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Child Labour Essay Sample

Child Labour Pages
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Children are the most important asset of any nation. Each child is an asset to the society. The future welfare of society is closely related to the welfare of the child. Children are the future of the nation. They are flowers of our national garden. It is our duty to protect these flowers. Child labour is a socio-economic problem. Child labour is not a new phenomenon in India. From ancient times, children were required to do some work either at home or in the field along with their parents. However, we find in Manusmriti and Arthashastra that the king made education for every child, boy or girl, compulsory. In those days there was a system of trade of children, who were purchased and converted to slaves by some people. The problem of child labour was identified as a major problem in the 19th century when the first factory was started in mid-19th century. Legislative measures were first adopted as early as 1881. Since independence there have been several laws and regulations regarding child labour. Child labour has been defined as any work done by the children in order to economically benefits their family or themselves directly or indirectly, at the cost of their physical, mental or social development.

Сhild is the loveliest creation of nature. But it is the circumstances which force them to hard labour. They have to earn livelihood from early childhood, stopping their mental development. The nation suffers a net loss of their capacity as mature adults. Child labour is a global problem. It is more common in underdeveloped countries. Child labour, by and large, is a problem of poor and destitute families, where parents cannot afford education of their children. They have to depend on the earning of their children. The prevalence of child labour is a blot on society. It is a national disgrace that millions of children in this country have to spend a major part of their daily routine in hazardous works. The problem of child labour in India is the result of traditional attitudes, urbanisation, industrialisation, migration, lack of education, etc. However, extreme poverty is the main cause of child labour. According to the UNICEF, India is said to have the largest number of world’s working children.

Over 90% of them live in rural areas. The participation rate in rural urban areas is 6.3% and 2.5% respectively. According to a recent report, 17 million children in our country are engaged in earning their livelihood. This constitutes 5% of the total child population of the nation. It is about one-third of the total child labourers of the world. In India, working children are engaged in different organised and unorganised sectors, both rural and urban areas. In rural sector, children are engaged in field plantations, domestic jobs, forestry, fishing and cottage industry. In urban sector they are employed at houses, shops, restaurants, small and large industries, transport, communication, garages, etc. In India, working children are also self-employed as newspaper, milk boys, shoeshine boys, rag pickers, rickshaw-pullers, etc. About 78.71% of child workers are engaged in cultivation and agriculture, 6.3% are employed in fishing, hunting and plantation, 8.63% in manufacturing, processing, repairs, house industry, etc., 3.21% in construction, transport, storage, communication and trade and 3.15% in other services. Child Labour is exploited in several ways.

Preference of child labour by many employers is mainly due to the fact that it is cheap, safe and without any liability. Many children take up the job just because of the non-availability of schools in their areas and thus rather than sitting idle, they prefer to go to work. Illiteracy and ignorance of parents is also an important factor. These parents do not consider child labour as evil. Child labourers have to work more than adult workers. They are exploited by their employers. There are several constitutional and legal provisions to protect working children. At present there are 14 major acts and laws that provide legal protection to the working children. Notwithstanding, the evils of child labour is on the increase. The biggest cause behind its spread is poverty. It cannot be completely eradicated from society unless its root cause is not addressed. Child labour perpetuates poverty. Child labour is economically unsound, psychologically disastrous and ethically wrong. It should be strictly banned. The general improvement in socio-economic conditions of people will result in gradual elimination of child labour.

Child labour, or child labor, is the employment of children at regular and sustained labour. This practice is considered exploitative by many countries and international organizations. Child labour was utilized to varying extents through most of history, but entered public dispute with the beginning of universal schooling, with changes in working conditions during industrialization, and with the emergence of the concepts of workers’ and children’s rights. Child labour is still common in some places where the school leaving age is lower. Child labour is common in some parts of the world, and can be factory work, mining, prostitution, quarrying, agriculture, helping in the parents’ business, having one’s own small business (for example selling food), or doing odd jobs. Some children work as guides for tourists, sometimes combined with bringing in business for shops and restaurants (where they may also work as waiters). Other children are forced to do tedious and repetitive jobs such as: assembling boxes, polishing shoes, stocking a store’s products, or cleaning.

However, rather than in factories and sweatshops, most child labour occurs in the informal sector, “selling many things on the streets, at work in agriculture or hidden away in houses — far from the reach of official labour inspectors and from media scrutiny.” And all the work that they did was done in all types of weather; and was also done for minimal pay. Child labour was approached from the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. For example, Karl Marx called for “Abolition of children’s factory labor in its present form” in his Communist Manifesto. Concern has also been raised about the buying public’s moral complicity in purchasing products assembled or otherwise manufactured in developing countries with child labor.

Others have raised concerns that boycotting products manufactured through child labor may force these children to turn to more dangerous or strenuous professions, such as prostitution or agriculture. For example, a UNICEF study found that 5,000 to 7,000 Nepalese children turned to prostitution after the United States banned that country’s carpet exports in the 1990s. Also, after the Child Labor Deterrence Act was introduced in the US, an estimated 50,000 children were dismissed from their garment industry jobs in Bangladesh, leaving many to resort to jobs such as “stone-crushing, street hustling, and prostitution,” — all of them, according to a UNICEF study. “more hazardous and exploitative than garment production”. The study says that boycotts are “blunt instruments with long-term consequences, that can actually harm rather than help the children involved.”

Child Labor is very common, and can be factory work, mining, prostitution quarrying, agriculture, helping in the parents’ business, having one’s own small business (for example selling food), or doing odd jobs. Some children work as guides for tourists, sometimes combined with bringing in business for shops and restaurants (where they may also work as waiters). Other children are forced to do tedious and repetitive jobs such as: assembling boxes, polishing shoes, stocking a store’s products, or cleaning. However, rather than in factories and sweatshops, most child labor occurs in the informal sector, “selling many things on the streets, at work in agriculture or hidden away in houses — far from the reach of official labor inspectors and from media scrutiny.” And all the work that they did was done in all types of weather; and was also done for minimal pay. According to UNICEF, there are an estimated 250 million children aged 2 to 17 in child labor worldwide, excluding child domestic labor. The most widely rejected forms of child labor include the military use of children as well as child prostitution. Less controversial, and often legal with some restrictions, are work as child actors and child singers, as well as agricultural work outside of the school year (seasonal work) and owning a business while operating it out of school’s hours.

Child labor was approached from the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. For example, Karl Marx called for “Abolition of children’s factory labour in its present form” in his Communist Manifesto. Concern has also been raised about the buying public’s moral complicity in purchasing products assembled or otherwise manufactured in developing countries with child labor. Others have raised concerns that boycotting products manufactured through child labor may force these children to turn to more dangerous or strenuous professions, such as prostitution or agriculture.

For example, a UNICEF study found that 5,000 to 7,000 Nepalese children turned to prostitution after the United States banned that country’s carpet exports in the 1990s. Also, after the Child Labor Deterrence Act was introduced in the US, an estimated 50,000 children were dismissed from their garment industry jobs in Bangladesh, leaving many to resort to jobs such as “stone-crushing, street hustling, and prostitution,” — all of them, according to a UNICEF study. “more hazardous and exploitative than garment production”. The study says that boycotts are “blunt instruments with long-term consequences, that can actually harm rather than help the children involved.” Today there are several industries and corporations which are being targeted by activists for their use of child labor.

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