Child Labour UPSC - Causes and Types of Child Labour in India

By K Balaji|Updated : November 8th, 2022

Child Labour has become one of the biggest concerns for the authorities to overcome in India. Increased economic insecurity in recent years and reduced household income have pushed the children to become a part of the Child Labour force. The covid-19 pandemic has forced children from poor households to contribute to the income of their families. As a result, Child Labour has increased significantly.

However, not all the factors resulting in Child Labour were created by the pandemic. Most of the factors were pre-existing. In this article, we are going to cover Child LabourUPSC notes that mention status, factors, and other related information on Child Labour in India.

Table of Content

What is Child Labour?

As per the defination by the Internation Labour Organisation, Child Labour can be defined as the work that takes away childhood from the children and their potential and dignity, which is harmful to both their mental and physical development.

>> Child Labour UPSC Notes - Download PDF

In most extreme forms, the International Labour Organization explains Child Labour as children being separated from their families and exposed to hazards and illness at a very early age. However, those children who involve in work without harming their health and affecting their education are not Child Labour.

Child Labour in India

As per the International Labour Organisation, 10.1 million children between the age of 5-14 years are working in India. This data was on the basis of the Census of 2011.

In addition, the total child population in India in the age group of 5014 is 259.6 million. Out of the 3.9%, which is equal to 10.1 million, are working as the main worker. Also, 42.7 million children in India were out of school. But the good news is there was a decline in the number of children affected by Child Labour in 2011 as compared to 2001. Below we have provided the list and number of children affected by Child Labour as per the Census of 2011 in different states of India.

States

Numbers (In million)

Uttar Pradesh

2.18

Madhya Pradesh

0.70

Maharashtra

0.73

Rajasthan

0.85

Bihar

1.09

Types of Child Labour in India

Child Labour must be seen in line with the different categories. The different nature of Child Labour in India includes

  • Bonded Child Labour: it means the employment of a child against the debt, loan, or social obligation by the family of the child.
  • Migrant Children- those who are migrated from other locations with family are usually forced to drop out of schools and get involved in Child Labour.
  • Street Children- the children living on the streets, such as ragpickers, beggars, shoeshines children, etc.
  • Working Children- those who are working as a part of family labor.
  • Children for Sexual Exploitation: many young girls and boys are forced to get involved in sexual activities.
  • Gender-Specific: here, Child Labour is gender-specific. For example, girls are being engaged in domestic and home-based work, and on the other hand, boys are working as wage laborers.

Causes of Child Labour in India

There are various factors that contribute to Child Labour in India. We have mentioned all of them below.

  • Population- the population of India has increased rapidly. The job opportunities available compared to the population of the country are fewer. It is one of the factors behind Child Labour.
  • Poverty- it is one of the main causes of Child Labour in India. Here the income from a child’s work is required for his or her own survival and also for the household.
  • Orphans- orphans get involved in working to meet their daily needs. New provisions should be made that would focus on educating the orphans so they can avoid working at a young age.
  • Debt trap- financial backlog and debt are the reasons that lead to Child Labour.
  • Deman for Child Labour - the rising demand for Child Labour in big cities is also responsible for increasing Child Labour.

Impacts of Child Labour

There are dangerous impacts of Child Labour, such as

  • Physical Risk- the children are exposed to many physical risks in various work sectors. As they work for long hours without having a proper diet can lead to a lack of physical and mental development.
  • Affect Childhood- Child Labour takes away childhood from the children. It doesn’t allow the child to get her/his right to education and leisure.
  • Impact on Adult life- Child Labour doesn’t allow the child to develop skills that are important to have good opportunities for decent work when they grow up.
  • Affect Country- the increment of Child Labourers has a bad impact on the overall economy of the country, and it is a senior obstacle to the socio-economic welfare of the country.

Child Labour has become a big matter of concern for both Union and state governments. A number of legislative initiatives have been taken at both levels. Below we have mentioned the major national legislative developments that aim for Children's Welfare in India.

  • Factories Act, 1948
  • Mines Act, 1952
  • National Child Labour Programme, 1988
  • Article 24 of the Indian Constitution
  • Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection) of Children Act, 2000
  • Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986
  • Right to Education Act, 2009

Child Labour UPSC

The Child Labour is a part of the GS Paper-2 of UPSC Syllabus. It comes under the Issues related to Children and Government Policies & Interventions sections. Candidates preparing for the UPSC Exam must have in-depth knowledge of this topic so that they can answer all the possible questions asked about this topic. Apart from following the Child Labour UPSC Notes, candidates can also rely on some standards books for better preparation.

Important Notes for UPSC
EcotoneIndian National Movement
Functions of ParliamentPlanning Commission Of India
First Round Table ConferenceProportional Representation
VolcanoConstitutional, Non-Constitutional, Statutory, and Quasi-Judicial Bodies in India
Census 2011National Highways in India

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FAQs on Child Labour

  • Child Labour can be defined as work that deprives children of their potential, childhood, and dignity. It can be harmful to both the mental and physical development of the children.

  • Child Labour is due to various factors such as poverty, lack of decent job opportunities for adults, migration, etc. The covid-19 pandemic made the situation worse, as many people lost their job and had a financial crisis.

  • In India, there have been various developments and acts that are working for Children's welfare. Some of the acts that restrict Child Labour in India include the Factories Act, 1948; Mines Act, 1952; National Child Labour Programme, 1988; article 24 of the Indian Constitution; and the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection) of Children Act, 2000.

  • As per the laws, a child below the age of 14 can’t be employed to work in any factory or mine engaged in any other hazardous employment.

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