child labor is defined as any work that robs children of their childhood, their education, their dignity etc. The worst forms of child labor involve children being enslaved, separated from their families, exposed to serious hazards etc. There are various types of child labor that is prevailing all over the world, some of them can be mentioned as
- Child labor in agriculture.
- Commercial sexual exploitation of children.
- Mining and quarrying.
- Trafficking in children.
CHILD LABOR IN INDIA:India ranks 113 of 176 countries according to the data of Save the Children "End of Childhood Index 2019”. Child labour is most prevalent in Indian states such as Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra which is the top 5 states for child labor. More than half of the child labour population happens in those five states. Uttar Pradesh itself has 20% of the total child labor in the country. Over 80% of the child labour happens in rural india where they work in agricultural fields. Of all the statistics 68% of the children between the age of 14 to 17 work in a hazardous environment of which 10% are involved in family business. About 50% of the working children don’t study or doesn’t have education. This is especially applicable for the children working in hazardous environment. It is obvious that more boys than girls (38.7 million vs. 8.8 million) are forced into doing hazardous work (according to International Labour Organization’s World Report on Child Labour 2015).
METHODS TO ERADICATE CHILD LABOUR:
Free education - As India is home to large poor population, education prevails to be a concern as the poor are struggling to pay for their children’s education. In this case if the children are given free education along with food and facilities needed there may be an Improvement in education which ultimately lead to the eradication of child labor. As our late president Dr.A.P.J. ABDUL KALAM said children’s education will enlighten and improve the country as his quote goes like “EDUCATION IS THE MOST POWERFUL WEAPON WHICH YOU CAN USE TO CHANGE THE WORLD”.
Extra benefits – Providing free education is not enough in itself as the other expenses such as food, books, stationaries make it impossible for the poor to afford or send their children to school. Because of those reasons children are made to work and earn in the small age instead of sending them to school.
Labor policies - Although labor policies are already in place, they are somewhat ineffective towards curbing child labor. So, government should bring in effective policies to prevent child labour in the nation by making the punishment more strict than the one existing now. Awareness – In this digitalized world we are connected to all the happenings each and every second through various platforms such as social media, TV, internet etc. on using these tools to spread awareness effectively we can curb the child labour to a large extent.
Role of NGO - Several organizations have taken up the cause for child labor. They are doing a commendable job in this regard. Having said so, we do find that most of the provisions are already in place but still the system is prone to failure due to lack of effective monitoring and supervision. Stress should be laid to ensure that the rules are properly followed.
Thus, keeping in mind the growth of a country and the upliftment of the life of poor children, child labour must be eradicated. This can be done by creating awareness through various platforms and through individual’s contribution towards the poor by means of donating money for the NGO’S which are striving in eradicating child labour, or by taking the responsibility of paying school fees of poor children who are in the child care homes etc.