Child labour in India


  Child labour can be defined as employment of
the children which affects their childhood, studying or physical, mental or
social harm. This practice is considered exploitative.  According to Parvathamma et al, Child labour
involves at least one of these; affects children’s physical, mental or
emotional well-being; involves intolerable abuse, such as child slavery, child
trafficking, forced labour; activites prevents children from going to school.1
2. Not all work done by children comes under child labour like children in
helping parents and learning.3

  United nations
children’s fund (UNICEF) and International labor organization (ILO) estimated
168 million children aged 5-17 wordwide were involved in chid labor in 2013 4.
According to Census data, there are over 82 lakh child labourers(aged between
5-14 years) in India.5 Child labour is one of the major concern across the
world. Approx 60% of the boys and girls were estimated as child laborers.
Agriculture sector is known to be main engagement followed by fisheries,
aquaculture, live stock and forestry8. Numbers of child workers are more in
developing countries (96%) like Asia, Africa and south America. Asia have 61%
of child workers (age between 5 and 14) where as Africa has 32% and latin
America 7%. Asia has the highest number of child workers; Africa has the
highest prevalence of child labour (40%). 9 Child labour is prohibited by
legislation across the world 2. In india child labour is addressed by Child
Act 1986 and National Child labour project which prohibits the employment of
children below the age of 14 years in hazardous occupations like working in
circus, beedi-making, carpet-weaving, cloth printing, Dhabas, teastalls as well
as domestic workers, etc.67

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  There are so many causes that can lead to the
child labour. Amongst them poverty, low aspiration, huge demand of unskilled
labours, illiteracy, early marriages, High cost of education, increased
population are some major factors responsible or encouraged child to be
labourers.1213 Increased population and poverty are the biggest reason of
child labour in developing countries where poor family have to struggle for
some basic requirements and that’s why they encourage their child to work and
help the family. An ILO study shows that about 85 per cent of the total child
labourers in India are forced work to supplement the income of their
families  about 75 per cent of parents
are allow their children to work from the economic point of view about 50 per
cent of parents feel that the income earned by their children is essential for
the maintenance of their families about 44 per cent of the families have their
own cultural and traditional beliefs in maintaining and continuing their family
occupations  about 70 per cent of child
labourers want to continue their present job even if they are given the option
to leave them (Pandey, 2001).

  Child labour causes number
of health issues as majority of child labour observed in dangerous or hazardous
occupations. These children actually start work during very young age for long
hours with little or no payment. They work in dangerous or hazardous
environment, which causes fatal or non-fatal injuries. For example children involve
in carrying heavy loads which affects their postures or musculo-skeletal
development. Children are more vulnerable and susceptible than adults
biologically as they are in their developing condition physically as well as
mentally mentioned in surendra kumar et al 1011. Child labour is also obstacle
in nation’s development. Development of nation or society depends on the young generation
and if they are in problem nation is indirectly in the problem.  

  For overcoming child labour government had done
many things. Government has implemented different acts like factory act, mines
act, child labour act, Right to free and Compulsory Education Act which
prevents child to be labourers. Also there are different NGOs working in this
area and help government. 15


Different kind of surveys can be done for study child labour
how and where it is present more also what can be the reason behind child
labour presence. All these criteria can be figure out by analyzing different
articles available on websites like ILO, UNISEF, WHO, etc. Issues or
consequences of child labour can analyse by evaluating the children of
different areas and can compare the normal child with the labour child.  For effective systems major awareness campaigns
should taken place.


In India one in every 11 children is working. 80% of the
working children are from rural area. More than half of the 5.5 million working children are mostly in
five states—Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra.
As per an analysis of census data by non-governmental organization CRY (Child
Rights and You)
child labour has been
decreasing at rate of 2.2% per year from 2001 to 2011.17 Primary
health care approach, social political and technological intervention, proper
legislation and law require for current situation and for betterment of the
child workers. So, by implemented interdisplinary approaches decreasing rate of
child labour will increase.


1 What is child labour? International Labour Organisation.
2012. Available at: Accessed
Dec 11, 2014.

2 Parvathamma, G. L. “Child Labour in India–A Conceptual
and Descriptive Study.” International Journal of Humanities and
Social Science Invention 4.1 (2015): 23-32.

3 Khakshour, Ali, et al. “Child labor facts in the
worldwide: A review article.” International Journal of Pediatrics 3.1.2
(2015): 467-473.

4 To eliminate child labour, attack it at its roots,
UNICEF says. UNICEF. 2013.

5 “Statistics of Child Labour in India State Wise.” Save
the Children India,

6 Bag, Amartya. “What are the Laws related to child labour
in India.” IPleaders, 13 June 2017,

 7 “ILO.” Hazardous
Work List: India, 2 June 2016,–en/index.htm.

 8 ILO good practice
guide for addressing child labour in fisheries and aquaculture: Policy and
practice preliminary version international labour organization. 2011

9  ILO. Child Labor: How the challenge is being
met. Int Labor Rev. 1997;136:233–57

10 Roggero, Paola, et al. “The health impact of child
labor in developing countries: evidence from cross-country data.” American
journal of public health 97.2 (2007): 271-275.

11 Yadav, Surendra Kumar, and Gowri Sengupta.
“Environmental and occupational health problems of child labour: Some
Issues and Challenges for Future.” Journal of Human Ecology28.2
(2009): 143-148.

12 Victor. “Child Labour: Meaning, Causes, Effects,
Solutions.” Important India, 24 Feb. 2017,

13 Tanwar, Ravinder. “Child Labor in India- Causes &
Consequences.” SSB Interview Tips & Coaching | SSBCrack, 5 July

14 “Child Labour Act: Govt allows under-14 children to work
in non-Hazardous family enterprises.” Firstpost, 13 May 2015,

15 Tanwar, Ravinder. “Child Labor in India- Causes &
Consequences.” SSB Interview Tips & Coaching | SSBCrack, 5 July

16 Srivastava, Kalpana. “Child Labour Issues and
Challenges.” Industrial Psychiatry Journal 20.1 (2011):
1–3. PMC. Web. 28 Jan. 2018.

17 Masoodi, Ashwaq. “10 alarming statistics on child labour
in India.” Http://, Livemint, 12 June 2015,



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