In today’s era of modernised world, the growing concerns about the number of children, who instead of going to schools and playing with loved ones, are being forced to work for their survival is threatening. Rather than having healthy food and playing with toys, they are handed over a hammer and chisel to earn a living.
Hundreds of millions of young girls and boys face adverse consequences due to hazardous and abusive working conditions. To prevent children from such deadly traps, in the year 2002, the International Labour Organization (ILO) announced to observe the World Day against Child Labour on June 12 in order to take necessary actions for eradicating this issue in all its forms and make children free. The day unites various governments, employers and civil society and masses from around the world to highlight the agony of child labourers and finding ways to resolve it.
As per the legal experts, with years of experience working at New Law College Pune, “Child labour is preventable. In India, rules are very strict when it comes to child labour. As per the Child and Adolescent Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986, it is completely prohibited to employ a child labour (i.e. a person below the age of 14 years) in any sort of factory or establishment, whether it is hazardous or not. A child is only allowed to work in order to help a family enterprise.”
Child labour in most of the cases is horrific, as children are being enslaved, separated from families and exposed to serious hazards and abusive work surroundings. Now, in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic, it is feared that the health crisis can thrust millions of vulnerable children into the trap of atrocious child labour. Children are now at even greater risk of facing harsh circumstances that will lead to more difficult conditions and long working hours. Presently, there are around 152 million children who are working, out of which 73 million are employed in health hazardous industries.
Based on a survey, legal researchers working closely with New Law College Pune revealed that every day children are being pushed into forced labour, illicit activities such as drug trafficking and prostitution as well. Thus, it is necessary for everyone to take cognizance of the matter to help the sufferers and nip this major concerning issue in the bud.