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Children are future citizens of the Nation and their adequate development is utmost priority of the country.

Unfortunately, child labor engulfs children across the world. The world is home to 1.2 billion individuals aged 10-19 years. However, despite its menace in various forms, the data shows variation in prevalence of child labor across the globe and the statistical figures about child labor are very alarming. There are an estimated 186 million child laborers worldwide. The 2001 national census of India estimated total number of child labor aged 514 to be at 12.6 million.[1] Small-scale and community-based studies have found estimated prevalence of 12.6 million children engaged in hazardous occupations. Many children are hidden workers working in homes or in the underground economy.[ 2] Although the Constitution of India guarantees free and compulsory education to children between the age of 6 to 14 and prohibits employment of children younger than 14 in 18 hazardous occupations, child labor is still prevalent in the informal sectors of the Indian economy.[3] Child labor violates human rights, and is in contravention of the International Labor Organization (Article 32, Convention Rights of the Child). About one-third of children of the developing world are failing to complete even 4 years of education.[4] Indian population has more than 17.5 million working children in different industries, and incidentally maximum are in agricultural sector, leather industry, mining and match-making industries, etc.[5] The term child labor is often defined as work that deprives children of their childhood, their potential and their dignity, and that is harmful to physical-mental development. It refers to work that is mentally, physically, socially or morally dangerous and harmful to children, and interferes with their schooling by depriving them of the opportunity to attend school, obliging them to leave school prematurely or requiring them to attempt to combine school attendance with excessively long and heavy work. The statistical figures about child workers in the world have variation because of the differences in defining categories of age group and engagement of children in formal and informal sector.[6] Child labor continues to be a great concern in many parts of the world. In 2008, some 60% of the 215 million boys and girls were estimated to be child laborers worldwide. Major engagement was in agriculture sector, followed by fisheries, aquaculture, livestock and forestry. In addition to work that interferes with schooling and is harmful to personal development, many of these children work in hazardous occupations or activities that are harmful.[7] Incidentally, 96% of the child workers are in the developing countries of Africa, Asia and South America. With respect to the child workers between the ages of 5 and 14, Asia makes up 61% of child workers in developing countries, while Africa has 32% and Latin America 7%. Further, while Asia has the highest number of child workers, Africa has the highest prevalence of child labor (40%).[8] MAGNITUDE OF CHILD LABOUR GLOBAL According to International Labour Organization's Bureau of Statistics (1998), there are 250-million child labourers in the age group 5-14 in the developing countries. Of them, 120 million children are working full time and are engaged in hazardous and exploitative occupations. New global estimates by the ILO reveals numbers of children who work, and of the numbers involved in each category of child labour for abolition, are presented in the Future without Child Labour Report in the year 2002. The estimates reveal several disturbing realities. Some 180 million children aged 5-17 (or 73 per cent of all child labourers) are now believed to be engaged in the worst forms of child labour, comprising hazardous work and the unconditional worst forms of child labour. This amounts to one child in every eight in the world. Of the some 171 million children engaged in hazardous work, nearly two-thirds are under 15 and therefore require immediate withdrawal from this work and rehabilitation from its effects. While 67 million children in the 5-14 age group are engaged in non-hazardous child labour that they should not be undertaking by virtue of their age, many more children (111 million) are involved in work that actually jeopardizes their well being. Among older children aged 15-17 years (who are above the minimum age for employment), the estimates indicate that 59 mil-lion are involved in hazardous work. This represents an

alarming 42 per cent of all working children in this age group.

CAUSES OF CHILD LABOUR


Poverty Parental illiteracy Tradition of making children learn the family skills Absence of universal compulsory Primary education Social apathy and tolerance of child labour Ignorance of the parents about the adverse consequences of Child Ineffective enforcement of the legal provisions pertaining to child

labour

labour

Non-availability of and non-accessibility to schools Irrelevant and non-attractive school curriculum Employers prefer children as they constitute cheap labour and they are not able to organize themselves against exploitation.

EFFECTS

Knowledge The Industrial Revolution changed the way many Americans do business. The explosion of this new era brought in profits for textile mill owners, factory owners, and other manufacturers. As industries grew, products became cheaper and the by Janet need for cheap labor increased. Children began putting in longer hours for cheaper Jarman wages; they were caught in the industrial bandwagon. Due to the long hours of hard work, children lacked the time and energy for school. Illiteracy among children grew and education was not considered a priority. Continue>

Economy "There is work that profits children, and there is work that brings profits only to employers. The object of employing children is not to train them, but to get high profits from their work." -Lewis Hine, 1908Continue>

by Janet Jarman Conditions Throughout history, children have been working under very unhealthy and hazardous

conditions. Their working environments were so unsafe that fatal accidents became an everyday routine. Presently, there are about 250 million children under the age of 15 who are a part of the labor industry. The working conditions have not changed in fact, they have gotten worse. Children who spend most of their waking hours working are future condemned to a life of poverty, illiteracy, and prolonging their misery Throughout history, children have been working under very unhealthy and hazardous conditions. Their working environments were so unsafe that fatal accidents were an everyday routine. Presently, there are about 250 million children under the age of 15 who are a part of the labor industry. The working conditions have not changed; in fact, they have gotten worse. Children who spend most of their waking hours working are condemned to a life of poverty, illiteracy, and prolonged their misery. Millions of children work under the agriculture sector, the manufacturing industry, and perform various types of service. They perform grueling and demanding tasks and in return receive only meager wages. Many develop severe health problems due to their working conditions. Commercial Sexual Exploitation Child labor comes in many forms. There are Library of Congress forms of labor that can range from mild household tasks to extreme exploitive work. As the problem of human trafficking rises, child sexual exploitation also increases to alarming rates. Prostitution is one of the most exploitive and dehumanizing trade that forces children to suffer physical and mental abuse. One million children every year are drawn into this multibillion dollar industry. "Sex tourism" involve foreigners who illegally engage with children sexually. In the Philippines, Cambodia, Thailand, and some countries in North America and Eastern Europe, sexual exploitation of children have been widely evident. Although, laws have been passed to help protect the children and punish the offenders, child prostitution has yet to be eliminated. Asia is the worst area affected by sexual exploitation with one million children prostitutes. In Thailand, 60% to 70% of child prostitutes are infected with HIV or AIDS. While in Vietnam, 30% of its prostitutes are under the age of 16. As the average age of children in this industry decreases, sexually transmitted diseases, pregnancy rates, and other problems further hinder those in many developing countries. In Africa, young boys are forced to service soldiers sexually. In Latin America, countries such as the Dominican Republic, Colombia, and Mexico, street children are involved in prostitution, pornography, and sex tourism. Due to poverty, many of the children's parents send them into private homes to perform domestic servitude. The parents unknowingly send their children to a life of torture, pain, and suffering. As with the case of 14-year-old Costa Rican prostitute named Ivette, who was sexually exploited, murdered, and chopped up into pieces in December of 2000. Stories like Ivette's have not found justice, almost all of the perpetrators who commit such heinous crimes are still free. Crime groups have organized to take advantage of the lack of enforcement of the law. Corruption of many government officials and their fear of the violent criminal syndicates interfere with the improvement of millions of children worldwide.