What is child labour in india?

Practice of child labour in India still continues to persist, with more than 80 lakh children (5-14 years) toiling in fields, factories, shops and elsewhere. Thankfully, a combination of successive government policies and stringent civil society initiatives by organizations like Save the Children have demonstrated an assertive direction on fighting for child rights. Combined with the increasing number of socially conscious corporations and citizens who donate to charity, child rights are today a cause for everyone.

How we can stop child labour in India?

1. Spread awareness

If parents and communities are aware and alert, disruption in children’s education can be prevented and many of them will not get pushed into child labour. Lack of understanding on the part of parents creates situations where traffickers prey upon children and many trafficked children end up in child labour. Aware communities can comprehend and respond to children’s issues much more effectively. Awareness also ensures that communities tap growth, education, employment, and enterprise opportunities and create a socially and economically developed society in which children suffer much less. NGOs like Save the Children use community events, sports, arts and theatre to educate communities about the importance of child rights in India. We also create income resources, educational resources, and help communities access information services – all with an aim to help children and their communities march ahead

2. More stringent laws and effective implementation

Policymaking is essential to bring in long-lasting social change, and advocating for better laws involves demonstrating how change can bring considerable benefit. NGOs conduct research and showcase findings regarding exploited children, and use case studies to establish how their work benefits children. Driving policy-level change requires relationships with several stakeholders – media, lawmakers, citizens, fellow civil society members and others. Many cases have been filed under the recent Protection of Children Against Sexual Offences Act (2012) and Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, which have successfully translated into increased convictions, demonstrating how legislating can curb child trafficking. NGOs also maintain coordination with district- and state-level authorities for a vigilant eye on the implementation of pro-child laws.

3. Sending more children to school

India has the world’s largest educational system, yet faces the hurdles of low literacy, due to low enrolment and lack of education infrastructure. Organisations like Save the Children execute several initiatives to boost children’s enrolment in schools. The organisation maps out-of-school children and those who are at risk of dropping out and ensures that they enter into the fold of education.

What is Child Labour How Can it be Prevented?

Save the Children’s child education achievements include the following:

  • Creating ‘Inclusive & Learner Friendly Environments’ (ages 3-18 years) across settings as diverse as urban slums to the remotest villages in India
  • Create a dialogue with children and families to send children to school, provide admissions assistance
  • Create fun, meaningful experiences in school, with child-friendly and interactive teaching-learning methods
  • Generate funding for, and establish libraries and infrastructure like computers, sports equipment and Mobile Learning Centres
  • Successfully bringing back out-of-school children (dropouts and both never-been-to-school children), street children, and child labour to school

3. Discouraging people to employ children in homes, shops, factories, etc

Child labour gets a resounding approval when Indian businesses openly use it, in industries like retail, hospitality, and menial work. NGOs today sensitise trade organisations to end this social evil, and educate locals about reporting instances of child labour at businesses and homes. Save the Children has to its credit getting India’s biggest IT market declared child labour-free.

4. Supporting NGOs like Save the Children

Save the Children also offers immediate aid to children involved in child labour, while also working for long-term societal change through policy change. The NGO works to ensure that existing policies are followed through with action. The NGO works with state and national level authorities, including Police departments of states to prevent child exploitation incidents.

5. Conclusion

Initiatives from civil society have given lakhs of children the means of living a dignified life where they can cherish their childhood. Save the Children has forged powerful relationships with government, national and International bodies to make child rights a “movement”. Fighting child labour requires a multi-pronged push, and there is a need to make this a “people’s issue”. While officials and government can only institute policies, ignoring everyday child abuse must also be addressed at an individual level, wherever possible.
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