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The Soft Working Hand

A Child is the most precious gift of God to humankind when they smile, they make you smile when they cry they will make you do the craziest things, and will again bring the smile on your face, all your stress all your worry will be vanished by being around childrens.

Childhood meaning Playing, Learning, Dreaming, Discovering growing up healthy but for 152 million children around the world childhood has a different meaning, it is filled with many hours of daily work.

What is being done to save children from hazardous work?

child labour
child labour

A brief study:-

Recently on 12th June 2020, world day against child labor has been observed.

The world day against child labor 12 June is an international labor organization initiative first launched in 2002 aiming to raise awareness and activism to prevent child labour.

  • The laws that have been made to protect child rights:
  • Article 21(A), Article 23 & 24 of the Indian Constitution deal with the Right to education, Prohibits trafficking, and forced labour respectively.
  • Article 45:-It is a provision for free and compulsory education for children. The State shall endeavor to provide, within a period of ten years from the commencement of this Constitution, for free and compulsory education for all children until they complete the age of fourteen years.

Some more laws:-

  • The Employment prohibition act 1938:- This act prohibits employment or permission to work in any specified occupation of a child who has not completed fifteen years
  • The Factories Act of 1948: The Act 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. It is a cognizable criminal offense to employ a Child for any work.
  • Mines act 1952:-The Act prohibits the employment of children below 18 years of age in a mine.
  • The Beedi and Cigar Workers (Conditions of Employment) Act, 1966:- Section 24 of the Act defines that employment of a child under in this industry is strictly prohibited under this Act.
  • Plantation Labour Act, 1951: Section 25 of the Act specifies that Women and children can be employed only between the hours of 6 a.m and 7 p.m. They can be employed beyond these hours only with the permission of the State Government.
  • Domestic Workers (Registration Social Security and Welfare) Act, 2008:Section 14 of the Act specifies that no child shall be employed as a domestic worker or for any such incidental or ancillary work which is prohibited under any law
  • Child labour regulation act 1986:-The main object of the Child Labour ( Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986 is to address the social concern and prohibit the engagement of children who have not completed 14th year of age in certain employments and to regulate the conditions of work of children has been prohibited in occupations relating to 1)Soap Manufacture 2)Wool Cleaning 3)Building and Construction Industry.
  • The government has prohibited children from doing work in:– (i)Abattoirs/Slaughterhouses (ii)Hazardous Processes and Dangerous Operation.

Note: A welcome amendment was done in child labour and prohibition act in 2016  under which any work is done by children under the age of 14 is prohibited, and any hazardous work is done by any adolescent 14 -18 will also be prohibited.

The Programme Pencil was launched in 2017 after this amendment:-.

  • PENCiL: The Platform for Effective Enforcement for No Child Labour is a portal where anyone can file a complaint about children being employed as laborers. This triggers an investigation by a nodal officer and if the complaint is found genuine, the children are rescued with police’s help.
  • Launch date September 25, 2017
  • Complaints received 1,010 (till July 22, 2019) “Is this enough? In the country with the highest number of child labour exist.”
  • Cases resolved 361 (till July 22).
  • Source-Ministry of labour.

Are these laws are effective enough to deal with the problem of child labour, we need effective and proper mechanisms to implement these laws. Because the condition from which the children in India are suffering, a strict implementation is needed, a brief study of the children suffering in India:-

  • India is the largest country in terms of child labour, The 2011 census tells that around 38.99% are the population in India is the age group of (0-18 years) i.e 47,21,11,477.
  • In India 38% of kids under age five are stunted.
  • According to a National survey: More than 50% of Children under five are Anaemic
  • According to the National crime bureau from 10 years, a crime against children has been increased five times.
  • Their are 152 million child labour in India in which 72 million are working hazardous work.
  • 70% of the children are working under agriculture, farming, Rest are working in construction industries, stone mining, and in the small scale industries.
  • Some are working as domestic child labour, and you can also find the children working under the street restaurant and entertainment industries.

The major factors which affect child labor:-

The people who are trafficked are poor people and one of the factors behind child labour is illiteracy, the other factor is Social and cultural Factor:- Most of the child labours in India belong to lower caste, most of them belong to untouchables caste, Tribals, and minorities, community.

The one other major factor behind child labour is that the Number of children are forced to leave the villages and go in search of cheap labours and they look for those areas which are poverty-stricken areas, areas which have flood and waterlogging and droughted areas.

KAILASH SATAYARTHI said while receiving the Nobel Peace Prize “I  refuse to accept that all the laws and constitutions, police and judges are unable to protect our children. I refuse to accept that the shackles of slavery can ever be stronger than the quest for freedom.”

Kailash Satyarthi runs an NGO Bachpan Bachao Andolan, He facilitated with Nobel Peace award in 2012 for his great Contribution to Protect Children from child labour in many countries.

Having so many laws, still, children in Indian forced to work as a labor. Why these major issues are not being discussed by the media? Media is a source to bring awareness., Due to pandemic children’s are not able to go to school, education is one of the major factors to cope with these major problems.

They can not afford to study online, their right to safe childhood and education is compromised, without education, these children are likely to remain poor and their families and communities are trapped in the cycle of poverty and hunger, This must be stopped. We need to reduce the dependency of households on child labor. There is a need to spread a great awareness among the people.

Those soft hands  deserve to hold a toy or a pencil in their hand not a brick or mining tools

Child labour is the denial of childhood, it is the denial of dignity, it is the denial of freedom, it is the denial of future, it is the denial of being as human being, it is the denial of their dreams

By PRATIKSHA PAL,

1st-year law student

Dharmashastra National Law University, Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh

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