Child Labour
According to the International Labour Organisation (ILO) a new generation of children is being deprived of the chance to take their rightful place in the society and economy of the 21st Century. The ILO has proposed that ‘child labour’ will disappear in a decade. If this happens well and good. But in reality the situation is worsening. One in eight children in the world is exposed to the worst forms of child labour which endanger children’s physical, mental health and moral well being.

In many countries children lives are plagued by armed conflict, child labour, sexual exploitation and other human rights violations. Children living in rural areas have fewer opportunities to obtain good quality education. They have less access to services than children living in cities.

Child labour keeps children out of school and is a major barrier to development. To make the anti child labour law a reality, poverty and unemployment need to be eliminated. Unless the standard of living improves at the lower levels of the society, children will be forced to work. Many middle and upper class families do not hesitate to engage young boys and girls to help them with household cores. The middle class family feels by employing a child below 14 years they are helping poor families to increase their earnings for daily livelihood.

According to the UN Study about 150 Million children of age group five to 14 are working in various industries in India. They are found working in road-side restaurants, tea stalls and shops, at construction sites and in factories. Girls suffer labour exploitation to such a degree that million of girls die before they reach the age of 15. They are paid a pittance as low as Rs.20 per day and many live in shops or work places where they are subjected to various forms of exploitation. Besides the work they are abused physically, mentally and sexually by the scurrilous task masters.

Employing children for labour is an act that endangers a child’s physical/emotional health and development without giving the child an opportunity for good education, food and shelter. Of the four major types of child abuses, physical, sexual, emotional and neglect, child labour falls under neglect exploitation and emotional abuse. Child labour is the exploitation of children for commercial reasons.

Neglect is a different concept to exploitation and constitutes a failure to provide for a child’s basic need. The forms of neglect include physical, educational and emotional. Physical neglect includes inadequate provision of food, housing and clothing, denial of medical care and inadequate hygiene. Educational neglect is the failure to enrol a child at a mandatory school age in school. Emotional neglect is the lack of emotional support such as the failure to provide psychological care, domestic violence and allowing a child to participate in drugs and alcohol abuse.

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