Childhood is the most innocent phase in human life. It is that stage of life when the human foundations are laid for a successful adult life. Many children, instead of spending it in a carefree and fun-loving manner while learning and playing, are scarred and tormented. They hate their childhood and would do anything to get out of the dungeons of being children and controlled and tortured by others. They would love to break-free from this world, but continue to be where they are, not out of choice, but force. This is the true story of child labor.
Innocent children are employed by industries and individuals who put them to work under grueling circumstances. They are made to work for long ...view middle of the document...
In other words, child labor is any kind of work children are made to do that harms or exploits them physically, mentally, morally, or by preventing access to education. However, all work is not bad or exploitive for children. In fact, certain jobs help in enhancing the overall personality of the child. For example, children delivering newspapers prior to going to school or taking up light summer jobs that do not interfere with their school timings. When children are given pocket money earning oriented tasks, they understand the value of money, as well as respect it even more.
Child labor coupled with child abuse has today become one of the greatest maladies that have spread across the world. Each year statistics show increasing numbers of child abuse, more so in the case of the girl child. When a girl is probably abused by someone at home, to hide this fact she is sold to an employer from a city as domestic help, or then as a bride to an old man.
Though eradicating the menace seems like a difficult and nearly impossible task, immense efforts have to be made in this direction. The first step would be to become aware of the causes of child labor. The leading reason is that children are employed because they are easier to exploit. On the other hand, people sell their children as commodities to exploitive employers to have additional sources of income.
Most such employers pay a lump sum for the child and then keep him or her imprisoned within the factory unit till the child cannot work due to deteriorating health as a result of harsh living and working conditions. Lack of proper educational facilities is another reason that forces parents to send their children to work.
India accounts for the second highest number of child labor after Africa. Bonded child labor or slave labor is one of the worst types of labor for children. This system still continues in spite of the Indian Parliament enacting the Bonded Labor System (Abolition) Act in 1976. It is estimated that approximately 10 million bonded children laborers are working as domestic servants in India. Beyond this there are almost 55 million bonded child laborers hired across various other industries.
A recent ILO report says that about 80 per cent of child laborers in India are employed in the agriculture sector. Generally, the children are sold to the rich moneylenders to whom borrowed money cannot be returned. 'Street children' is another type of child labor where children work on the streets as beggars, flower sellers, etc, instead of going to school. Sometimes they are made to go hungry for days together so that people feel sorry...