Child Labor is a global problem. India is one of the country which is highly affected from child labor. Children have to face the world and its bitter reality at a younger age, which not only affect them but also affect the country whose development is highly dependent on the young generation. Stats revealed that about 18% of 5-14 years old children are economically active Out of which 60% are in Asia.
What are the Causes of Child Labor?
Increasing Population: India’s population has crossed the mark of one billion as per 2011 census and has been incrementing more till now. Parents having more than 2 children face many problems in their maintenance, education and providing basic facilities. This leads to the indulgence of children into laborious works.
Poverty: According to a report released by U.N. in Feb 2015, about 30 crore people still live in the extreme poor condition in India which accounts for 1/3rd of the total extreme poor people in the world. Poverty is the main reason behind child labor and is still a headache for Indian government. Ignorance from parents is also an out come from poverty and that leaves no choice for children.
Lack of Knowledge of Compulsory Education: Right to Education (RTE), enacted in 2009, and gives a provision of free and compulsory education to children of age between 6-14 years. But lack of awareness and knowledge of it, leads children to use this opportunity.
What are the Negative Effects of Child Labor?
Effect on Health: According to WHO, 1/8th of the cases of child labor are of worst forms, which includes physical, mental or even moral well-being. The child labor is viral in various sectors. But agriculture sector has the maximum (70%) involvement of child labor. Handling dangerous tools and machines, using pesticides etc. can cause physical causality and as well as many sever disease to the children.
Harassment and Child Abuse: These days child abuse and harassment cases are also been seen with child labor. According to a study by Indian government released in 2007 about 20% of children in as labor have faced sexual abuse. Most of the cases of sexual cases occurs with the girls below 15.
Indulgence into Crime Field: Uneducated/ Unguided children who work in society sometimes get influenced by the criminal activities and commit crime at low age. Some cases of juvenile criminals have been reported in India and its increase is also observed in India.
Steps to Overcome the Problem
Child Labor Laws: Indian government has done a great job in attempt to overcome the child labor. Factory Act, Mines Act, Child Labor (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, Right to free and Compulsory Education Act were framed to safeguard the children from laborious tasks and helping them to rise.
Awareness: Parents must be given awareness about child abuse and bad effects of child labor. This will bring change in the society and minimize the cases of child labor. Many NGOs are working in this field and need support from government to aware more people specifically the poor people living in villages or slum areas.
Social Alertness: Society must pay attention about the child labor going on in cities, factories or shops. They must report the cases to the police. It is a social antiquate to stop child labor running in your society and supporting those children toward education field.
Child Labor is a menace and an obstacle in India’s development. New generation is the base of development of a developing country and as India is going on a wrong path, it must be directed to the right one.