Make our future bright, shape our future right- Stop child labor
Celebrating the World Day Against Child Labour 2019, we look back at a century of conflict and forward to future hurdles and possibilities. Have you often come across small children struggling in workshops or at small restaurants in order to make a living? What a pity situation is it to see such children working when they should actually be at school concentrating on their studies? In fact, it is prohibited in India to make a child below 14-year work for a living and they are named as child labors.
Child labor is a global problem that hinders children from fulfilling their potential. It negates their right to attend normal school and experience a happy childhood. It cuts their capacity in the bud to have a healthy future. It hits the overall development of their physical and mental abilities. (1) It is a bane to any country. It is a shameful practice and wild more in developing and underdeveloped countries.
Reason for a child being forced to work:
- Poverty and a lack of livelihood opportunities lead to a child’s “need” to offer to the family income
- Due to struggles, droughts and other natural calamities, and family indebtedness
- Provincial poverty and residential migration also often expose children to being trafficked for work. (2)
How will be the future of child labor?
The development of any nation begins with the welfare of children. At an age adorned with colors and pranks, the tiny tots wither away their innocence in hazardous working conditions devoid of any childish fantasies.
Cultural beliefs have an important role in encouraging child labor. In developing countries, people believe that work has a constructive effect on character building and increases skill development in children. There is a tradition in these families, where children follow the parents’ footsteps and learn the job from an early age. (3) This makes the child uneducated and they rip all their future dreams and go along with their parents to contribute to the family income.
The same thing may happen to their children in the future and this cycle runs gradually and could create a major effect on the growth of the country. If this belief cycle continues, in the future, there may be a lot of uneducated child labor which might give a drastic change in the country’s economic rate. If this situation wants to get a good solution, then necessary actions should be taken to overcome child labors.
Action to be taken to overcome child labor:
- Establishing a minimum age for child labor, that pays policy coherence
- Law enforcement to secure the implementation of the Child labor Act
- Developing education access, improving quality and importance of education, addressing violence in schools
- Awareness-raising and mobilization of families and villages against the exploitation of children
- Social protection plans and cash transfers to enhance the economic situation of families and to reduce the “need” to send children to work
- Establishing child protection systems, including the Integrated Child Protection Scheme and implementation of Juvenile Justice Act
- Working towards the union between government departments to restrict child labor and rehabilitate existing child laborers. (4)
Education is a proven tactic for reducing child labor. Lack of access to education continues the cycle of exploitation, illiteracy, and poverty going, limiting future opportunities and forcing children to receive low-wage work as adults and to raise their own children in poverty. Children who have the way to education can break the cycle of poverty at the root of child labor.
Do you want to know what’s in the mind of each and every child working as labor? Can you able to imagine their future dreams? If you are wandering for the answer, refer: