Child labour is a serious problem and a challenge for many countries. Several countries have enacted various laws and serious initiatives to eradicate child labour along with huge efforts made by various international organizations to eliminate child labour, but still the problem is very widespread throughout the world.
The reasons for child labour include poverty, lack of schools, lack of regulations and enforcement, corruption, lack of awareness , rapid population growth which are complex and deeply rooted into the society. Poverty seems to be the main cause. It has been observed over decades that, poverty forces poor families to send their children to work, which results in a serious problem the world is facing nowadays. Child labour can be found both in urban and rural areas. However the vast majority of child labour occurs in rural areas since poverty seems to be more prevalent. Children usually work to contribute to household income and provide financial support to their families. Their health is often ignored by their parents or they may not be aware about their children’s health. Although, many poor rural families struggle for a better life in urban areas, this pushes families to force their children to work in order to increase the family income and ensure survival.
Child labour can leave many severe consequences on children and their families. According to a recent study , it was found that the majority of child labourers are engaged in agricultural work sector. When children work, it does not mean as a standard, they support their families economically, neither all of them get paid for their work since many of them work as slaves or as bonded labour. In addition to that, they face many problems which may cause permanent damage to their childhood. A significant number of working children in India are engaged in hazardous work resulting in adverse health consequences. While many companies do not engage children in their main facilities , yet we find children engaging in other parts of their production which include smaller factories, workshops etc. Child labour includes children working in agriculture, either in family labour related activities or the farms of others , children working as servants in the home of others, children who work in factories, workshops, mines, quarries as domestic workers , children who live off the street by conducting jobs such as shoe shining, rag pickers and as street vendors, children engaged in commercial sexual exploitation , migrant children belonging mostly to rural families who leave for urban centers in search of other work.
Child labour is a major social problem and an international concern, which needs to be resolved on an urgent basis with the support of both the people and the government as it is highly involved in inhibiting the growth and development of the country. This issue cannot be eliminated without first attacking it at the roots. Thus, poverty, unemployment, lack of social security schemes, illiteracy and the attitude of society need to be tackled first before any progress can be made . If the society as such sees child labour as a social discomfort and a threat, we will be much closer at achieving success.