Child Labour


Child Labour, consisting of children below 14 years of age, is defined by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) as the type of work performed by children that deprives them of their childhood and their dignity, which hampers their access to education and acquisition of skills and which is performed under conditions harmful to their health and their development. Children are the greatest gift to humanity and the same gift is being misused for personal gains as child labour. They constitute 36% of India’s population but a large majority of children in the age group of 5-14 years continue to remain in distress and turmoil. One in every five children below the age of 14 is a labourer. The flower (Child) withers before it blossoms.

Magnitude of the problem

Child labour is more a rural phenomenon than an urban phenomenon. Due to acute poverty poor families residing in rural areas send their children to urban areas for bread and butter. In urban areas, to survive in a cutthroat competition, manufacturers have lowered the real wages for adult workers in order to employ child workers on low wages. The problem is very much vast in its dimension. Children are forced to work in the most hazardous, unhygienic conditions, where they are vulnerable to many severe health problems.

Measures to combat Child Labour

Child labour is a universal problem and as a citizen of India we must strive to take stern actions against child labour.

Role of NGOs: NGOs have an important role to play in the elimination of child labour. Government does not have the infrastructure to reach every section of the society and particularly the millions who work and live in remote areas. NGOs can act as a bridge between hard-to-reach areas and the government.

Role of Media:   The media should expose defaulting firms or business houses that clandestinely employ children and violate laws relating to child labour.

The government should give certain monetary or if need be...