Child Labour in India

Child labour in India is biggest problem in India. The main reason is poverty and lack of social security. Commercialisation of education and lack of good quality of education and facilities in the government school do not able to stop the child labour. This situation has to be evaluated at the current scenario.

As we know that child are the future of the country, but the mud of child labour become very harmful to the child rather it is directly affect the future of the nation. Therefore, Government of India has enacted Right to Education (RTE) and also amended Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Amendment Act, 2016 to keep distance from child labouring as well as facilitate the better and free education, easy admission in schools, listened the children’s health to prohibit the engagement of children in all occupations and of adolescents in hazardous occupations and processes and facilitate the rules and regulation of convention of International Labour Organisation (ILO).

The Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Amendment Act, 2016 receives the assent of the President on 29th July, 2016. The Act came into force in order to amend Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986. According to the new amendment Act, the 138 convention (Minimum Age pact) of ILO facilitates that to get jobs a child has to the age of compulsory age of getting education, it means not less than 15 years. It is doing so because children get educational benefits from come out to the work place.

For discussing the above acts and laws, we must have to know what child labour is and how their problems are prevailed.

Meaning of Child Labour

Child labour typically means the employment of children in any manual work with or without payment. Child labour is not only limited to India, it happens to be a global phenomenon.

As far as India is concerned, the issue is a vicious one as children in India have historically been helping parents at their farms and other primitive activities. Another concept that needs explanation is the concept of bonded labour which is one of the most common forms of exploitation. Bonded labour means the children are forced to work as employees in lieu of payment of debt by the parents due to exorbitant rates of repayment of interest.

Problem of Child Labour

At the age of (6 to 14) getting compulsory education, children learn positive work skills for surviving to fittest in the coming life then there are some dramatically changes occur in the life of children. When children work in the condition of physically and mentally unhygienic and they are constrained to work at the place then, their internality and health got stroke. To ignore the childhood and deprive from education and rights of a child, and push way in the child labour is a social crime and it has to be come in the category of legal offence.

In the present, the children are engaged in the agricultural, livestock breeding, forestry, building, manure processing and other services. And also engage in hazardous places such as; dangerous chemical work place, cement and slate industry, bidi industry, trash industry, etc. At the work place like brass manufacturing furnace and metal construction furnace, children affect major health problems.

All these above situations or conditions make hurdles in the all-round development of a child. However, the Government of India makes a lot of efforts to prohibit the child labour through constitutionally, legally, and enacting acts.

Initiative against Child Labour

In 1979, the Government of India formed the Gurupadswamy Committee to find about child labour and means to tackle it. The Child Labour Prohibition and Regulation Act was enacted based on the recommendations of the committee in 1986.

A National Policy on Child Labour was formulated in 1987 to focus on rehabilitating children working in hazardous occupations. The Ministry of Labour and Employment had implemented around 100 industry-specific National Child Labour Projects to rehabilitate the child workers since 1988.

Many NGOs like Bachpan Bachao Andolan, Child Fund, CARE India, Talaash Association, Child Rights and You, Global march against child labour, RIDE India, Child line etc. have been working to eradicate child labour in India.Child labour has also been a subject of public interest litigations in Indian courts

Government has enacted many provisions against the child labour. Some of them are as follows:

  • The Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986
  • Right to Education Act, 2009
  • Factory Act,1948
  • The Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Amendment Act, 2016

Constitutional Provision

The Constitution of India has many provisions related to the beautiful future of a child. There are many Articles in the Constitution to prohibit the child labour. Some of them are as follows:

  • Article 21A: The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education between the age of 6 and 14 years.
  • Article 24: Employment of children in factories, etc is prohibited.
  • Article 39(f): To give opportunities and facilities to develop in a healthy manner and in conditions of freedom and dignity and that childhood and youth are protected against exploitation and against moral and material abandonment.
  • Article 41: Expansion of provision related to child labour
  • Article 45: Provision for free and compulsory education for children until they complete the age of fourteen years.
  • Article 51A: Parents have to provide opportunities for education to his child or, as the case may be, ward between the age of six and fourteen years.

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