Child labor continues to be a concern at J&K – Jammu Kashmir Latest News | Tourism
Childhood is the most innocent phase of human life. When God made him so beautiful, then we have no right to argue with him. A good childhood is the fundamental right of everyone. Every child should have the right to be able to play with other children in childhood, to receive a proper education at school and to discover the beauty of nature.
The term child labor is something that we have all heard all our lives and that has been debated for many years. Child labor is a serious problem for us internationally. Child labor is the practice of involving children in any business activity, either by force or of their own volition.
Despite a decline in the 2001 and 2011 censuses, child labor continues to be a concern for the Union Territory (UT) of Jammu and Kashmir.
A New Delhi-based Kailash Satyarthi child population in his recently released report titled “How far is India from the complete elimination of child labor according to Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 8.7” has predicted that J&K will have 64.26 thousand working children in 5-14 year age group by 2025.
J&K had been ranked 3rd by the foundation in terms of child labor, which gives enough indication of the prevailing grim scenario. The report further claimed that UT would likely retain the same 3rd place in 2025 based on the projected number of children as laborers.
In 2021, the total population of child laborers in India was 81.2 lakh, which is expected to further decrease to 74.3 lakh by 2025. State-level estimates reveal that by 2025, only four states will have about three-fifths (56%) of the country’s total number of children. working population.
The states are Uttar Pradesh (30%), Bihar (12%), Maharashtra (8%) and Rajasthan (6%). Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Jharkhand are each expected to have five percent of the country’s total child labor population in 2025.
However, the Department of Labor and Employment has implemented the National Child Labor Project (NCLP) program for the rehabilitation of child laborers through the District Project Companies under the chairmanship of the District Magistrate .
Under the NCLP program, children in the age group of 9-14 years are rescued/removed from work and enrolled in NCLP Special Training Centers (STCs), where they receive bridging education, vocational training, lunch, allowances, health care, etc. before being integrated into the formal education system. The NCLP program has now been subsumed under Samagara Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), Scheme.
According to available data, a total of 1,225 special training centers in 59 districts were operational for the rehabilitation of 33,573 child laborers who were enrolled there as of March 31, 2021. In J&K, there is the operational district NCLP while the total staff STC is 10.
Under the flagship program, the Ministry of Labor and Employment also provides grants to the district project company which, in turn, releases the relevant implementing agencies for the operation of the special training centers.
In 2020-21, J&K received a total grant of Rs 32.48 crore while no grant was given to UT in 2019-20 and 2017-18. In 2018-19, an amount to the tune of Rs. 56.14 lakh was released while in 2016-17, a grant of Rs 61.04 was released.
The International Labor Organization (ILO) estimates that around 152 million children between the ages of 5 and 17 are engaged in child labour. They are found in precarious situations – working in mines, with chemicals and pesticides in agriculture, or with dangerous machinery. They work hard as servants in homes, workshops and plantations. In almost all regions, boys and girls are equally likely to be involved in child labor, with girls much more likely to be involved in domestic work.
Child labor refers to the physical exploitation of children by engaging them in work that separates them from their childhood, education, growth and development and that is physically and mentally unhealthy. Strict laws prohibiting child labor are in place in countries around the world, including India, but there is a need to implement them more effectively than before.
UNICEF (United Nations International Children’s Fund), an agency of the United Nations is responsible for providing humanitarian and developmental aid to children around the world. According to UNICEF, poverty is the main cause of child labor in India as well as in other developing and underdeveloped countries of the world.
Due to poverty, children are forced to work to help their family’s income. Also, lack of educational infrastructure in rural India and lack of awareness are the reasons for child labor in India.
Global statistics reveal that nearly 218 million children in the world work. These children belong to the age group of 5 to 17 years and approximately 152 million are, strictly speaking, employed as child labour.
Statistics also reveal that nearly 73 million children worldwide work in life-threatening conditions.
According to the figures, Africa has around 72.1 million children employed as child labourers, almost half of the global figure of 152 million. Asia and the Pacific has 62.1 million working children; America has 10.7 million working children, while Central Asia, Europe and the Arab States have 5.5 million and 1.2 million respectively.
Top Sectors in India Employing Children as Child Labor
Fireworks: Children in this sector often work in cramped spaces and are exposed to hazardous chemicals and hazardous substances, which poses a risk to their health and life. They are also forced to work longer hours during the holiday season.
Garment Industry: These industries operate in small, owner-managed facilities that are mostly home-based. Thousands of children in Delhi are employed in the garment industry and are subjected to intense noise, long working hours and sharp tools.
Brick kilns: The brick kiln industry in India has a long history of child labor. Often children in brick kilns work long hours with their parents. Children working in the brick kiln are subject to hazardous conditions and are exposed to toxic fumes and high temperatures.
Agriculture: The agriculture sector is the biggest buyer of child labor in India. Children are hired for everything from cotton and cottonseed production to transplanting sugar cane, soybeans and paddy, and working long hours for low wages and poor living conditions.
Child Labor Laws
The government has passed a number of laws such as Child and Youth Labor Prohibition Act, Right to Education Act 2010 and implemented programs like Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan which encourages enrollment of children in schools.
It also claims that the number of child laborers has increased from 1.25 crore (2001 Census) to the current figure of 49.6 lakh (National Sample Survey).
Unsurprisingly, these figures were obtained based on a sample of around 70,000 people across the country.
To eliminate child labor
Population is another major factor in India, which has led to poverty and lack of education. Families that lack knowledge and education have many children, which leads to children earning a family living. Population control is the biggest concern in itself. Due to population growth, children are not receiving basic needs, such as food and health care. The government has launched the concept of midday meals in public schools to increase family responsibility.
Provide adequate education to children. The Indian constitution clearly mentions free education for every child under the age of 14. Education is the key to the fight against child labour; however, families below the poverty line do not allow their children to attend school.
In 2015, UN member states adopted 17 global goals for sustainable development, including target 8.7 to end all forms of child labor by 2025. Eliminating child labor will contribute to fight poverty, strengthen economies and positively influence education, worldwide. To achieve this goal, the Global March is working hard with its global members and partners, including through a global alliance called “Alliance 8.7” to end child labor by 2025.