A very good morning to one and all present here. Today, I will be giving a short speech on the topic of ‘child labour’.
Google offers a concise definition of “the employment of children in an industry or business, especially when illegal or considered exploitative.” Wikipedia, meanwhile, offers a more elaborate definition.
It states as follows: “Child labour refers to the exploitation of children through any form of work that deprives children of their childhood, interferes with their ability to attend regular school, and is mentally, physically, socially and morally harmful.”
Child labour is a major evil that, regrettably, is still prevalent in many parts of India today. Child labour, in fact, can be categorized into several types. They are as follows: Slavery, child trafficking, debt bondage, forced labour, children in armed conflict, and children working in illegal activities. Hazardous activities also fall under one of the worst types of child labour.
There are several reasons why child labour is still in existence, the predominant cause being poverty. Other major factors include social norms condoning children, lack of decent work opportunities for adults and adolescents, migration and emergencies.
Child labour is a serious criminal offence punishable under the law. In India, the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act of 1986 prohibits the employment of children below the age of 14 years in any factory. Article 24 of the amendment clearly states as follows: “No child below the age of fourteen years shall be employed to work in any factory or mine or employed in any hazardous employment.”
The act also aims to regulate the hours and the working conditions of child workers. It also prohibits child workers from being employed in hazardous industries.
“A child is meant to learn, not earn.” Raise your voice against child labour!