CHILD LABOUR – AN ACT OF REPRESSION
“I personally didn’t saw any child labour by myself, but I used to hear about many working children…”, At least once in our lifetime, we had heard this sentence, with different rhythm or with different synonyms.
Well, it’s not something that is new to us. We used to see children standing in front of the hotels/restaurants with the placard “Hotel”, we used to see children who sell pens in trains and buses, we used to see children sitting near lottery stalls etc. I have used the word “we used to…” it is because we do see things and pretends to be unnoticed.
I personally heard an incident stating, when one of my friend saw a child selling pens, she felt sympathized and bought 1 pen and gave 5 pen’s money. When focussing a good heart or a plot for a feel good movie with a heroine is doing this and the chances of hero seeing this is really high and appreciable. But, in reality, it’s the worst form of promoting child labour as well as begging.
While, India is considered to be a developing nation with more abstract laws and policies, still 1 out of 10 child labours across the world is from India.
We will have numerous questions based on Child Labour such as what child labour entails?, Which age is considered as child labour?, How child labour affects Society and Economy?, Is Child Labour is illegal and still happening in India and so on.. There are endless questions which start with 4Ws and H, where we need answers. But this time we can connect our answers to the questions.
Children around the world are routinely employed in paid and unpaid types of work that are not dangerous to them. And also they are classified as child labourers when they are either so young to take up a job, or are entangled in hazardous activities that may affect their physical, mental, social or may be educational development. As per Child Labour (Prohibition & Regulation) Act, 1986, discussing on the age factors, no children can be employed in any kinds of works below the age of 14 and no children within the age group of 14-18, can be employed in hazardous occupations.
And too, there is relation between Right to Education (Free and Compulsory) Act, 2009 and Child Labour (Prohibition & Regulation) Act, 1986, where children should be provided with free and compulsory education within the age group of 6-14.
12 June marks the World Day against Child Labour under the theme “Universal Social Protection to End Child Labour.” Across India child labourers can be seen in a variety of enterprises like Bidis (hand-rolled cigarettes), Brassware, Cotton, Fireworks, Footwear, Gems, Glass Bangles, Incense (agarbatti), Leather Goods/ Accessories, Locks, Matches, Mica, Silk Fabric, Silk Thread, Soccer Balls, Sugarcane, Thread/Yarn Bricks, Carpets, Cottonseed (hybrid), Embellished Textiles, Garments, Rice, Sandstone, Stones.
The emerging field where children are exposed to labours are Mica field. Many cosmetics like lipsticks, foundation powder is made using Mica for the glittering effect, and many famous products are using children for collecting mica.
Mining mica is a labour intensive method that needs going into slim shafts that often collapse and entrap children beneath the rocks. To find mica, minors are forced to go belowground, where they often encounter themselves in total darkness.
Despite of effective child protection system in India, there are so many reasons why child labour is increasing, mainly:
- Poverty and lack of means of livelihood
- Lack of education and awareness
- Difference in socio-economic status
- Migration and Emergencies/Disaster and
ARE THE THINGS YOU ARE CHOSING IS CHILD LABOUR FREE??
Which brands use child labour? A million dollar question that could blow your mind. We all love to use branded items, particularly for any functions or occasions, because we believe that, it will showcase our pride. But, have you ever taken a moment to scrutinize your products on each and every aspects of cruelty? Well, the answer is obvious; there would be at least one brand in your own wardrobe that involves with Child Labour.
Popular brands like Amazon, ALDI Nord Group, ALDI SOUTH Group, Arena S.P.A, Colosseum, IKEA, Mekong Timber Plantations, Morrisons, REWE Group, VF Corporation and Varner has committed and pledged to take Joint Action for the elimination of Child Labour.
Children are the roots of the past and blooms for the future. If they are not attended with utmost care, it will negatively affect the nation’s capital and the future. In a short term, everyone believes that, child labour would bring income to the household and helps for survival. But, in a long term it will fastens poverty and affects nation’s Economy.
Child Labour is not so called “someone” else’s responsibility; it is each and “everyone’s” liability. Take a step, nurture your future.