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Impact of Education in Preventing Child Labour in India

Due to COVID-19, all the efforts made by the Indian government to provide children with better education and life seemed to be ruined. Unemployment and the need to survive often lead families to make deseperate decision. child labour should never exist. The poor financial condition of parents, inaccessible online education have increased the number of school dropouts worldwide.

At that tender age, kids are expected to learn, play, study, and dream about what they want to be in the future but child labour snatches their dreams and makes them work hard physically and mentally to earn a little amount of money where they wish to or not to work they have to work forcefully for their family.

Education develops critical thinking. this is vital in teaching a person how to use logic when making decisions and interacting with people education helps an individual meet basic job qualification and makes them more likely to secure better jobs and good life style.

Child labour condemns them to a life of limited opportunities. It is, therefore, necessary to ensure that every child is protected and not exploited for cheap labour

Child labour refers to the use of children as a source of labour while depriving them of their fundamental rights in the process. Such rights include the opportunity to enjoy their childhood, attend school regularly, have peace of mind, and live a dignified life.

Child labour can also refer to the practice of exploiting children for financial gain. Some industries employ children in order to cut down on labour costs since their wage demand is low.

When children are made to perform work that is legally prohibited to be performed by children of a certain age group, such type Work that places children in a situation that is socially, mentally, physically, or morally harmful and dangerous is also defined as child labour because it ignores the well-being of such children . of work is also referred to as child labour.

Child Labour is the practice of having children engage in economic activity, on a part- or full-time basis. The practice deprives children of their childhood, and is harmful to their physical and mental development.

Child labor can be best described as work that snatches away childhood, dreams, and capability. It also results in harmful physical and mental growth. Involvement of children below 18 in some economic activities, whether it be paid or unpaid, such involvement could be mental or physical.

Position in India
Earlier Child labor was very common in rural India where 80% of the children are trapped in child labor, but slowly with time, this graph shifted from rural to urban India. Because of the presence of big cities with more number of the job opportunity. According to a report by UNICEF, there is a 54% increase in child labor for children aged between 5 to14.

As per a campaign against child labor India has approx 12666377 child laborers. Uttar Pradesh has 1927997 child laborers. Delhi has over 1 million child laborers. Other leading states are Bihar, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, and Madhya Pradesh

Importance of education against child labour
Education : is a crucial component of any effective effort to eliminate child labour. There are many interlinked explanations for child labour. No single factor can fully explain its persistence and, in some cases, growth. The way in which different causes, at different levels, interact with each other ultimately determines whether or not an individual child becomes a child labourer.

Every year world day against child labor is celebrated on 12th June by Education International. According to Education International, early education is very important to get children out of the labor market.

It doesn't only help children to learn necessary skills, but also allows them to lead a decent life forward.

Education and training are mandatory drivers of social and economic growth and democracy.

The removal of all costs linked with education will result in a large section of society being educated.

An approach with the mindset to educate children and drag them out of poverty will reduce the number of child labor cases we face now.

Education is a fundamental right, over which no one has the authority to deny.

It helps in changing people's opinions towards life and makes them better human beings.

Children's participation in the labour force is endlessly varied to changing market and social conditions. This context is matched by the flexibility of the large, unprotected, potential child labour force. Poverty and social exclusion, labour mobility, discrimination and lack of adequate social protection and educational opportunity all come into play in influencing child labour outcomes

Experience shows that a combination of economic growth, respect for labour standards, universal education and social protection, together with a better understanding of the needs and rights of children, can bring about a significant reduction in child labour. Child labour is a stubborn problem that, even if overcome in certain places or sectors, will seek out opportunities to reappear in new and often unanticipated ways. The response to the problem must be as versatile and adaptable as child labour itself. There is no simple, quick fix for child labour, nor a universal blueprint for action

IPEC's approach to the elimination of child labour has evolved over the past decade as a result of the experience it has gained and the changing needs of its partners for assistance. The programme incorporates a wide range of categories of work against child labour, including research and statistics, technical co-operation, a monitoring and evaluation unit, advisory services and advocacy, and an education unit.

IPEC has demonstrated leadership and experience in using education to combat child labour in both formal and non-formal settings which has proved significant in the prevention of child labour and the rehabilitation of former child workers. Non-formal or transitional education has played an instrumental role in the rehabilitation of former child labourers. Vocational education and training have provided the skills needed for gainful employment, which in turn contributes to local and national development. In addition, IPEC has been providing policy advice and technical assistance to governments to ensure that educational policies pay special attention to children at risk of child labour.

Causes [1]
Child labour is caused by several factors. Some of them include:
  1. Poverty:
    This is the single biggest factor contributing to the children working hard in factories or shops or construction sites rather than playing and getting an education. Families do not have enough resources and children often become the means for more income, even if it means having to forego the privileges of childhood.

    Children who come from poor families may be forced to work to support their siblings and parents or supplement the household income when expenses are more than the parents' earnings. It is a huge problem especially in developing countries where parents are unable to generate income due to the lack of employment opportunities or education. Children can be found employed in mines or hawking in the streets to earn money that is used to provide basic necessities such as food and clothing for the family.

    Children may also be employed in factories to generate income for the family instead of attending school. Some children have left orphans or abandoned due to poverty. Such children do not have anyone to take care of them and end up working to feed themselves unless taken up by orphanages. Such a practice is a common phenomenon in poverty-stricken regions with large factories set up by international companies.
  2. Low Aspiration:
    It is important for parents and children to understand that they can work hard and make something great of themselves. Low aspirations by parents and children is a major cause of child labour because in such a situation, being employed in a local factory, or selling grocery in the streets is the normal way of life. To these types of children and parents, success only belongs to a certain region or group of people. They do not aspire to become professionals in the society or great entrepreneurs. It is a mindset that forms the very foundation of child labour.
  3. Huge demand for unskilled labourers:
    The demand for unskilled labourers is another cause of child labour. Children are mostly unskilled and provide a cheap source of labour, making them an attractive option for many greedy employers. Child labour, by virtue of being cheap, increases the margin of profits for such entrepreneurs whose only objective is profit maximization even if it comes at the expense of ethics and good business practices. These types of employers can also force children to work under unfavorable conditions through manipulation or blatant threats.
  4. Illiteracy:
    A society with many educated people understands the importance of going to school and pursuing dreams. Children have the ability and time to become whatever they aspire to be. Illiteracy, on the other hand, makes it difficult for many people to understand the importance of education. Illiterate people view education as a preserve of the privileged in the society. They will therefore not provide support to children so that they can go to school and build solid foundations for future success. The same view of life is seen among illiterate parents who prioritize children contributing to the upkeep of the family over going to school.
  5. Early Marriages:
    Marrying at an early age is a major contributing factor to overpopulation. Having many children with little or no resources to support them leads to child labour. Older children are forced to work in order to help their parents support the family.
  6. High cost of education:
    Quality education is expensive. To many parents who live in abject poverty, priority is given to providing food for the family because education is too expensive to afford especially when there are many children to pay school fees for. Instead of letting children stay at home because there is lack of money to send them to school, parents opt to have them working as unskilled labourers to help support the family. Some parents can also only afford basic education which means that children will be forced to look for work since they cannot pursue their education further.
  7. Gender discrimination:
    Often girls are required to quit school and take up work to supplement family income until they are suitably married off. This too is an observation in typically vulnerable classes
  8. Family tradition:
    Many families with businesses or traditional occupations like arts, etc. expect the children to work to be able to pass on the traditional arts or business only by experience.
Consequences / Effects:
Child labour has several negative impacts. Some of them include:
  1. Loss of Quality childhood:
    It is important for human beings to enjoy every stage of their development. A child should play with friends and make memories for a lifetime. Youths should explore life and form strong foundations that would define their adult lives. Child labour, therefore, leads to loss of quality childhood as children will be deprived of the opportunity to enjoy the amazing experiences that come with being young. Children are often encouraged to play because it helps in their growth and development. A child forced to work will miss many of the good things associated with childhood.
  2. Health issues:
    Child labour can also lead to health complications due to undernourishment and poor working conditions. It is highly unlikely that people who employ children also have the moral capacity to ensure that they have good working conditions. Working in places such as mines and badly conditioned factories may result in lifetime health issues for children employed to work in these places. A child assigned physically demanding duties may suffer physical trauma that may scar him or her for life.
  3. Mental trauma:
    It is not a pleasant experience to be kept working as a child while your age-mates are out playing and going to school. Children also lack the ability to shield themselves from most of the challenges that occur in the workplace. Issues such as bullying, sexual exploitation, and unfavorable working hours may result in mental trauma in these children. They will find it hard to forget the past and may become societal misfits because of bad childhood experiences. Child labour may also result in the lack of emotional growth and thus insensitivity.
  4. Illiteracy:
    Children that are employed do not have the time to go to school. They spend a lot of time in their workstations as the days and years go by. The lack of education and illiteracy makes them individuals with limited opportunities as far as employment is concerned. Education also prepares a person for several challenges in the society and without it, one may turn out to lack the basic skills required to overcome many of life's problems. An individual who has gone to school may be aware of how to approach certain situations in life without resorting to brute force. An illiterate person, on the other hand, considers force to be the only answer to nearly all of the challenges experienced

The Child Labour Prohibition and Regulation Act of 1986
Our legislators devised a list to discourage minors from working in hazardous occupations. All dangerous vocations were identified, and minors under the age of 14 were absolutely barred from working in such areas. The act's title was amended in 2016 from The Child Labour (Prohibition And Regulation) Act Of 1986 TO The Child And Adolescent (Prohibition And Regulation) Act Of 1986.

The following provisions were added to the legislation as a result of the amendment:
  • No child shall be permitted to work in any occupation or process
  • Nothing in sub-section(1) of the act shall apply where the child:
    After school or during holidays, he assists his family or family enterprise that is not involved in any hazardous activities or procedures listed in the timetable.

Work as an artist in the audio-visual entertainment industry, including the advertisement, films, television serials, or any such other entertainment or sports activities except for the circus, subject to such conditions and safety measures, as may be prescribed. Provided that no such work under this clause shall affect the school education of the child.

Solutions for the problem of child labour
How can child labour be reduced or completely eradicated?
Every child born has the right to have dreams and pursue those dreams. Even though the realization of some of these aspirations may be limited by several challenges, it is still possible to overcome them and achieve the highest levels of success.

There is need to involve various stakeholders to realize this objective.
These are some of the ways in which the problem of child labour can be addressed:
  1. Free education:
    Free education holds the key to eliminating child labour. Parents that do not have money for school fees can use this as an opportunity to provide their children with education. It has already proved to be a success in many places around the globe and with more effort, the cases of child labour will greatly reduce. Mid-day meals schemes can also be used as a motivating factor for children whose parents can barely afford a meal to learn. Even if they will be attending school because of the free meals, they will still be able to learn and create a good education foundation for themselves.
  2. Moral Polishing:
    Child labour should not be entertained at all. It is legally and morally wrong. Children should not be allowed to provide labour at the expense of getting an education and enjoying their childhood. Factory owners, shopkeepers, and industries among others should not employ children. The society should be educated on the negative impacts of child labour so that it becomes an issue that is frowned upon whenever it occurs. This type of moral polishing would act as a deterrent to people who intend to employ children and use them as a source of cheap labour. Many of the ills that go on in the society do so because people turn a blind eye or fail to consider their moral impacts. With this kind of approach, cases of child labour will greatly fall among our communities.
  3. Create demand for skilled and trained workers:
    By creating the demand for skilled and trained workers, child labour cases will reduce since almost all child labourers fall under the unskilled worker category. It will lead to adult employment as the demand for skilled labour rises. Establishing skill-based learning centers, vocational training centers, and technical training institutions improves literacy and contributes to the availability of skilled and trained workers in the job market. Creation of job opportunities by the government is also another way that cases of unemployment can be reduced and household income for the population increased. Such government policies improve living standards and eliminate the need for children to seek work in order to support their families.
  4. Awareness:
    Creating awareness about the illegality of child labour can also help in stemming the practice. Parents should be made aware that sending their children to work has legal ramifications and the law would take its course if they are found to be aiding and abetting this vice. It is the ignorance among many parents and members of the society that makes them participate in child labour practices. Conducting a campaign to create awareness about its harmful effects would eliminate the practice. The government, together with non-governmental organizations and the civil society, can create a strategy to make such an initiative a success.
  5. Empowerment of poor people:
    Poor people are the most affected by child labour. The poor living standards and financial constraints sometimes make them unwilling participants in this vice. Empowering poor people through knowledge and income generating projects would go a long way in reducing cases of child labour. Parental literacy also plays an important role in ensuring that the rights of children are upheld, and minors are not used as a source of labour. Empowering parents with this kind of knowledge can create a positive change in the society and encourage the shunning of child labour practices in communities.

Laws relating to Child Labour
As per the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986, amended in 2016 ("CLPR Act"), a "Child" is defined as any person below the age of 14, and the CLPR Act prohibits employment of a Child in any employment including as a domestic help. It is a cognizable criminal offence to employ a Child for any work

In addition, various laws in India, 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.:
The Factories Act of 1948 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 prohibits the employment of children below 18 years of age in a mine.

Constitutional Provisions The constitution of India carries important expression of the attitude of the State forwards children and several articles of Indian Constitution provide protection and provisions for child labour:
  1. The State is empowered to make the special provisions relating to child, which will not be violative of right to equality.
  2. No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty, except according to procedure established by law.
  3. The State shall provide free and compulsory education to all children of the age of six to fourteen years, in such manner as the State may, by law, determine. Where children are allowed to work, in such establishment, it is the duty of employer to make provisions for the education of child labourer.
  4. Traffic in human beings and beggar and other similar forms of forced labour are prohibited and any contravention of this prohibition shall be an offence punishable in accordance with law.
  5. No child below the age of 14 years shall be employed to work in any factory or mine or engaged in any other hazardous employment.
  6. The State shall, in particular, direct its policy towards securing the health and strength of the tender age of children are not abused and that citizens are not forced by economic necessity to enter avocations unsuited to their age or strength.
  7. The State shall, in particular, direct its policy towards securing that children are given opportunities and facilities to develop in a healthy manner and in conditions of freedom and dignity; and that childhood and youth are protected against exploitation and against moral and material abandonment". viii. "The State shall endeavor to provide early childhood care and education for all children until they complete the age of six years.
  8. It shall be the duty of every citizen of India, who is a parent or guardian to provide opportunities for education to his child or ward as the case may be, between the age of six and fourteen years". Legislative Provisions. The State Governments, which are the appropriate implementing authorities, are conducting regular inspections to detect cases of violations. Since poverty is the root cause of child labour growth, the Government is putting a lot of emphasis on rehabilitation of these children and improving the economic condition of their families.

    A number of policy initiatives and programmers' have been initiated by the Government of India to tackle the problem of child labour which is rapidly increasing in India. The Government is taking proactive steps to tackle this problem by strictly enforcing the laws. Major National Legislations Are: "The Children (Pledging of Labour) Act 1933 was the first law against bonded labour.

    Employment of Children Act, The Factories Act of 1948, The Plantations Labour Act 1951,The Mines Act of 1952, The Motor Transport Workers Act 1961, The Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation Act), The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection) of Children Act of 2000, The Right to Children for Free and Compulsory Education, The Formulation of a new National Child Labour Policy, The Enactment of the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, The setting up of Taskforce on Child Labour, The Adoption of Convention on the Rights of the Child. Initiation of National child labour project (NCLP) in 1988 to rehabilitate working child labour in the endemic districts of the country

Covid-19 is a real cause for concern

In 2020, the pandemic increased the number of children in income-poor households by an estimated 142 million, which is a massive 24 % increase on the previous year. Their families have suffered job and income losses, seen cuts in remittances and experienced other shocks.

Families turn to child labour as a coping mechanism in times of crises. Moreover, school closures during lockdowns have added to the risks, especially for children in vulnerable situations, as they are even more likely to work when school is not an option. Pandemic-related school closures have affected over 90% of the world's students and remote learning failed to reach 463 million learners. When children leave school and enter paid employment, it is usually very difficult to resume their education. Without a robust response, the education emergency may easily spiral into a child labour emergency.

What this study adds
To our knowledge, this is the first review that provides a comprehensive summary of both the physical and mental health impacts of child labor. Working children are subjected to higher levels of physical and mental stress compared to non-working children and adults performing the same type of work. Unfortunately, the results show that these children are at risk of developing short and long-term health complications, physically or mentally.

Though previous systematic reviews conducted on the topic in 19 971 and 20 078 reported outcomes in different measures, our findings reflect similar severity of the health impacts of child labor. This should be alarming to organizations that set child labor as a target. We have not reviewed the policies targeting child labor here, yet our findings show that regardless of policies in place, further action is needed.

Most of the current literature about child labor follow a cross-sectional design, which although can reflect the health status of working children, it cannot establish cause-effect associations. This in turn affects strategies and policies that target child labor.

In addition, comparing the impacts of different labor types in different countries will provide useful information on how to proceed. Further research following a common approach in assessing child labor impacts in different countries is needed.

Child labor remains a major public health concern in LMICs, being associated with adverse physical and mental health outcomes. Current efforts against child labor need to be revisited, at least in LMICs. Further studies following a longitudinal design, and using common methods to assess the health impact of child labor in different country contexts would inform policy making.

Child Labour is affecting badly in the social and economic factor. The root cause of child labour is poverty . Unemployment and the need to survive often lead families to make diseperate decision. child labour should never exist. However, it is still noticeable that people around the country hire children so that they will have the benefit of paying low wages to them. One should do not encourage child Labour, and neither one should let any other to hire a child to any job.

The basic reason for child labor is poverty, illiteracy, and unemployment. People who are illiterate do not send their children to school. Instead of sending them schools, they force them to earn money. Thus, small children cannot get the education, as a result, they lack behind in their life due to this they are unable to get good job opportunities and it result them to fall as a pray for child labour or in criminal activities

Education develops critical thinking. this is vital in teaching a person how to use logic when making decisions and interacting with people education helps an individual meet basic job qualification and makes them more likely to secure better jobs and good life style.

Eradicating child labor is still a distant dream for India. But education can be proved as a weapon to fight against child labour . Our lawmakers are trying to tackle the problem but it's high time that we as a citizen of India help the government to solve the problem. Problems like poverty, Illiteracy leads to child labor, with a collective effort by all of us, will for sure help children to drag them out of the labor world and lead a better life ahead with this it will bring great economic and social change in India.


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