We proudly say that India has the largest young population in the world. But, India is the home to the largest number of child laborers in the world too. What about that?
Child Labour dropped 60% in a decade, but still it is world’s highest: Number of children working in India has declined 60% from 12.6 million in 2001 to 4.9 million in 2010. These children are working as domestic help, on streets, in factories and farmlands silently suffering abuse.
In December 2014, the U.S. Department of Labor issued a List of Goods Produced by Child Labor or Forced Labor and India figured among 74 countries where significant incidence of critical working conditions has been observed. Unlike any other country, India was attributed 23 goods, the majority of which is produced by child labor in the manufacturing sector.
A survey conducted by 7th All India Education Survey reveals below facts on Child Labor:
- A study found that children were sent to work by compulsion and not by choice, mostly by parents, but with recruiter playing a crucial role in influencing decision.
- When working outside the family, children put in an average of 21 hours of labour per week.
- 19% of children employed work as domestic help.
- 90% working children are in rural India.
- 85% of working children are in the unorganized sectors.
- About 80% of child labour is engaged in agricultural work.
- Millions of children work to help their families because the adults do not have appropriate employment and income thus forfeiting schooling and opportunities to play and rest.
- Children also work because there is demand for cheap labour.
- Large numbers of children work because they do not have access to good quality schools.
- Poor and bonded families often “sell” their children to contractors who promise profitable jobs in the cities and the children end up being employed in brothels, hotels and domestic work.
- There are approximately 2 million child commercial sex workers between the age of 5 and 15 years and about 3.3 million between 15 and 18 years.
- 500,000 children are forced into this trade every year.