Children are the flowers of heaven. They are the most beautiful and purest creation of God. They are innocent both inwardly and outwardly. No doubt, they are the beauty of this world. Early in the morning when the children put on different kinds of clothes and begin to go to schools for the sake of knowledge, we feel a specific kind of joy through their innocence.
But there are children, those who cannot go to schools due to financial problems, they only watch others go to schools and can merely wish to seek knowledge. It is due to many hindrances and difficulties; desperate conditions that they face in life. Having been forced to kill their aspirations, dreams and other wishes, they are pressed to earn a living for themselves and for their families forgotten the pleasures of their childhood. When a child in order to earn his livelihood, does any kind of job, this act of earning a livelihood is called as Child
Not all work done by children should be classified as child labour that is to be targeted for elimination. Children’s participation in work that does not affect their health and personal development or interfere with their education is generally regarded as being something positive. Whether or not particular forms of “work” can be called “child labour” depends on the child’s age, the type and hours of work performed and the conditions under which it is performed, as set out in the ILO Conventions.
But before we go ahead, we must be clear about definition of child in our mind. In this regard United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF)’s definition is regarded as standard, which defines “child” as anyone below the age of 18, and “child Labour” as some type of work performed by children below age 18. But, it must also be noted that individual governments may define “child” according to different ages or other criteria. Child and childhood are also defined differently by different cultures. a child is not necessarily defined by a fixed age.
Social scientists point out that child’s abilities and maturities vary so much that defining a child’s maturity by calendar age can be misleading. Definition Child Labour is the natural outcome of extenuating circumstances, which evolve when the compelling forces of abject poverty, sprouting population, and non-existent facilities of health, education and welfare, exploited the deprived and disadvantaged populace. The International Labour
Organization (ILO) defines child Labour as:1- When a child is working during early age
2- He overworks or gives over time to Labour
3- He works due to the psychologically, socially, and materialistic pressure
4- He becomes ready to Labour on a very low pay
The concept of child Labour got much attention during the 1990s when European countries announced a ban on the goods of the less-developed countries because of child Labour. The curse gained power in the industrial revolution at the end of nineteenth century. The Victorian era became notorious for employing young children in factories and mines and as chimney sweeps. Child labour played an important role in the Industrial Revolution from its outset, often brought about by economic hardship. The children of the poor were expected to help towards the family budget, often working long hours in dangerous jobs for low pay, earning 10-20% of an adult male’s wages. In England and Scotland in 1788, two-thirds of the workers in 143
water-powered cotton mills were described as children. In 19th-century Great Britain, one-third of poor families were without a breadwinner, as a result of death or abandonment, obliging many children to work from a young age. Not only in the west, but also in the East and Middle-East countries, this curse was rooted in societies, but not as intensely, as in the West. With the passage of time, with growing economic pressure, people had no choice but to make their children share their economic burden and help them financially.
According to estimates by International Labour Organization (ILO), in their report of 2006, the number of working children aged 5-14 years was globally190 million.
Asia 122 Million Greatest in
Sub-Saharan Africa 50 Million 26% of total
Latin America 5 Million Least
Rest 13 Million – The following statistics summarise the key findings from the third ILO Global Report on Child Labour Accelerating action against child labour which contains new global estimates on child labour. Children comprise of 60% of the world’s total. On average, one child in every seven can be classified as a child labourer.
The incidence of child labour is highest in Africa where 41% of 5-14 years old children are known to labour, compared with 25% in Asia and 17% in Latin America and Caribbean. In 2008, there were approximately 215 million child labourers, aged 5-17, in the world. Among them, 115 million children were in hazardous work (a term which is often used as a payment, only food and a place to sleep. Children in informal sector work receive no payment if they are injured or become ill, and can seek no protection if they suffer violence or are maltreated by their employer. 10% of these children are working 60 hours a week.
UNICEF has classified child work into three broad
1. Within the Family
Children are engaged without pay in domestic household tasks, agricultural pastoral work, handicraft/cottage industries etc. 2. Within the Family but outside the Home Children do agricultural/pastoral work which consists of (seasonal/ full-time) migrant labour, local agricultural work, domestic service, construction work and informal occupation e.g. recycling of waste- employed by others and self-employed.
3. Outside the Family
Children are employed by others in bonded work, apprenticeship, skilled trades (Carpet, embroidery, and brass/copper work), industrial unskilled occupations/ mines, domestic work, commercial work in shops and restaurants, begging, prostitution and pornography. Its further classifications are: a. Migrant Child Labour