The World Day Against Child Labour, which held every year on June 12. The main aim behind this day is to promote the worldwide movement against child labour in any of its forms.
In 2002, aiming to raise awareness and activism to prevent the child labour, The World Day Against Child Labour a move of International Labour Organization (ILO) sanctioned holiday. It was spurred with the approval of the minimum age for employment in ILO Convention No. 138 and ILO Convention No. 182 on the worst forms of child labour.
The International Labour Organization is the United Nations body which standardizes the world of work and launched the World Day Against Child Labour in the year 2002 in order to bring interest and efforts to fight against the child labour.
According to latest data of ILO, hundreds of millions of boys and girls all over the world are involved in work that prevents them from receiving an proper health, leisure, and basic freedom, education, which violates their rights. Out of these children, more than half are rendering to the worst forms of child labour, which include work in unsafe environments in mines, factories, slavery, or several other forms of forced labour, illegal activities such as drug trafficking and prostitution, pornography, in addition to involvement in armed conflict.
To build a safe and healthy generation by eliminating child labour and making sure safe and healthy work for youth, ILO has come up with a joint global campaign with the World Day for Safety and Health at Work (also called as SafeDay) and the World Day Against Child Labour (WDACL).
Child Labour in India
In India key factors which are considered for Child Labour are generally poverty, lack of good schools and the growth of the informal economy. Some added reasons for Child Labour in India are cheap wages and ease of access to factories that can produce the highest amount of goods for the lowest possible price. Corruption in the Indian Government also plays a key role in child labour as Acts that ought to be imposed to prevent child labour are not because of the corrupt government.
As per the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986, which was further amended in 2016 (“CLPR Act”), defines a “Child” as a person who has not completed his fourteenth (14) year of age. The CLPR Act prohibits employment of a Child in any type including as a domestic help which amounts to the cognizable criminal offence. As per Minimum Wages Act, 1948 a person who has completed his fourteenth (14) year of age but has not completed his eighteenth (18) year are defined as “Adolescent” and the Act allow Adolescent to be employed except in the listed hazardous occupation and processes which include mining, inflammable substance, and explosives connected work and any other hazardous process under the Factories Act, 1948.
The Constitution of India banned child labour in hazardous industries unit (but not in non-hazardous industries) as a Fundamental Right under Article 24. In addition to the Constitution of India, a variety of laws in India, such as the Juvenile Justice (care and protection) of Children Act, 2000, and the Child Labour (Prohibition and Abolition) Act, 1986 provide a basis in law to identify, impeach and stop child labour in India.
Between boys and girls, United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) discovers girls are two times more expected to be out of school and working in a domestic role. UNICEF also claims that parents with inadequate resources have to choose whose school expenses and fees they can afford when a school is available. Educating girls is likely to be a lower priority across the world, including India. Girls are also harassed or bullied at schools, according to UNICEF. Only by virtue of their gender, many girls are kept away from school or are a dropout, to offer child labour.
According to a study by ILO in the year 2008, with the most important issues driving children to harmful labour is the lack of accessibility and quality of schooling. Many communities, mainly rural areas do not have adequate school services. Even when schools are sometimes available, they are too far away, difficult to reach, high-priced or the quality of education is so poor that parents doubt if going to school is really sensible. In primary schools which are governed by Government, even when children show up, government-paid teachers do not show up 25% of the time.
Consequences of Child Labour
Children, who work, fail to get necessary education. They do not get the chance to develop physically, rationally, emotionally and psychologically. Children who work, instead of going to schools, will stay uneducated which limit their ability to contribute to their own well being as well as to community they live in. Child labour has long-term unfavorable effects for India.
Majority of child labour in India is working in agriculture (70%), some in low-skilled labour-intensive sectors such as sari weaving or as domestic helpers, which require neither formal education nor guidance.
Many Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) like Bachpan Bachao Andolan, ChildFund, CARE India, Talaash Association, Child Rights and You, Global march against child labour, RIDE India, Childline etc. have been working to get rid of child labour in India. Child labour has also been a subject of public interest litigations (PIL) in Indian courts.
The Child Labour Prohibition and Regulation Act was passed based on the proposal of the committee in 1986. A National Policy on Child Labour was enacted in 1987 to focus on rehabilitating children working in hazardous occupations. Since 1988, the Ministry of Labour and Employment had established around 100 industry-specific National Child Labour Projects to rehabilitate the child workers.
We hope that with the efforts of the government, NGOs and other organizations, the reasons & percentage of child labour tends to reduce with time.