Child labor has been an international concern because it damages, spoils and destroys the future of children. The problem of child labor is a serious matter not only in India but also in other developing countries. It is great social problem. Children are the hope and future of a nation. Yet there are millions deprived children in our country who have never known a normal, carefree childhood.
The law in Indian soil says that any child below age of 14 cannot be employed either in a factory or office or restaurant. In fact India’s international business has been severely affected in many cases because child labors, violating human rights, have been used in some stage or the other in manufacturing, packaging a transport of those items. And in a large number of cases of export of ready-made garments, prawn and several other items from India has been rejected on grounds of child labor being used.
Truly speaking child labor is frequently utilized in India in various places of production and service e.g. small scale industry, restaurant service, domestic aid, shopkeeper’s assistant, stone breaking, book binding, in fact in every house hold industry.
Causes of Child Labor
Now what is the background of engaging child labor,
To have or increase the income of a poor family
To reduce the labor cost in a production organization
Misc. reasons for engaging as domestic aid as the children are less doubtful about dishonesty or less liable to misbehave or be violent.
In a developed society where every citizen counts and all citizens have to have proper education, health care supports, games and entertainment and complete his education so that when he is a fully grown adult he can get a full employment with standard salary.
If the boy or girl takes up a small job as a domestic help or restaurant boy against a nominal salary of Rs. 750-1800 per month, he does not get enough time time for primary and secondary education and is most likely to remain completely illiterate, unskilled, perhaps with a weak health and will have to remain unemployed or be engaged as an unskilled labor when he is grown up. Hence in his own benefit and interest no child should be engaged as labor both from legal point of view as well as the child’s Future interest.
“A Child is a father of the man”. This famous line quoted by William Wordsworth refers to the importance of the child in a society for the development of society as well as for the development of the whole nation. For welfare and development of the nation, a child should be introduced to high education and should be devoid of several social evils. One of these evils is CHILD LABOUR. Child labour is a practice usually followed in developing and underdeveloped countries. India, unfortunately, is one of them.
Child labour is work that harms children or keeps them from attending school. The various problems arising in the countries economic, political and social condition is one of the major reasons for growth of this problem. The International Labour Organization estimates that 246 million children between the ages of 5 and 17 currently work under conditions that are considered illegal, hazardous, or extremely exploitative.
United Nations secretary General Kofi Annan quoted, "Child labour has serious consequences that stay with the individual and with society for far longer than the years of childhood. Young workers not only face dangerous working conditions. They face long-term physical, intellectual and emotional stress. They face an adulthood of unemployment and illiteracy."