Working as a labour may although act as a source of income for a lot of people proving out to be a boon but are all the dimensions of labour as attractive as it appears to be? No of course not! There are a lot of angles which need to be examined through the lens of justifications with respect to the frames such as socio economic factors, the will of labour, unawareness of the labour and the most important one being ‘Human Rights’. Labour surely acts as a highlighting factor for the inception of any productive work. Be it a factory establishment or an organisational setup, labour acting as one of the pillar of the industry plays the role of protagonist in accelerating it. But, are there no factors involved, trying to taint the advantageous image of working as a labour? The answer to this question is ‘yes’. There are lot many factors ostracising the labour class and the most important one being ‘child labour’. Moreover, child labour acts as the dirtiest blot on the status of being a labour. The concept of child labour has been in existence since the time immemorial which particularly geared up from the period of imperialism. Slave trade as an occupation was nurtured in the medium of imperialism with even the children appallingly acting as a participant in the trade. Although the practice was well exercised in many parts of the world but African countries were the most victimised ones. Further the blend of colonialism and imperialism when reached at its zenith resulted in the disastrous outcomes known as the World Wars. Of these two world wars, the second war was the more decisive one which later resulting into formation of many new geographical landmasses known as Third World Countries. (‘Where History Comes Alive’)
The term Third World actually emerged during of the Cold War which meant to distinguish the nations which neither opted for alignment with the West (NATO) nor with the East which was the Communist bloc. Nowadays, the term is also used to depict the developing countries of Africa, Asia, Latin America and Oceania. However, many poorer nations also adopted this term to describe themselves. (‘Countries of the Third World’)
The concept of the third world majorly serves to distinguish the countries that suffer from problems such as low development in economic field, high poverty rate, lack of utilisation of natural resources, and high dependence on the developed nations. These are less developed nations comparatively which thus are technologically less advanced. Third world nations generally tend to have high population growth rates, high illiteracy rate and high vulnerability to disease (Encyclopaedia of World Geography).
However the prediction regarding the betterment of a labour as a consequence of formation of third world countries did not took the shape which it was dreamed of. Although the conditions prevailing are not as exploitative as it used to be but considering the fact that most of the third world countries are rather governed by ‘people’s government’ , the practice still being prevalent is an embarrassing truth. This all can easily be seen in the statics of India which is one of the third world countries.
According to the Census for the year 2001 the data of India reveal that there are 1.26 crores of children working in the age group of 5-14 years with respect to the total child population which sums up to be 25.2 cr. Interestingly, there are approximately 12 lakhs children working in the hazardous occupations which truly are an example of one of the most embarrassing data for a country. According to a survey conducted by National Sample Survey Organization (NSSO) in the year 2004-05, the children working in India is estimated to be 90.75 lakh. On the other hand as compared to the Census of the year 2011, the number of children working in the age group of 5-14 years has been reduced to 43.53 lakh. It clearly depicts the consistent efforts of the Government are turning out to be fruitful but still some efforts are needed to boost up the progress of the government. (“Ministry of Labour and Employment”)
Labour is actually defined as the aggregate of the human physical and mental effort which is often used in creation of goods and services. Moreover, the size of a labour force of a nation is determined through the size of its ‘adult population’, and the extent to which the adults are either working or are willing to work for wages (www.businessdictionary.com). The definition corroborating the population with only adults as labour is sufficient to draw a lot of criticism towards child labour. Moreover, the practice of child labour is surely strong enough to drag the entire concept of labour into the zone of allegations. A lot of questions have continuously been revolving around the concept of child labour. Is it a child’s own discretion to opt for labour practices keeping the education at stake? Are some hidden forces compelling a child to get involved in the game actually meant for adults? Of course there are. Further, what scale would one actually use to judge the discernment of a child regarding the practice, is another eyebrow raising question. Is the practice of indulging the child in labour justifying enough to hamper the Human rights of the child? The answer to all such question is a simply ‘No’.
(Image taken from women4africa.com)
Education, the primary need of a child, is compromised when a child is forced to join labour force. The education which must not be neglected is often kept at bay when a child is not allowed to attend school and instead compelled to work in industries. Lack of awareness, amongst the child and his parent, acts as a catalyst creating a gulf between the child and the education. Moreover, the most compelling force pushing him in the cursed enmeshment of child labour is the socio economic challenges that he is subjected to. It however appears as a traditional practice for the child to follow the path that his predecessors followed. Also the environment in which a child is cultured to an extent acts as another factor standing firm supporting the issue. The practice further abridges the childhood which in turn results in loss of a child’s innocence that actually was a part of his right as a human being. Human Rights clearly specify the right of a child to live with dignity, with freedom and according to his own will in subject to law of the land. Snatching the innocent childhood of a child by involving him in the ugly game of child labour is the extreme violation of human rights. Yet another factor pushing the chid towards the gloomy practice is lack of resources surrounding him such as unavailability of schools. If by some chance a nearby school is present, absence of teachers pose another problem and in case of availability of both, the teachers and the schools, there is no assurance of a friendly and favourable environment to attract the child.
On the other hand, the question why employer prefer child labour instead of adults even though child possessing less work capability as compared to an adult, needs to be analysed by focussing on a lot of dimensions.(‘Child Labor and Educational’).
Further, the most attractive factor for an employer is the cheapness of child labour. A chid being an innocent messenger of god is even subjected to the practices such as bonded labour, child trafficking and sex toys. Neglecting the human rights to the extreme extent the child in the wake of profit making is trafficked to various places. There are absolutely no arrangements made for a healthy and hygienic environment making child exposed to vulnerability of many fatal diseases. Many devilish employees even use innocent children as a sex toy to fulfil their own desire. Such ill practices trying to scratch the beauty of a child’s innocence are highly condemnable making the entire picture hazy and worrisome.
A lot of negative factors are consistently trying to suppress the childhood of a child and are hailing to be addressed through some logically and admissible rules. Some legitimate contract must rather be signed with the parent of the child in order to decide the fate of that child which in turn will enforce them to provide the nourishment that a child actually deserves.(‘What Is Child Labor’)
(Image taken from cnn.com)
Further stringent rules and regulations must be there to guide the entire process especially focusing on the mala fide intentions that the child is subjected to and even bringing the question of his education in the limelight. Innovative attempts such as fusing the labour of the child in his education would serve as the salvation to entire mankind. Further provision of resources need to be focused upon in order to prevent a child from opting to work as a labour. Instead of dragging the practice of child labour to the sea of criticisms, approaches need to be developed to find an optimistic solution from a messed up basket.
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