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speech on child labour.........

Asked by Riya Gupta(student), on 28/1/13



  Child labour   is the practice where children engage in economic activity, on part or full-time basis. The practice deprives children of their childhood, and is harmful to their physical and mental development. Poverty, lack of good schools and growth of informal economy are considered as the important causes of child labour in India. [1] [2]

The 2001 national census of India estimated the total number of child labour, aged 5–14, to be at 12.6 million. [3]  Child labour problem is not unique to India; worldwide, about 217 million children work, many full-time. [4]

In 2001, out of a 12.6 million, about 12 million children in India were in a hazardous job. [5]  UNICEF estimates that India with its larger population, has the highest number of labourers in the world under 14 years of age, while sub-saharan African countries have the highest percentage of children who are deployed as child labour. [6] [7] [8]  International Labour Organization estimates that agriculture at 60 percent is the largest employer of child labour in India, [9]  while United Nation 's Food and Agriculture Organization estimates 70 % of child labour is deployed in agriculture and related activities. [10]  Outside of agriculture, child labour is observed in almost all informal sectors of the Indian economy. [11] [12] [13]

Companies including Gap, [14]  Primark, [15]  Monsanto [16]  and others have been criticised for child labour in their products. The companies claim they have strict policies against selling products made by underage kids, but there are many links in a supply chain making it difficult to police them all. [16]  In 2011, after three years of Primark 's effort, BBC acknowledged that its award-winning investigative journalism report of Indian child labor use by Primark was a fake. BBC apologized to Primark, to Indian suppliers and all its viewers. [17] [18] [19]

Article 24 of India 's constitution prohibits child labour. Additionally, various laws and the Indian Penal Code, such as the Juvenile Justice (care and protection) of Children Act-2000, and the Child Labour (Prohibition and Abolition) Act-1986 provide a basis in law to identify, prosecute and stop child labour in India. [20]


International Labour Organization (ILO) states that child labour may be defined in a number of different ways, and a different definition yields a different estimate of child labour in India as well as other countries. According to ILO, children or adolescents who participate in work that does not affect their health and personal development or interfere with their schooling, is not child labour; rather it may generally be regarded as being something positive. Such harmless work includes activities such as helping their parents around the home, assisting family or earning pocket money outside school hours and over holidays. These kinds of activities, suggests ILO, may contribute to children’s development by providing them with skills and experience, and help to prepare them to be productive members of society during their adult life.

The term child labour, suggests ILO is best defined as work that deprives children of their childhood, their potential and their dignity, and that is harmful to physical and mental development. It refers to work that is mentally, physically, socially or morally dangerous and harmful to children, or work whose schedule interferes with their ability to attend regular school, or work that affects in any manner their ability to focus during school or experience healthy childhood.

UNICEF defines child labour differently. A child, suggests UNICEF, is involved in child labour activities if between 5 to 11 years of age, he or she did at least one hour of economic activity or at least 28 hours of domestic work in a week, and in case of children between 12 to 14 years of age, he or she did at least 14 hours of economic activity or at least 42 hours of economic activity and domestic work per week. UNICEF in another report suggests, "Children’s work needs to be seen as happening along a continuum, with destructive or exploitative work at one end and beneficial work - promoting or enhancing children’s development without interfering with their schooling, recreation and rest - at the other. And between these two poles are vast areas of work that need not negatively affect a child’s development."

India 's Census 2001 office defines child labor as participation of a child less than 17 years of age in any economically productive activity with or without compensation, wages or profit. Such participation could be physical or mental or both. This work includes part-time help or unpaid work on the farm, family enterprise or in any other economic activity such as cultivation and milk production for sale or domestic consumption. Indian government classifies child laborers into two groups: Main workers are those who work 6 months or more per year. And marginal child workers are those who work at any time during the year but less than 6 months in a year.

Some child rights activists argue that child labour must include every child who is not in school because he or she is a hidden child worker. UNICEF, however, points out that India faces major shortages of schools, classrooms and teachers particularly in rural areas where 90 percent of child labour problem is observed. About 1 in 5 primary schools have just one teacher to teach students across all grades.

Posted by The Prashant(parent), on 28/1/13

Child labour laws in India

After its independence from colonial rule, India has passed a number of constitutional protections and laws on child labor.

The Constitution of India in the Fundamental Rights and the Directive Principles of State Policy prohibits child labor below the age of 14 years in any factory or mine or engaged in any other hazardous employment (Article 24). The constitution also envisioned that India shall, by 1960, provide infrastructure and resources for free and compulsory education to all children of the age six to 14 years. (Article 21-A and Article 45). [20] [21]

India is a federal form of government, and child labour is a matter on which both the central government and state governments can legislate, and have. The major national legislative developments include the following: [22]

The Factories Act of 1948: The Act prohibits the employment of children below the age of 14 years in any factory. The law also placed rules on who, when and how long can pre-adults aged 15–18 years be employed in any factory.

The Mines Act of 1952: The Act prohibits the employment of children below 18 years of age in a mine.

The Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act of 1986: The Act prohibits the employment of children below the age of 14 years in hazardous occupations identified in a list by the law. The list was expanded in 2006, and again in 2008.

The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection) of Children Act of 2000: This law made it a crime, punishable with a prison term, for anyone to procure or employ a child in any hazardous employment or in bondage.

The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act of 2009: The law mandates free and compulsory education to all children aged 6 to 14 years. This legislation also mandated that 25 percent of seats in every private school must be allocated for children from disadvantaged groups and physically challenged children.

India formulated a National Policy on Child Labour in 1987. This Policy seeks to adopt a gradual & sequential approach with a focus on rehabilitation of children working in hazardous occupations. It envisioned strict enforcement of Indian laws on child labor combined with development programs to address the root causes of child labor such as poverty. In 1988, this led to the National Child Labour Project (NCLP) initiative. This legal and development initiative continues, with a current central government funding of INR  602 crores, targeted solely to eliminate child labor in India. [23]  Despite these efforts, child labor remains a major challenge for India.



Posted by The Prashant(parent), on 28/1/13

We recommend you to develop such answers using your own ideas. However, you may consider the following points:


- Child labour is a business term which means to employ children at work below the age that has been demarcated by the government.

- "The child is the father of man." This famous line quoted by William Wordsworth refers to the importance of the child for the development of society as well as for the all-round development of the human race. We should never ignore the fact that child is the purest form of God. His innocence brings us closer to the almighty.

- Child labourers are exploited, exposed to hazardous work conditions and paid a pittance for their long hours of work. They belong to the unorganized labour force.

- Our government has laid down various guidelines to eradicate and finish the custom of child labour from the grass root level.

a. No child below the age of 14 years shall be employed to work in any hazardous employment

b. Childhood and youth are to be protected against exploitation and against moral and material abandonment.

c. The State shall endeavour to provide within a period of 10 year from the commencement of the Constitution free and compulsory education for all children until they have completed the age of 14 years.

- Due to poverty poor parents put their children to work in order to supplement the family's economic status. This compulsion forces the parents to forget that every child has his right to enjoy his childhood.

- There are more than 250million child labourers in our country.

Posted by Shaivya Chawla(MeritNation Expert), on 29/1/13

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