Some common causes of child labor are poverty, parental illiteracy, social apathy, ignorance, lack of education and exposure, exploitation of cheap and unorganized labor. The family practice to inculcate traditional skills in children also pulls little ones inexorably in the trap of child labor, as they never get the opportunity to learn anything else.
Absence of compulsory education at the primary level, parental ignorance regarding the bad effects of child labor, the ineffictivity of child labor laws in terms of implementation, non availability and non accessibility of schools, boring and unpractical school curriculum and cheap child labor are some other factors which encourages the phenomenon of child labor. It is also very difficult for immature minds and undeveloped bodies to understand and organize themselves against exploitation in the absence of adult guidance.Poverty and over population have been identified as the two main causes of child labor. Parents are forced to send little children into hazardous jobs for reasons of survival, even when they know it is wrong. Monetary constraints and the need for food, shelter and clothing drives their children in the trap of premature labor. Over population in some regions creates paucity of resources. When there are limited means and more mouths to feed children are driven to commercial activities and not provided for their development needs. This is the case in most Asian and African countries.
Illiterate and ignorant parents do not understand the need for wholesome proper physical, cognitive and emotional development of their child. They are themselves uneducated and unexposed, so they don’t realize the importance of education for their children.
Adult unemployment and urbanization also causes child labor. Adults often find it difficult to find jobs because factory owners find it more beneficial to employ children at cheap rates. This exploitation is particularly visible in garment factories of urban areas. Adult exploitation of children is also seen in many places. Elders relax at home and live on the labor of poor helpless children.
The industrial revolution has also had a negative effect by giving rise to circumstances which encourages child labor. Sometimes multinationals prefer to employ child workers in the developing countries. This is so because they can be recruited for less pay, more work can be extracted from them and there is no union problem with them. This attitude also makes it difficult for adults to find jobs in factories, forcing them to drive their little ones to work to keep the fire burning their homes.
The incidence of child labor would diminish considerably even in the face of poverty, if there are no parties willing to exploits them. Strict implementation of child labor laws and practical and healthy alternatives to replace this evil can go a long way to solve the problem of child labor. Children who are born out of wedlock, orphaned or abandoned are especially vulnerable to exploitation. They are forced to work for survival when there are no adults and relatives to support them. Livelihood considerations can also drive a child into the dirtiest forms of child labor like child prostitution and organized begging.
Stop Child Labor
The future of a community is in the well being of its children. The above fact is beautifully expressed by Wordsworth in his famous lines “child is father of the man”. So it becomes imperative for the health of a nation to protect its children from premature labor which is hazardous to their mental, physical, educational and spiritual development needs. It is urgently required to save children from the murderous clutches of social injustice and educational deprivation, and ensure that they are given opportunities for healthy, normal and happy growth.
The venerable Indian poet Rabindranth Tagore has said time and again, that every country is absolutely bound by its duty to provide free primary education to its children. It is important to remember that industrialization can afford to wait but youth cannot be captured for long. It is imperative that the basic tenet made in article 24 of the Indian constitution - prohibiting the employment of any child below fourteen years of age, in a factory, mine or any other hazardous employment be stopped – be adhered to. There should be no ambiguity in ensuring the right of every child to free basic education and the promise of the constitution should be fully implemented in the here and now.
Projects related with human resource development, dedicated to the child welfare issues must be given top priority by the central and state governments to stop the menace of child labor. Child labor laws need to be strictly implemented at the central and state levels. Corruption and negligence in child labor offices and employee circles should be dealt with very strictly by the judiciary and the police force.
The development needs of growing children can only be provided for, by stopping the onerous practice of child labor in organized and non organized sectors with utmost sincerity. This is the only way a nation can train its children to be wholesome future citizens, who are happy and prosperous. The provision of equal and proper opportunities for the educational needs of growing children in accordance with constitutional directives will go a long way in stopping the evil practice of child labor. Resource: NGO India
Concerned about the future of its children India has implemented a country- wide ban recently, on children below fourteen working in the hospitality sector and as domestics. It is intended that those who are found to violate the law will be fined with 430 dollars and sent into rigorous imprisonment for two years. Children in India are not allowed to work in mines, factories and other hazardous jobs already. Two more professions have been added in a list of fifty seven occupations which were considered hazardous for a child’s development needs in the ‘child labor act’ passed in 1986.Childs rights activists are waxing eloquent in high pitched voices about the absolute importance of stopping child labor. But legislation in this regard is just like an intention. It is more important to take development measures to ensure its practical application by eliminating the reasons of child labor from our society. The reasons giving birth to child labor are poverty, illiteracy, scarcity of schools, ignorance, socially regressive practices, blind customs and traditions, migration and last but not the least corruption amongst employees and government labor organizations. People should not be able to get away with employing and exploiting children.