Child labor refers to the employment of children of the age group of 5 to 17 years, so as to deprive them of their childhood and force them into a life of deprivation and illiteracy. The main factor behind child labor is poverty; therefore, it is more rampant in developing or underdeveloped countries. Children in these countries are often forced into labor to supplement the everyday income of their families.
Long and Short Essay on Child Labour
Essay 1 (250 Words)
The term “Child Labour” is used to refer to the employment of young children into various sectors like industries, hotels, farming, etc. The term is used mainly to denote the employment of children falling in the age group of 5 – 15 years.
Child labor deprives the children of their childhood and proper physical and mental growth opportunities. It also considerably reduces a child’s possibility to get educated and progress in life.
Worldwide around 218 million children in the age group of 5 to 17 years are employed as child labor. These children are subjected to live in poor hygienic conditions and are deprived of very basic necessary amenities of life.
They never get an opportunity to go to school, thereby forcing them into decades of poverty and labor. Working in poor health conditions they also become susceptible to various kinds of diseases and their conditions are rarely addressed.
Such children are also subjected to live a life of isolation and are not allowed to socially interact with people and to make friends play. Such a poor work environment is stressful for a child and often results in several mental conditions like depression etc. Such children often tend to take drugs and other substances, consequently resulting in further physical and mental damages.
There is a need to strictly supervise the sectors prone to employing children and impose harsh penalties with money and imprisonment on them for doing so.
Essay 2 (300 Words)
The employment of children for different works, so as to interfere with their normal mental, physical and social growth opportunities is termed as child labor. It also deprives the children of much-needed education.
Industries Employing Child Labour in India
There are five major sectors in India, employing the children as child labors. They are as described below-
1) Garment Industry
Child labor constitutes a considerable workforce in the Indian garment industry. These industries operate in small owner-managed setups mainly operated from homes. Thousands of children in Delhi are employed by the garment industry and are subjected to loud noise, extensive working hours and sharp tools.
2) Unorganized Sectors
This sector is one of the greatest employers of children in India. It is very easy to spot a child working in dhabas, roadside eateries, tea shops, and other businesses. The children are also employed in small shops as servants or help. Family-based businesses prefer to employ children as they are easily manageable and cost less.
3) Brick Kilns
The brick kiln industry of India has long been witnessing child labor. Often the children in brick kilns, work for long hours along with their parents. Children working in the brick kiln are subjected to hazardous conditions and are exposed to toxic fumes and heated temperatures.
The fire sector is one of the biggest employers of children in India. Children in this sector often work in cramped spaces and are exposed to dangerous chemicals and hazardous substances, posing a risk to their health and life. They are also forced to work for longer hours in the festive season.
The agriculture sector might be the biggest employer of children in India. Children are hired in cotton industries, sugarcane industries, paddy fields, and other agriculture-related fields. The children working in agriculture sectors have to work for long hours are paid less and have to work in unhygienic conditions.
Children are forced into child labor as a result of poverty and in order to supplement their family’s income. There is a need to identify these sectors and make necessary policies and laws to prevent the employment and exploitation of children in these sectors.
Essay 3 (350 Words)
The engagement of children as manual labors in different organized and unorganized sectors is termed as child labor. It deprives the children of their educational opportunities, the opportunity to grow, socialize and health. Child labor is physically and mentally harmful to students.
Negative Effects of Child Labour
Child labor has many negative impacts on children. Children working as child labor often work in challenging and life-threatening conditions with no one to take care of them. They are paid less as compared to an adult doing the same job; moreover, they are also underfed.
Their employers do everything to keep them cut-off from the other parts of the world, forcing them to live a life of isolation and labor. They are even not allowed to talk or meet anyone. Situations like these often result in mental disorders like depression and lead to drug addiction and substance abuse etc.
How can we Help to Stop Child Labour?
There are a few simple steps that we can take to help stop child labor. One should be aware of the child labor laws in the country and must always diligently follow them.
Also by keeping an eye for the businesses employing children and by reporting the same to the competent authorities will also prove helpful in elimination child labor.
A risk assessment of the workplace for the dangers it poses to the children must also be carried out. Also, hiring children for wok should be immediately stopped at any cost.
Child Labour and Poverty
One of the main factors behind child labor is poverty. Children are forced in labor mainly to supplement their families’ income. Either they are given as contractual labor by the family to the employer in exchange for money, or they are employed by the family itself in any of its traditional businesses of occupation.
For instance, poor farmers in India are forced to use their own children as labor as it would be difficult to pay for adult labors.
Child labor is one of the serious threats that impede the growth of a nation and the world as well. Moreover, it deprives the children of childhood, love, and education and forces them into arduous, hazardous, non-sociable and pathetic conditions.
Essay 4 (400 Words)
Child Labour refers to the employment of children in various sectors so as to deprive them of their childhood, education and other growth opportunities and causing physical and mental harassment to them. The prime reason behind child labor is poverty and more often than not the children are employed to supplement their family’s income.
History of Child Labour
During the pre-industrial societies, the concept of childhood was in existence. Children as young as 10-13 years were engaged in works like hunting, woodcutting, and farming, etc. Though it wasn’t child labor in a true sense and the children did these jobs to facilitate the survival of their group or family.
Low productivity and low life expectancy were two of the main characteristics of the pre-industrial area. Hence, preventing children from engaging in productive work would mean to stall their progress and lowering their survival chances. Education in those days wasn’t considered necessary for survival than the skills.
The exploitation of children as child labor began in the late 18th century with the industrial revolution. Cities like Birmingham and Liverpool in Britain fast grew into big industrial cities, attracting millions from villages and other rural areas. The situation was the same in other developing economies.
The Victorian era in Britain that ranged from 20th June 1837 to 22 January 1901 was the most infamous for child labor in its period. Children as young as four years are known to have employed in factories and mines in the Victorian era. They worked in unimaginably arduous and life-threatening conditions.
World Statistics on Child Labour
World Statistics reveal that nearly 218 million children all over the world are employed. These children fall in the age group of 5 to 17 years and approximately 152 million are in the true sense employed as child labor.
Statistics also reveal that nearly 73 million children worldwide, work in hazardous and life-threatening conditions.
Going by the numbers, Africa has around 72.1 million children employed as child labor, which is nearly half of the world’s figure of 152 million. Asia and the pacific have 62.1 million child labors; America has 10.7 million child labors while Central Asia, Europe, and Arab states have 5.5 million and 1.2 million respectively.
Child Labour has been in existence for centuries even in some of the developed economies of the world. Sometimes the reason is to make the child employable and sometimes it is to supplement their family’s income, nevertheless, in both cases, it interferes with the child’s ability to grow, get educated and be happy.
Essay 5 (500 Words)
Child Labour refers to physical exploitation of the children by engaging them into any form of work that deprives them of their childhood, education, growth and development and is physically and mentally harmful. Strict laws prohibiting child labor are in place in countries around the world including India, but there is a need to implement them more effectively than before.
Causes of Child Labour in India
The UNICEF (United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund), a United Nations agency responsible for providing humanitarian and developmental aid to children around the world, states poverty as the biggest cause of child labor in India as well as in the other developing and underdeveloped countries around the globe.
Due to poverty, children are subjected to labor, in order to supplement their family’s income. Also, the absence of adequate educational infrastructure in rural India along with a lack of awareness is also a reason behind child labor in India.
Types of Child Labour in India
There are two types of Child Labour existent in India, one is the debt bondage child labor and other form includes the employment of children to supplement their family’s income. Nevertheless, in both kinds of child labor, the will of others is partially or fully forced upon the child.
In debt bondage child labor, a child is employed for work, through a verbal assurance or written agreement, specifically to clear the debt taken by his parents from the creditor. Though the solicitation of child labor is banned by the legislature in India, the instances of bonded child labor continue even today.
Another form of child labor is where the parents of a child have an agreement with the employer, for employing their child in order to supplement the family’s income. However, poverty is the main factor behind all the types of child labor in India as well as in other parts of the world.
Child Labour in India Statistics 2019
Statistics provided by the UNICEF reveal that nearly 10.1 million children in India are engaged as child labor. These children fall in the age group of 5 to 14 years and consist of 4.5 million girls and 5.6 million boys. Over 90% of child labors are employed in rural India.
Child Labour in India is more prevalent in Uttar Pradesh (2.1 million), Bihar (1 million), Madhya Pradesh (0.7 million), Maharashtra (0.72 million) and Rajasthan (0.84 million).
Indian industries employing a major share of child labors in India are cotton industry, matchbox making industry, the agriculture sector, and other small unorganized sectors.
Child Labour Laws in India
There are several laws enacted in India that prohibit the engagement of children in the workforce. Two of the major laws are Juvenile Justice (care and protection) of Children Act -2000 and Child Labour (Prohibition and Abolition) Act -1986. These acts form the basis of all other child labor laws in India.
Child Labour is a serious hindrance to the growth of a nation and its social and economic development. Though there are many laws to eliminate child labor, yet they are required to be effectively implemented.