar word to all. It refers to a crime in which children below the early age are forced to work in different types of works. Many of such children are willingly doing work and some are doing due to family pressure or financial condition. All Children below the age of 14 years of age if working in any type of job are counted in child labour.
There is a reason why it is so much concerned area and governments all over the world to eradicate child labour from their respective nations. Child labour takes away the opportunities of proper education, mental and physical development and a normal childhood like other children are living. “A Child is someone who is going to carry on what you have started…the fate of humanity is in his hands” these are the words of former American President and reformer Abrahimlincon.
International Labour Organisation (ILO )Defines Child Labour as “Include children leading permanently adult lives ,working long hours for low wages under conditions damaging to their health and physical and mental development ,sometimes separated from their families, frequently deprived of meaningful education and training opportunities that could be open up to them a better future.
Article 2314 of the constitution of India prohibits trafficking and forced labour and article 2415 prohibits the employment of children in industries and factories. This article says that no child of and below the age of fourteen years shall be employed to any kind of work in any mine or factory or any other activity which is hazardous to his/her health or life.
In India child labour is a very common problem and literally exists in every part of the nation. ”it is shameful that we are experiencing the first increase in child labour in 20 years .New and bold steps must be taken.It’s time to create a global social protection fund and national social protection floors” said the Nobel Prize Laureate Kailash Satyarthi, who also runs the Kailash Satyarthi Children Foundation for the protection of children from child labour and any other kind of exploitation
Causes of Child Labour:
Poverty:- Poverty is the main reason due to which children are forced to work in such conditions by their parents and guardians.Due to lack of money parents send their small children to work so that they can earn a living for their family.
Lack of education:-The parents as well as the children are far away from the access of education due to which they lack awareness about safe working conditions and Child labour laws. Many of them don’t even know that child labour is illegal in India.
Migration:-In India Migration is a very common thing whether it is from rural to urban areas or from one state to another. People wander from here and there for the search of work and when they get one, they also engage their children into that work to increase the family income.
Crime:-In many parts of India certain mafias exist who force small children of slums into dangerous works of Bangle making or brick making, children are forced to work there for no or very less wages in comparison to the danger which they are bearing to do the job.
In India any person who employees a child below 14 or a child between 14 and 18 in a hazardous job which can harm his/her health and life can be punished with imprisonment of six months to two years and/ or fine between Rs. 20000 and Rs. 50000. A person can be punished for all other violations with imprisonment of up to one month and/ or a fine of up to Rs.10000. First time offences can settled with fine
There are number of other laws which also punish for employment of children .Prosecution for the crime of employing children will be under the child labour law. The Laws include the Factories Act, Mines Act, Merchant Shipping Act and the Motor Transport Workers Act.
How to Stop Child Labour:-
Child Labour is a major problem in India but it can be stopped by various steps. By keeping a proper check over the age of employees, Identifying the hazardous works and carrying out a workplace risk check, child labour can be easily managed. There is need to provide proper free education and scholarships for higher education of such children. The Bureaucracy and public officials are needed to be strengthen and more concerned about problems like these. Also it is the duty of every citizen to ensure that no such child is being exploited in their surroundings.
From all analysis above it can be derived that Child Labour is really a hindrance for a developing country like India, Children are the future of the nation and they should be provided with proper education and skill development for the upliftment of the country and for the increase in Standard of living of such children.