Author: Dhruv Kumar (UPES)
“It Is Just Like Plucking Flowers, Without Letting Them Grow”
We Are About To Witness Indeed a Very Enlightening and Productive Year Ahead For the Betterment of Children Who Are Victims of Child Labor.
2021 Is A Special Year Where We Can Turn Our Commitments Into Action And Put The World On Trajectory To End Child Labor In All Forms By 2025?
As Per International Labor Organization Child Labor Has Been Defined As –
A Work Which Deprives Their Child to Their Potential, Harming Them Physically, Mentally and Interferes Their Lives in Every Aspect (Field).[i]
United Nations Decided To Celebrate 12th June 2021 As World Day Against Child Labor.[ii]
The Child Who Is Pushed Into Child Labor Is The Same Child Who Is Denied Education. He/she Is Living In Abject Poverty Who Has No Access To Health Safety And Who’s Parents Are Not Ensured Decent Wages And Have No Safety Net Of Social Protection Programs. That Child Is One, And If We Remain Divided And Fragmented We Cannot Bring Every Child Out If This Crises.
2021 ACTION PLAN OVERVIEW:
“The World revolves around the children. Children’s future revolves around quality education. Terminate Child Labor.”
There Are Still 152 Million Children Cursed With Child Labor.[iii] But If We Compare It From Past Then There Are Hundreds Million Less Children Involved In Child Labor.
This Social Evil Of Child Labor Is Not Only The Concern For India But Is Spread All Over World Which Can Be Eradicated By Taking Some Following Steps:
Children Need To Be Taught About Their Rights And Responsibilities And Should Make Them Familiar With The Present Laws Related To Children Welfare. We Have This Duty To Not Hire Children Under The Age Of 14 In Any Kind Of Work.
Parents Who Send Their Children To Work In Hazardous Occupations Should Be Taught About Different Schemes And Programs Running For Their Benefit So That They Stop Promoting Child Labor.
Every Institution Of Government Should Play Its Part To Eliminating This Evil Practice Of Child Labor For Example – Role Of Organizations, Judicial Support To Child Labor, Role Of Public Interest Litigation In Child Labor Cases Etc.
So It Is Combined Duty Of The People Who Resides In The Society From Ground Level To Work Towards Eradicating This Bad Practice.
Partnerships Matters A Lot, All Of Us Can Make A Difference However Big, However Small. Partnership Can Be At Ground Level Within Small Units Of A City And Also Can Exist At Broad Level For Example International Labor Organization And United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund Has A String Partnerships Already In All Matter To Do With Children And Youth.
As A Global Community We Need To Re Imagine Education O Prove Both Quality And Quantity To Reach Every Child And This Includes Digital Technology And Remote Learning.
Throughout We Need Business To Step Up And To Ensure That Conduct Across Their Supply Chains That Address Child Labor, There Is No Excuse Anymore To Have Child Labor In Supply Chain.
By Providing Social Security To The Children We Can Work Towards This Problem Professionally And With More Modern Way By Giving Them Chance To Work And Also At The Same Time Should Give Those Proper Wages And Security. We Cannot Prohibit Children To Do Work But We Can Make Sure They Have Proper Health And Working Conditions.
Education Combat Child Labor By Introducing Schemes Such As Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan, Badhe Bharat Padhe Bharat, Beti Bachao Beti Padhao[iv] Etc.
Role Of Non-governmental And Social Media Plays A Very Crucial Role In Providing Information And Knowledge To The People As Well As These Young Children About The Provisions And Laws Of Child Labor Prevailing In India And Across Whole World.
United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund Is Calling for More Investment in Child Protection Programs That Prevent and Respond to All Forms If Violence Abuse and Exploitation, Including Child Labor.
People Can Also Grab This Opportunity As If Their Would Be More Youth, More Job Opportunity In The World Will They Get.
Working At Ground Level Would Impact A Lot Because To Fill An Entire Sea Small Drops Of Water Are Required Without Which Existence Of Sea Is Just Imaginable And Not Real.
Three Pillar Strategies:
Salal Hydroelectrice Case(1984), Peoples Union For Democratic Rights Vs. Union Of India, Bandhua Mukti Morcha Vs Union Of India, M.c Mehta Vs. State Of Tamil Nadu(1997), Mohini Jain Vs. State Of Karnataka (1992), Ashok Kumar Thakur Vs. Union Of India(2008) Are Some Major Landmark Cases India Witnessed Which Gave Aid To The Children And For Improving Their Working Conditions. This Case Focused On Safeguarding Right To Life, Education And Work With Dignity.
Covid -19 EFFECTS ON THE CHILD LABOR:
There Could Be Many Interpretations And Reasons For Injustices, Inequalities And Miseries Travelling In Our Society Rather Growing Due To The Pandemic (Covid-19 Outbreak).
It Has Been Seen That Covid-19 Pandemic Has Really Cracked Open And Exacerbated The Vulnerability Of Children For Child Labor.
We Are Loosing Some of the Best Future Literate and Potential Students of Our Country As Well As Of World in Huge Numbers.
Even Before Pandemic, Issues Like Rising Poverty, Low Wages, Eroding Social Protections, Lack Of Quality Education And Normalization Of Children’s Work Through Loopholes In Laws And A Culture Of Impunity In Many Countries Were Existing In Our Society At A Huge Level Throughout The Globe.
With A Devastating Impact Of Covid-19 Especially At The Household Stage More Children Are Vulnerable To The Exploitative And Hazardous Forms Of Jobs.
For Millions Of Children Who Are Already Engaged In Child Labor, The Pandemic Is Translating Into Longer Working Hours And Worsening Environment.[v] School Closures Are Making Situation Even Worse.
Lingering Gender Inequalities Continue To Make Girls More Vulnerable O Exploitation In Agriculture Work.
Lockdowns And Mobility Restrictions Have Dramatically Reduced Access To Child Protection Services And Workplace Inspections.
As Jurisdictions Look At Reopening Schools We Need To Reduce Dropout Rates Through Supplementary Programs Such As School Feeding, Free Uniforms And Books, Anything To Keep Children Where They Belong Which Is In School So They Can Build A Future.
HARSH REALITY OF CHILD LABOR PREVALENT IN INDIA:
Girls Has To Do Household Work And Not Given Opportunity To Educate Themselves.
Children Often Lie About Their Age When Asked About Their Age While They Do Child Labor Or Beg On The Roads, This Is Because They Know What They Are Told To Do Is Completely Illegal But For Break And Butter They Have No Choice But To Indulge In Such Practices.
“All Grown Ups Were Once Children, But Only Few Of Them Remember It” – Antoine De Saint.
Very Well Said.
Child Labor Has Been Treated As “Opportunity Cost” As The Next Best Alternative According To The Family As They Earn Money But Who Cares About Their Education Which Is Secondary Requirement.
Mass Mentality Of Families Needs To Be Changed. These Families Have A View I.e. “More People In The Family More Will Be The Earning”. But Actually It Is “More People In Family, More Responsibility And Burden Would Be Endured Alongside More Expenses”.
“Before Dreaming For A Better Nation, Put An End To Child Exploitation.”
It Can Be Said That That The Society As A Whole Should Create A Balance Between Earn And Learn Which Would Be More Practical Approach Towards Eradicating Child Labor.
The Crux Of The Matter Is That For Generations We Have Not Given Fair Share, We Have Denied Equality In Education, Health Care Facilities, Jobs Opportunities And Every Walks Of Life That Is Completely Unacceptable In Nature.
Many Small Actions Of Small Parts Of The World Can Contribute To Huge Global Chance Indeed It Is The Only Way To Overcome Global Challenges From Ending Slavery Which Can Be Achieved When All Stakeholders Take Coordinated Steps Towards It.
It’s Important For Us To Restrict Ourselves From Thinking About The Context Where The World Is Today Because It Matters And If We Fail To Act Decisively Covid-19 May Reverse The Years Of Progress That We Have Made Towards The Elimination Of Child Labor.
We Need A Commitment To Implement, To Enforcement And To Act In Present.
This Year Has To Be The Moment When We Positively Do Make Sure The Commitment Is Acted Upon In A Preplanned Manner With Adequacy.
We Need More Social Protection Programs To Keep Households And Allow Them To Make Ends Meet.
As We Emerge from the Pandemic, Let Us Emerge with Stronger Systems That Can Support a Child’s Right to Safety and Education. Support To Families Is Also Equally Important As They Deal With Economic Fallout Of Covid-19.
Message Is Loud And Clear. We Are Demanding Fair Share of Resources i.e.:
- Fair Share of Budgetary Allocations As Well As the Overseas Development Age.
- Fair Share of Policies Which Expresses Adequate Laws and Their Timely Enforcement.
- Fair Share of Social Protection for the Most Marginalized Children.
“Massive Construction With Small Hands, Child Labor, Should Be Banned.”