Recently, according to a British newspaper, a child labor warning issued by trade unions over the India-UK trade deal went ignored in India.
1 out of every 10 child laborers worldwide is from India. Girls are the worst affected. Child labor is most prevalent in five regions (Census 2011) namely Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra.
Labor refers to the employment of children in any work that deprives them of their childhood, hinders their ability to attend regular school, and is dangerous and harmful mentally, physically, socially or morally.
If we talk about the deployment of these child laborers, they are mainly bonded labor, child soldiers and trafficking, and industrial labor in sectors such as brick kilns, carpet weaving, garment manufacturing, domestic service, food and refreshment services (such as tea shops). , agriculture, fisheries and mining, engages in sexual exploitation and child pornography.
If the factors responsible for child labor are discussed, it mainly lies in poverty, social norms, lack of decent work opportunities for adults and adolescents, migration and emergencies.
If the consequences associated with it are discussed, it increases the risk of contracting occupational diseases like skin diseases, lung diseases, poor eyesight, TB etc.
There are other issues related to this such as sexual exploitation at workplace, deprivation of education, threat to national economy, child labor in informal sector, child labor in disguise etc.
If we talk about the flaws in the system working against child labor in India, it is mainly as follows – lack of coordination between the Center and the states, increasing cases of child trafficking, age criteria for child labor related crimes and justice delivery. Debates on delay in poverty alleviation schemes and plugging gaps in India’s growing population etc.
If we talk about policy intervention against child labor in India, there are many provisions related to it. The Child Labor Act (Prohibition and Regulation) 1986 prohibits children below the age of 14 years from working in hazardous industries and processes. Its amended law in 2016, the Child Labor (Prohibition and Regulation) Amendment Act 2016, bans employment of children below 14 years of age in all employment and employment of adolescents (14-18 years) in scheduled hazardous occupations and processes imposes with the provisions of the ban.
Along with this, the Child Labor (Prohibition and Regulation) Amendment Rules, 2017 provide a comprehensive and specific framework for prevention, prohibition, rescue and rehabilitation of child and adolescent labour. It also clarifies on issues related to support in family and family enterprises and definition of family in relation to child, specific provisions have been incorporated in the rules.
( DIRECTOR – OJAANK IAS )