Child Labour is often the upshot of poverty, unemployment and illiteracy , when in fact it is the perpetrator of these maladies. I counsels that unless the menace of child labour is eradicated , the country’s progress in the next millennium is bound to be poor.
Child Labour has been an international issue of concern because it sabotage , spoils the future of children and the opportunities of his future. The problem of child labour is a serious matter of India and all other developing countries including few of the developed nations as well. It is not only a financial problem but also a great social problem. Large numbers of children works are engaged in several organised services commercial agriculture, fishing ,manufacturing, mining and domestic service due to their cheap labour cost compare to grown adult labour.
There are millions of children who are involved in work that, under any circumstances , is considered unacceptable for children, including the sale and trafficking of children into debt bondage ,serfdom and forced labour. It includes the work in illicit activities like the drug trade and prostitution or other traumatic activities such as serving as soldiers. Yet, there are millions deprived children in our country who have never known a normal, carefree childhood. In 2005, an estimated 5.7million children were in forced and boned labour.
On the 50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights , seminars were held and pledges taken to eradicate the menace of child labour . But the children of India who languish in captive in dimly lit ,cramped spaces in factories houses, moiling 16 hours a day , getting little pay and more affront-life continues as accepted.
According to the Census 2001 figures there are 1.26 crore working children in the age group of 5-14 as compared to the total child population. There are approximately 12 lakhs children working in the hazardous occupations/processes which are covered under the Child Labour (Prohibition & Regulation) Act i.e. 18 occupations and 65 processes. As per survey conducted by National Sample Survey Organization(NASSO) in 2004-05,the number of working children is estimated at 90.75lakh. As per Census 2011,the number of working children in te age group of 5-14 years has further reduced to 45.53 lakh . It shows that the efforts of the Government have borne the desired fruits.
The Indian Law says that any child below the age of 14 years cannot be employed either in a factory or office or restaurant . Article -24 of Indian’s constitution prohibits hazardous child labour .Additionally ,there are various laws and the Indian penal Code, such as the Juvenile Justice( care and protection)of Children Act-2000,and the Child Labour ( Prohibition and Abolition)Act-1986 provides a basis in law to identify, prosecute and stop child labour in India.
The International labour Organization which has its headquarters in Geneva and is an agency of the United Nations, adopted on June 17,1999 a treaty meant to abolish the worst forms of child labour ,one that includes a contested provision allowing people under 18 to serve in military, in western countries. The Treaty is intended to end the exploitation of millions children who are involved in pornography, prostitution , slavery , hazardous work and forced recruitment as child soldiers.
So the government has accordingly been taking necessary steps to tackle thus problem’s by strict enforcement of legislative measures. State Government have been conducting regular inspections and raid to detect cases of violations. It generally believed that poverty , unemployment ,illiteracy and the population explosion are the major reasons for allowing child labour to thrive.Since poverty is the root cause of this problem, and enforcement alone cannot help solve it, Government has been trying seriously on the rehabilitation of such children and also working on improving the economic conditions of their families.