Friday, January 28, 2011


Condition of child laborers across the world

Childhood Versus Childlaborhood

Childhood of privileged children

Child labor is any work done by child for profit. It is one human right issue which should be eradicated because it affects children mentally as well as physically. 

As we all know 75% of Indian population still prevails in rural areas where most of them live below poverty line. Children are seen as a source of income by these parents. Parents sacrifice their child’s education so that they can take care of growing needs of younger siblings.  


The Child Labor (Prohibition & Regulation) Act of 1986 prohibits employment of children in certain specified hazardous occupations and processes and regulates the working conditions in others and also makes child labor illegal in many regions and sets the minimum age of employment at fourteen years.

Child labor policies in India are as follows:

(Article 14) No child below the age of 14 years shall be employed to work in any Factory or mine or engaged in any other hazardous employment.

Article 39-E) The state shall direct its policy towards securing that the health and strength of workers, men and women and the tender age of children are not abused and that they are not forced by economic necessity to enter vocations unsuited to there are and strength.

 (Article 39-f) Children shall be given opportunities and facilities to develop in a healthy manner and in conditions of freedom and dignity and that childhood and youth shall be protected against moral and material abandonment.

(Article 45) The state shall endeavor to provide within a period of ten years from the commencement of the constitution for free and compulsory education for all children until they complete the age of fourteen years.

There are so many laws to prevent child labor .But even after that child labor still prevails in the society.

Sarmeen Garewal, a lawyer (B.Com, L.L.B.) with 10 years of experience said,
” There are many policies to prevent child labor but what legal system is lacking is stringent punishments for employers of these child laborers. These employers should either be penalized or taken into custody the moment they are caught employing children in their factories or work place. Also more NGO’s should be set up so that common people know who to approach in order to get employers punished.”


Child labor is most rampant in Asia with 44.6 million or 13% percent of its children doing commercial work followed by Africa at 23.6 million or 26.3% which is the highest rate and Latin America at 5.1 million that is 9.8%

In India 14.4 % children between 10 and 14 years of age are employed in child labor.
India is a glaring example of a nation hounded by the evil of child labor. It is estimated that there are 60 to 115 million working children in India.


Raju, 12 years old who sell ladies clips and rubber bands in local trains said, “Apparently I have been working since the time I was in my mother’s womb. She used to carry me along with her all over places when I was just few days old. When I became 8 years old she told me to help her in selling hair bands and clips in train so that she could take care of my younger siblings. I couldn’t say no as being elder brother it’s my duty to take care of my 2 younger siblings. Also I can’t blame my parents as they themselves don’t have much money to raise all of us. I can just blame my luck and nobody else for my condition.”


How government should help to eradicate child labor is a common question asked by everyone.
Shobha Murthy, Founder trustee and Director of Aarambh quoted,
 “Unless families don’t have proper living conditions and parents are not given basic wages nothing can be done. Government should see to it that people have basic wages so that they are not forced to send their children to work. This way that child would also get a chance to study.” 

Father Francis of Jan Vikas Society  Home for Street Children and Rag Pickers said that, 
“In some cases families who send their kids to work are responsible and in others employers are responsible. Government should come up with welfare schemes, training programs for such children. They should also put stringent laws to punish people who support child labor or who are responsible for it.”  


There should be change in mind set of people who send their children for working in dreadful condition. There should be improvement in wages of poor people so that they are not forced to send their children to work. 

Being an alert citizen, it is our right to complain if we see child labor happening in our locality or in our neighbourhood. This would help to reduce child labor further. 

Also better laws should be implemented so that people who are responsible for child labor should be scared and think 100 times of punishment which they might get cause of their activity.

These children don’t even know actual meaning of childhood. For them childhood is all about working, earning livelihood and hard work. 

Childhood is one span of life where you enjoy to your fullest without anything to worry about. But these young laborers have all the responsibility on their little tender shoulders.
Their tears are not for their broken toys but are for their torn hands. Their tears are not for eating good food, but for a hungry stomach

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Name: Avneet Gujral
Roll no: 57