INTRODUCTION: Work that deprives children of their youth, their potential, and their dignity, as well as work that is hazardous to their physical and mental development, is sometimes referred to as “child labor.” It refers to work-
– that is dangerous and harmful to children on a mental, physical, social, or moral level; and/or
– interferes with their education by denying them the opportunity to attend school; forcing them to leave school early, or requiring them to attempt to combine school attendance with excessively long and heavy work.
However, Not all work done by children should be considered child labor, which should be eliminated. Participation in work by children or adolescents that does not harm their health or development or interfere with their education is typically considered a positive thing. Helping their parents around the house, assisting in a family company, or earning pocket money outside of school hours and during school holidays are examples of such activities. Children’s growth and the well-being of their families are aided by these activities, which provide them with skills and experience while also preparing them to be helpful members of society as adults.
FACTS REGARDING CHILDREN’S ECONOMIC EXPLOITATION AROUND THE WORLD: According to Census 2011 data, India has a total of 10.1 million child laborers, with 5.6 million boys and 4.5 million girls. Globally, 152 million children – 64 million girls and 88 million boys – are projected to be working as children, accounting for about one out of every 10 children.
While child labor has decreased by more than a third globally in the last 15 years, it remains a severe concern and impediment to children’s well-being. The number of child laborers worldwide declined from 246 million in 2000 to roughly 152 million in 2016, according to a 2017 report by the International Labour Organization (ILO). Nonetheless, millions of youngsters are being exploited for cheap labor, particularly in nations like India.
Despite the fact that child labor rates have decreased in recent years, children are still subjected to some of the most severe kinds of child labor, including bonded labor, child soldiers, and human trafficking. Children work in a range of industries in India, including brick kilns, carpet weaving, garment manufacturing, domestic service, food and refreshment services (such as tea shops), agriculture, fisheries, and mining. Children are also vulnerable to other sorts of abuse, such as sexual exploitation and the production of child pornography, which can occur both in-person and online.
Poverty, social norms that condone child labor, a lack of adequate employment possibilities for adults and adolescents, migration, and emergencies are all factors that contribute to child labor and exploitation. These elements are both the source and the result of social imbalances that are exacerbated by prejudice.
Schools, not workplaces, are where children belong. Child labor deprives children of their right to attend school and perpetuates poverty inter-generationally. Child labor is a significant impediment to education, hurting both attendance and academic achievement.
CHILD LABOUR INCLUDES:
Child labor before the legal minimum age: The basic legal minimum age at which minors are permitted to work is 15 years (14 in developing countries). The age restriction for light work (a few hours every now and then) is set at 13 to 15 years (12-14 in developing countries). Finally, the age restriction for hazardous work has been raised to 18 years (16 years under certain conditions in developing countries).
Worst forms of child labor: Slavery or comparable practices such as forced labor, trafficking, debt bondage, and serfdom are among the worst types of child labor. It also includes illegal activities and/or activities that are likely to put children’s safety, health, or morality in jeopardy, such as prostitution, pornography, forced or obligatory military service, drug trafficking, and so on.
Hazardous work: Hazardous work includes domestic duties performed for long periods of time in an unhealthy environment, in hazardous locations requiring the use of hazardous tools or materials, or needing the kid to move goods that are too heavy.
NEGATIVE EFFECTS OF CHILD LABOR: The difficulty of the tasks and the terrible working circumstances cause a slew of issues, including premature aging, starvation, despair, and drug addiction, to name a few.
These youngsters, who come from low-income households, minority groups, or have been kidnapped from their homes, have no protection. Their bosses go to great lengths to make them fully invisible so that they can maintain complete control over them. These children work under deplorable conditions, undermining all human nature’s values and fundamental rights.
Furthermore, a working youngster will not be able to receive regular education and will be doomed to become an illiterate adult with little chance of advancement in his or her professional or social life.
Additionally, a youngster who works is more likely to suffer from malnutrition. These youngsters are frequently subjected to physical, mental, and sexual abuse.
LAWS AGAINST CHILD LABOUR: In 1993, the Indian government passed legislation forbidding harmful labor or activities that could affect girls and boys under the age of 18’s mental, spiritual, moral, or social development.
CONCLUSION: Much more needs to be done in India’s political landscape to end exploitative child labor: child labor laws must be toughened and enforced more aggressively. Furthermore, acute poverty, which is a root cause of child labor, must be addressed. Ending child labor in India requires addressing poverty and inequality.
I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.
If you are interested in participating in the same, do let me know.
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