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Child Labour in Marathwada Region of India: Problems and Remedies

Dilip R. Khairnar
World Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities. 2017, 3(2), 50-55. DOI: 10.12691/wjssh-3-2-4
Published online: May 17, 2017

Abstract

The largest number of child labours resides in India. Due to poverty and social security the number of child labourer in India exponentially increased. For this study, child labourer in Marathwada region, India selected for analysis to identify the root cause of child labour. The primary data was collected from scheduled interviews of child labours in Marathwada region. The secondary data was collected from census and statistical reports. The socio-economical factors also considered for identification of problems related to child labours. This study reveals that the age of 78.60% child labours is in between 9-14 years. The 10001-20000 is the average annual income of 88% families of child labour. 67% child labours are homeless and 44% child labours comes from divorced family. There are 35% child labours intact with their families. The child labour studies have found estimated prevalence of 87% children ate a food without nutritional value. The 33% child labours depends upon one time meal in a day for survival. Most of the child labours comes from those family, where family members are badly addicted to alcohol and tobacco. The 39% children have working as a child labour due to poor economical conditions of family. Mostly, child labours working on garages, bricks factories, waste collections and hotels in very minimum wages. The working hours of 37% child labours are more than 12 hours. The 23.20%, 39.80 and 37% child labours are badly affected by skin diseases, handicaps and infectious diseases respectively. The 79.60% child labours was found illiterate and out of school. To overcome child labour’s problems Indian constitution constitute an effective acts or laws to prevent child labour as well as the central and state government launches a various schemes to stop child labour. But due to poor implementations of schemes, political interference, government irresponsiveness, flexible clauses in laws and lack of social awareness is the main reasons of failures to stop child labour. To stop child labour the remedies such as to implement economical development schemes, make education free, increasing awareness about prevention child labour and successful implementation of the act would certainly go a long way in eradicating child labour in India.

1. Introduction

Child labour is an important issue in developing countries like India. According to recent estimates by the International Labour Organization (ILO), there were approximately 176 million children between the ages of 5 and 14 in employment in 2008, of which roughly 53 million were participating in hazardous work 1. In reality, however, such methods may have little impact for several reasons. Firstly, the majority of working children are active in the agricultural sector, rather than manufacturing 1, 2. Secondly, very few children work for wages outside the home; rather, most children are employed by their parents on the family farm or enterprise 3. UNICEF has categorized child work into three categories:

1. Within the family- Children are engaged in domestic household tasks without pay.

2. Within the family but outside the home- Example- agricultural labourers, domestic maids, migrant labourers etc.

3. Outside the family- Example- commercial shops in restaurants and jobs, prostitution etc.

In order to reduce the incidence of child labour in the world, it is necessary to understand its root causes. The purpose of this paper is to review some of the more recent theoretical and empirical research into the topic of child labour in order to highlight a number of factors that can contribute to the decision to send a child to work 4.

1.1. Causes of Rising Instances of Child Labour

Over population, illiteracy, poverty, debt trap are some of the common causes, which are instrumental in this issue. Overburdened, debt-trapped parents fail to understand the importance of a normal childhood under the pressures of their own troubles and thus it leads to the poor emotional and mental balance of a child’s brain which is not prepared to undertake rigorous field or domestic tasks. National and Multinational companies also recruit children in garment industries for more work and less pay which is unethical 4.

1.2. Child Labour Laws in India

The problem of child labour in India had become an issue of concern for one and all post Independence. The primitive laws that were formed to prohibit child labour in India were when the Employment of Children Act, 1938 was passed. However, this act failed miserably because it failed to address the cause of poverty, as it is poverty that drives children into forced labour 5. The Indian Parliament repeatedly has passed Laws and Acts to ensure the protection of children from child labour. The Fundamental Rights enshrined in our Constitution prohibit child labour below the age of 14 years in any factor or mine or engaged in any hazardous employment under Article 24. Apart from this, it is also provided under Article 21-A that State shall provide infrastructure and resources free and compulsory education for children of the age six up to 14 years. The Factories Act of 1948 prevents the employment of children below 14 years in any factory. The Mines Act of 1952 prohibits the employment of children below the age of 18 years. The Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act of 1986 prevents the employment of children below the age of 14 years in life-threatening occupations identified in a list by the law. Further, the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection) of children Act of 2000 made the employment of children a punishable offence 6.

Ironically, despite this huge array of laws, there seems to be no improvement in the working conditions of the child labourers and employers freely flout the provisions of the Act covering the prohibition of child labour.

It needs to be highlighted that the violation of these provisions means a deprivation of the basic human rights and demeaning the childhood of the children. The law also isn’t very clear as to how where can the children work. The Acts covers only 10 percent of the total working children and thus not applicable to the unorganized sector. The Act also exempts the family of the child labourer from its purview if they all are working with the same employee as that of the child. Although the Act prohibits the employment of children in certain hazardous industries and processes, it does not define what constitutes hazardous work. It only provides a list of hazardous occupations.

1.3. Child Labour: Definitions and Descriptive Statistics

Often the terms ‘child work’ and ‘child labour’ are used interchangeably in the literature. The ILO, however, distinguishes between three types of working children: children in employment, child labourers and children in hazardous work. The category ‘children in employment’ is the broadest of the three categories and includes all types of paid productive activity as well as certain types of nonpaid productive activity. Examples of the latter are production of goods for own (household) use or domestic work outside the child’s own household. Domestic work performed within the child’s own household does not, however, count as economic activity. Further, the definition of economic activity is not confined to legal activities, but also encompasses illegal activities. The category ‘child labourer’ is more restrictive than the previous category, excluding certain types of children in employment. Children who are older than age 11 and only work a few hours in light work are not considered to be child labourers, where light work by definition does not interfere with the child’s ability to attend school or vocational training. Further, children over the age of 14 who are not engaged in hazardous work are excluded from this category.

2. Methods

The Aurangabad city area is taken for the study of the child labours and their problems. The city is developing as a new industry hub in Maharashtra, India. The population is more than 11 lacs and mixed diversity of ethnicity. The Aurangabad has multinational industries, university and colleges, government organisation and hospitals.

2.1. Methods Used for the Study

The snow ball sampling method was used to collect primary data regarding to 100 child labour. Primary data was collected by Interview schedule. Scheduled was divided into three parts. First part of schedule elementary information collected. In the second and third part of schedule structured and open called questions were included. In the present study, main attention was given to study the nature and extent of child labour. Secondary data was collected from Statistical Abstract and Census Reports.

2.2. Socio-Economic Background of Respondents

To understand the socio-economic people of respondents we would analysis the caste, age, education, family type, family size, family income, land holding of the respondents.

3. Results

3.1. Study Groups

The respondent children were analysed from Aurangabad city area. We have collected data from children near the industrial area around the city. The average age of the respondent was found 5 years to 14 years (Table 1) with the gender ratio girls to boys 17.60:82.40.

3.2. Family Structure

The respondents were asked about their families and the life style of the family members such as age, family structure, education, food, workplace, problems at workplace and remedies. A family structure includes financial condition, father’s occupation, family nature, support from family, addictions in family. Education parameter includes school and standard, shifts, daily attendance, read/ write & know, help and education, obstacles, role model.

3.3. Family Income

The respondents were asked about their family member and the family structure. We found that the average annual income of the family in upto 50000. The 88% of the child labour are coming from the families with income below 20000 (Figure 1).

3.4. Home Structure

The home structure of the family was also analyzed and we found that 67% (Figure 2) of the families are without any home. While 32% of the families’ lives in tin shades (Small hut).

3.5. Family Background

Most of the children are coming from the background with divorced families (44%) (Figure 3).

Only 35% of child labour has their intact family (Figure 3).

3.6. Food Availability

The food availability to children is vary depends on the economical conditions of the family. The 56% children having meals two times in a day, while 33% children have meals available for single time either in lunch or dinner in a day (Figure 4A and Figure 4B).

Most of the family members are addicted to the alcohol or tobacco. The head of the family, father of the respondents were found addicted to alcohol or tobacco. The elder brother or sisters are also found addicted to the alcohol or tobacco (Figure 5, Figure 5a).The child labours are also found addicted to the smoking and alcohol.

3.7. Family Environment

We studies family environment of the respondent near about 21% families are found in tension (Table 2). The family relationships are in tension conditions. There are initial reasons we analyzed the first part of the child labour study. We observed that the family income, poverty and lack of money for food drive these children to work as labour.

The addiction of family members leads the children to work in early age. The psychological effect on child behaviour is an important aspect of the family relationship and child labour issue.

3.8. Work Environment and Work Nature

In second part of the study we have collected information about the work environment and work nature. We found that 79% of children in a heavy working environment (Figure 6).

The 40% children were found working in garages. While 32% of children were working in hotels and restaurants. 16% children were working bricks factories and surprisingly 12% of the study population was found working in a waste collection (Figure 7).

In their work shifts, we found that 18% children were working in night shifts and 40% children were working in both shifts (Figure 8). The children are working too hard for their families and for food only. The 52% study population was working for 9-12 hrs/day. The 37% population was working in 12 hrs shift (Figure 8 & Figure 9).

The salaries to these children are not very attractive. There are 31% children works on daily wages basis. While 31% children getting their salary weekly (Figure 10).

The salary for a day is 50 INR for younger children of age group 11 to 14 years. The child labours are also complaining about their health. The employers are not supporting the health related issues. The regular medical aids are not available at workplace of these children (Figure 11). The employer is not taking care of the children worker. The 37% child labour are infected by various pathogens and 39.80% child labour are became minor handicapped during working hours (Figure 12).

3.9. Education of Child Labours

Our study found that 20% (Figure 13) child labour is literate or going irregularly to school. Among literate child labours prefer to the night schools (15%) and government schools (4%) (Figure 14). These huge populations (80%) of child labour are illiterate. Most of the children want to go school but due to their family structure and the responsibilities on them, they cannot go to the school. These children were very enthusiastic about our research and discussed the problems of workplace and their families.

In this study we observed several factors responsible for the child labour problems. The families of the children are mainly responsible for this transition. The children are disrupting their children due to work for food. Some children expect the good wages for their parents and they can go to school. The government schemes for free education effectively advertised, but the implementation of the free education to all is not clearly observed. The government irresponsible nature about the children disrupts the future of the nation. The employers are illegally employing the child labour against law. Most of the children know the laws related to child labour, but hunger problem is more than the law.

We observed the inequality of the citizens in India where these children are not getting two times meal in a day. The families of these children are also struggling for their basic needs such as food and shelter.

The government schemes are failed to bring these economically backward groups of child labour in the mainstream of the nation. The humanity and kindness of the society simply ignores the child labours expectations of basic requirement such as food and education. The need of low demanding workers such as child labour is one of the main problems in the development of the Indian society.

The NGO’s are also working to stop child labour. But few of them are also looking for the sponsorship for government or any other societies. The inability of government and NGO’s to accommodate these children in the hotels and resident schools are the major factor responsible for the prevention of child labour in India.

4. Discussion

There is empirical evidence of a link between rising national income and a decrease in the incidence of child labour 7, 8. However, once a certain level of national affluence is attained, the relationship between national income and child labour weakens substantially. This may be due to distributional considerations, i.e. income inequality may offset many of the gains from a higher overall GDP 9. Analyses the net effects of an adult minimum wage on child labour. Using the basic framework of the general model presented in 10, he demonstrates that the effect of an adult minimum wage on child labour is not straight forward but rather depends on whether or not a minimum wage would result in adult unemployment and, if so, on what scale. One important factor in the model is whether or not child labour on its own can satisfy the demand for labour of the entire economy. Bhalotra 11 building on the paper by Basu and Van 10, devises a model to test whether household poverty compels families to send their children to work. She argues that a negative relationship between household income and child labour does not test the hypothesis that poverty compels child labour, but rather tests the less contentious hypothesis that child leisure is a normal good. In order to determine whether child labour is a necessary response to poverty, a more precise test is needed. If the poverty hypothesis were true, then children would only work if total household income was less than sufficient to meet the subsistence.

References

[1]  Diallo, Y.F., Hagemann, A., Etienne, Y., Gurbuzer., Mehran, F, Global child labour developments:Measuring trends from 2004 to 2008, International Labour O¢ ce, Statistical Information and Monitoring Programme on Child Labour (SIMPOC), Geneva, Switzerland. 2010.
In article      
 
[2]  International Labour Organization, The End of Child Labor: Within Reach. Global report under the Follow-up to the ILO declaration on fundamental principles and rights at work International Labor Conference, International Labor O¢ ce, Geneva, Switzerland. 2006.
In article      
 
[3]  Edmonds, E., Pavcnik, N, Child Labor in the Global Economy. Journal of Economic Perspectives, 2005a, 199-220.
In article      View Article
 
[4]  Child Labour in India: Causes, Laws and How to eliminate Child Labour. http://www.indiacelebrating.com/social-issues/child-labour-in-india/
In article      View Article
 
[5]  Child Labour, Demeaning the childhood of the children, 2016. http://www.eastern-today.com/entries/editorial/child-labour.
In article      View Article
 
[6]  Indian Law Watch, Amending law on child labour., 2015. http://indianlawwatch.com/practice/amending-law-child-labour/.
In article      View Article
 
[7]  Fallon, P., Tzannatos, Z, Child Labor: Issues and Directions for the World Bank, World Bank, Washington D.C, 1998.
In article      
 
[8]  Basu, K, Child labor: Cause, consequence and cure, with remarks on international labor standards. Journal of Economic Literature. 1999, 1083-1119.
In article      View Article
 
[9]  Basu, K, “The Intriguing Relation Between Adult Minimum Wage and Child Labour”. The Economic Journal, 2000, C50-C61.
In article      View Article
 
[10]  Basu, K., Van, P, The Economics of Child Labor American Economic Review., 1998, 412-427.
In article      
 
[11]  Bhalotra, S, Is Child Work Necessary? Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, 2007, 29 -55.
In article      View Article
 

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Normal Style
Dilip R. Khairnar. Child Labour in Marathwada Region of India: Problems and Remedies. World Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities. Vol. 3, No. 2, 2017, pp 50-55. http://pubs.sciepub.com/wjssh/3/2/4
MLA Style
Khairnar, Dilip R.. "Child Labour in Marathwada Region of India: Problems and Remedies." World Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities 3.2 (2017): 50-55.
APA Style
Khairnar, D. R. (2017). Child Labour in Marathwada Region of India: Problems and Remedies. World Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities, 3(2), 50-55.
Chicago Style
Khairnar, Dilip R.. "Child Labour in Marathwada Region of India: Problems and Remedies." World Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities 3, no. 2 (2017): 50-55.
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[1]  Diallo, Y.F., Hagemann, A., Etienne, Y., Gurbuzer., Mehran, F, Global child labour developments:Measuring trends from 2004 to 2008, International Labour O¢ ce, Statistical Information and Monitoring Programme on Child Labour (SIMPOC), Geneva, Switzerland. 2010.
In article      
 
[2]  International Labour Organization, The End of Child Labor: Within Reach. Global report under the Follow-up to the ILO declaration on fundamental principles and rights at work International Labor Conference, International Labor O¢ ce, Geneva, Switzerland. 2006.
In article      
 
[3]  Edmonds, E., Pavcnik, N, Child Labor in the Global Economy. Journal of Economic Perspectives, 2005a, 199-220.
In article      View Article
 
[4]  Child Labour in India: Causes, Laws and How to eliminate Child Labour. http://www.indiacelebrating.com/social-issues/child-labour-in-india/
In article      View Article
 
[5]  Child Labour, Demeaning the childhood of the children, 2016. http://www.eastern-today.com/entries/editorial/child-labour.
In article      View Article
 
[6]  Indian Law Watch, Amending law on child labour., 2015. http://indianlawwatch.com/practice/amending-law-child-labour/.
In article      View Article
 
[7]  Fallon, P., Tzannatos, Z, Child Labor: Issues and Directions for the World Bank, World Bank, Washington D.C, 1998.
In article      
 
[8]  Basu, K, Child labor: Cause, consequence and cure, with remarks on international labor standards. Journal of Economic Literature. 1999, 1083-1119.
In article      View Article
 
[9]  Basu, K, “The Intriguing Relation Between Adult Minimum Wage and Child Labour”. The Economic Journal, 2000, C50-C61.
In article      View Article
 
[10]  Basu, K., Van, P, The Economics of Child Labor American Economic Review., 1998, 412-427.
In article      
 
[11]  Bhalotra, S, Is Child Work Necessary? Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, 2007, 29 -55.
In article      View Article