In various cultures as well as through history of mankind, many contributions have been made towards the welfare of families by children who are aged below 17years. Child labour is much because of the poverty in society...
The aim of the Act is clearly to prohibit employment of a child lower than 14 years, as stated in the section 3. There is specific prohibition of putting children in employment in specific processes and occupations which are hazardous...
India still is in the phase of being challenged by issues of child labour. Even though the government has tried different measures in a proactive manner, the extent and magnitude of the problem is so high that it has become a problem...
In various cultures as well as through history of mankind, many contributions have been made towards the welfare of families by children who are aged below 17years. Child labour is much because of the poverty in society. According to a report by it, the children who are living in the poorer and rural sections of the society do not have better alternatives. There is unavailability of schools and sufficient teachers. As a result, many child labour cases are reported. A similar conclusion was reported in a BBC report, which said that the lack of educational infrastructure and poverty were important reasons for high prevalence in India.
According to a finding by the UNICEF, girls were twice more prone for school dropout in comparison to boys and worked in a domestic set up. When parents have less expense, they will have to prioritize the education of their children, if there is an option for getting education. Throughout the world, as is in India, girls are given less priority by the parents. Many girls do not go to schools as they find themselves to be bullied and have prejudices against them. Hence, only because they are girls, some children are not able to go to school and hence add to the issue of child labour.
Due to poverty, most of the children are forced to work, as per the study of Organization for Spreading Smiles through Education (OSSE) and International Labor Organization (ILO). Income that comes from the earning of a child is considered important for survival of the household and himself or herself. In most families, the child’s money earning contributes about 25 to 40% of the income of the household.
In 2008, there was a study by ILO, which looked at major factors which drove children towards labour and the lack of quality schools topped the list. Schooling in the villages is mostly poor, along with presence of very few schools, which might be located at long distances. Schools are also sometimes unaffordable, far off and poor education quality, which makes parents rethink about their children going for such pains. Most of the primary schools under the government do not have teachers, or they do not come in about 25% of cases. This study in 2008 by ILO also showed that when the child starts working without going to schools, they fail to acquire basic education and learning, which would rather have helped them in working in more efficient manner in their adulthood. These issues have been also outlined in a previous report by the UNICEF. This report by the UNICEF claimed that schools availability and quality is quite poor in the villages and child labour in India is seen to the extent of 90% in the rural areas. About 50% of the government run primary level schools do not have a structure, blackboard is not found in about 40% of the schools and books are found only in few of these, while the public funds meant for these schools have been diverted towards the teachers’ and administrators’ salaries to about 97%. Another articles in 2012 by Wall Street Journal said that the schools in India reported a dramatic increase in enrolment to the extent of 96% in the age group of 6-14 years, the poor infrastructure still persists. Blackboards are not found in about 81,000 schools, while the number of schools without proper infrastructure stands at 42,000.
Factors related to macroeconomics encouraging child labour have been studied by Mehrotra and Biggeri. Their study focus was on five countries in Asia, which included Pakistan, India, Thailand, Philippines and Indonesia. Stressing that the problem of child labour is serious, it is not something new to these countries. History has been witness to various macroeconomic factors encouraging child labour in whole of the world. Their studied showed factors on both supply and demand side. Supply side of child labour is highlighted by the lack of proper schools and poverty. The demand side is factored by something called the organized economy of India, which means that there is an economy which is informal and has lower growth, in contrast to other developed countries, which have formalized their economy with higher paying capacity. Labour laws in India are supposedly rigid, infringed by several regulations, which are hindrances in the growth of an organized economy, where the protection measures for work are good with better paying and productive results. It is the result of the Indian labour laws which are complex but unintended, causing a shift towards informal and unorganized sector. This is seen in the form of child labour in agriculture sector to be about 60%. Also, there is an unorganized behavior in trade, retail and assembly, where majority of the child labour is being seen. When the formal sector is hindered by macroeconomics and laws, then there would be an automatic increase in the growth of informal sectors which are owned by families, where labour sought is cheap, easy, and dismissible, thus child labour satisfies these norms. Mehrotra and Biggeri also observe that even if there are schools going children, they go for work in some economic benefits and manufacturing works after their schools. Such observations have also been done by other researchers, according to whom, the labour market in India is inflexibly structured and informal, lack of scaling up of industries and modern technologies in industries, which go on to accept child labour.