Child Labour in India: Major Policy Initiative and Steps

Child Labour in India: Major Policy Initiative and Steps

Question: Child labour is lowering at the rate of only 2.2% per year. Discuss the main policy initiative to combat child labour and steps which can be taken to combat this social evil.

• An analysis of census data by NGO CRY has found that child labour has decreased at just 2.2% in the past 10 years and at this rate, it will take around 100 years to end this menace

• The report also stated that nearly 1 crore children continue to be part of the country’s workforce

Policy Initiatives

Constitutional provisions

Numerous articles prohibit the employment of children in factors namely:

• A24:No child below the age of 14 shall work in any factory, mine or hazardous occupation/work

• A31: State shall ensure adolescent children are not forced due to monetary compensation to take up work harmful to their age and physical ability

• A45: Provides for free and compulsory education for children under the Child Labour(Prohibition and Regulation) Act 1986 and employment of children is not allowed in 12 occupations and 51 hazardous processes.

Child Labour Policy

• National Child Labour Policy was framed in 1987 and an action plan has been drawn up to include a statutory plan for the benefit of working children

• Focus is on project based action plan in occupations where children work in paid or under paid positions

Steps for Eliminating Child Labour in the Nation

• Rehabilitation of child labourers

• Implementation of National Child Labour Projects

• Grants in aid to voluntary agencies

• International programmes for eliminating child labour initiated by ILO providing the following:

- Financial assistance
- Awareness creation
- Rehab and education

• Special schools and rehabilitation centres have been established with the provision of informal education, vocational training and nutrition for children

Numerous committees have been formed for studying child labour namely

• Harbans Singh Committee,
• Gurpadswami Committee,
• Sanad Mehta Committee,
• Singhvi Committee

Suggestions of these should be implemented

• Strengthening of primary education in rural areas is also important
• Improvement of the economic status of children’s parents through job creation and PAP is vital
• All stakeholders should join hands to fight against this social menace

About Child Labour

• As per the 1981 census, nation had 1.36 crore child labourers; this came down to 1.13 crore in 1991
• Children work in agricultural farms or lands and conventional industrial occupations
• The states with the highest child labour are AP, MP, Maharashtra and UP

• Child labourers are centred around the following

- Sivakasi,Tamil Nadu(matches and fireworks industries),
- Firozabad, UP (glass industry),
- Khurja, UP (pottery),
- Mirzapur-Bhadohi, UP (carpet),
- Moradabad, UP (brassware),
- Aligarh UP (lock making);
- Jaipur, Rajasthan (gems and jewellery);
- Sagar, MP (biri),
- Mandsaur, MP (slate industry) .

• Factors leading to child labour

- Casteism
- Poverty
- Large Family size
- Low income
- Lack of education

Facts and Stats

• Child labour in urban areas rose by 53% from 2001 to 2011 (CRY 2015) and 3/4th child labourers are in home based jobs

• Around 80% of the working children are based in rural areas

• 3 of the 4 children work in household industries or agriculture and most are home based

• More than half the child labour is concentrated in the following states: Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra accounting for more than 55 lakh of child workers

• UP has one in 5 child labourers and it has experienced a growth of 13% in child labour

• CRY’s comparative data also revealed every 11th child in the 5 to 18 age group works and one in 5 children is in the 15 to 18 age group

• Urban child labour grew by 50% and working children in the 5 to 9 age group rose by 37%
Post your comment