Causes of Child Labour
The leading causes of Child Labour in India are social inequality, lack of education, and poverty. According to UNICEF’s report, children from the impoverished and rural parts of the world have no available alternatives such as teachers and schools.
Many rural communities lack adequate school facilities and the availability of schools. The low paying economy blooms with low cost, easy to hire, and child Labour. Besides the unorganized Agricultural sector, child Labour exists in unorganized assembly, unorganized retail works, and unorganized trade sectors
Other factors of child Labour include the size of the informal economy, the inability of most Indian industries to scale up, lack of modern technologies, and the structure and inflexibility of the Indian market.
Bonded child Labour
Children are employed due to social obligation, or loans and debts made by the families. Usually, children are forced to employ their families in brick kilns, stone and quarries, and agricultural sectors.
The children of the migrant workers and those that belong to the marginalized sections and Dalits in the society are pledged to work in small production houses and factories in the urban areas. Child Labourers on the bond are usually subjected to physical, emotional, mental, and sexual abuse, even leading to death.
In Orissa, the people of the lower section of the society sell their daughters belonging to eight to 10 years of age, as maidservants to the clear their debts.
Lack of implementation of Laws
The Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986, was the only enacted provision by the Indian Constitution against child Labour and its atrocities. Other provisions stated by the Indian Constitution are:
- Article 24 of the Indian Constitution states that no child below the age of fourteen shall employ in any hazardous employment or factory but not in non-hazardous industries.
- Article 39(f)) of the Indian Constitution states that children and young adults are to be protected against moral and material abandonment or any forms of exploitation.
Various other Laws and the Indian Penal Code, such as The Factories Act,1948, The Mines Act,1952, the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection) of Children Act-2000, and the Child Labour (Prohibition and Abolition) Act-1986 seek to prevent the practice of child Labour in India.
Unfortunately, these laws and regulations lack active and proper implementation and enforcement.
The widespread problem of Child Labour:
Child Labour is quite relevant in India due to poor schooling opportunities and the country’s high poverty rate. Child Labour is relevant in both rural as well as urban regions of the country.
As per the 2011 census report, the total population of the age group between 5-14 years is 259.6 million in India. Almost 3.9 percent of the total child population that is 10.1 million children in the country work either as the primary worker or as a marginal worker.
Reports state that almost 40 percent of child Labour occurs in the field of precious stone cutting. Child Labour exists in industries such as zari and embroidery, mining, dhabas, restaurants, tea stalls, and even at homes as domestic Labour.
The civil authorities and organizations need to work in unison to free child Labour under extreme conditions.