King Graduate School
Today’s Children represents the future of a nation and their adequate development is utmost priority of any country. Unfortunately, child labour has become a global phenomenon which is prevalent in many of the third world countries such as India, China, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Brazil and Africa etc. This Paper speaks about child labour a) Different forms of child labour b) Consequences of child labour c) The Economic impact of child labour d) Efforts made by Various Organizations in regulating the child labour.
Use of Child Labour in Global Environment
The word ‘Child Labour’ can be defined as work that deprives children from their childhood, their potential and dignity and that is harmful to their physical and mental development. It refers to that work which in anyway interferes with their schooling by depriving them of the opportunity to attend school, making them leave the school prematurely or requiring them to work extra-long hours by attempting to combine schooling with work. Today the world is home to approximately 1.4 billion individuals aged between 9 – 14 years, among which there are an estimated 168 million child labourers worldwide. Though the magnitude and prevalence of child labour varies from one country to another, but the statistical figures about child labour are very alarming. These figures about child workers in the world have variation because of the engagement of children in both formal and informal sectors. According to the census, there are over 60 million child labourers in India constituting nearly twenty five percent of the working children of the world. Child labour is not a new phenomenon in India, however, its perception was different in the pre-industrial agricultural society. In that period, children were involved in helping and learning hereditarily determined family occupations from the adult family members, the workplace used to be considered as an extension of home, and the tasks that work involved were non-hazardous which the child could learn easily and smoothly over the years through continuous learning. With the advent of industrialization and urbanization, this social scenario has changed and there were many poor rural families started migrating to urban centres in search of livelihood. Since the cost of living in the urban areas is way higher than those of the rural, these families find it very difficult to survive and often send their children to work so that their financial contribution helps them in surviving. This contribution made by the children is most of the time critical since children are sent to work when parent’s earnings are insufficient to guarantee the survival of the family, or when their jobs are insecure. In these circumstances, survival of the family depends upon the child labour irrespective of whether it is carried out in hazardous or non-hazardous environment, in formal or informal economy. Poor and uneducated families used to have more than five children in the family. So that their family income can go high when all of them start working.
Moreover, an article on “Fertility, Schooling and the Economic Contribution of Children in Rural India: an Econometric Analysis” says that one of the basic conditions motivating Indian families to bear relatively large number of children was the high returns from the children sent to work when compared to returns on investments in sending them to school to obtain skills. Which clearly shows the negative impact of child labour on the family wellbeing by increasing the fertility. On the other hand, reduction in child labour doesn’t necessarily lead to lower fertility, perhaps the parents must be educated about the problems of having too many children in the family.
Particularly in India, parents sell their children to the employer so that they can get enough…