Child labour and its Mitigation

-By Akash Pandey :

Life of little ones are


When child labour is


Child labour refers to the exploitation of the children through any form of work that deprives children of their childhood, interferes with their  ability  to attend regular school, and is mentally, physically, socially or morally harmful.

Historical underpinnings

Pre-industrial  era

Child  labour forms an intrinsic  part of pre industrial economics. In many societies, children  as young  as 13 are seen  as adults  and engage in the same  activities  as adults

Industrial revolution  times

Child labour  played  an important role in Industrial  Revolution  from its onset , often brought  about by economic  hardship. The children of poor were expected to contribute  to their family income

Early 20 th  times

In the 20th century  , thousands  of boys were  employed  in glass making  industries where the hazardous  working  conditions  ,intense heat (3313 . F) would  cause many health issues  like eye trouble, cuts, burns and lung ailments.

21st  century

Child labour is still a problem . According  to data from Census  2011, the number of  child laborers  in India is 10.1 million  of which 5.6 million  are boys and 4.5 million  are girls. A total of 152 million  children  -64 million  girls and 88 million  boys are estimated  globally,  accounting  for almost  one in ten of all children  worldwide  being the victims  of child  labour.


International  Labour  Organization (ILO) suggests  that poverty  is the greatest  single  cause behind  child labour. For impoverished households, income  from a child’s  work is usually  crucial  for his or her own survival  or the that of household.

Lack of meaningful  alternatives,  such as affordable  schools  and quality  education, according  to ILO is another  major factor.

Biggeri  and Mehrotra  have studied the macroeconomic  factors  that encourage  child labour. They focused  their study on five Asian countries including  India,Pakistan, Indonesia, Thailand  and Philippines. They suggest  that laws of child  labour  include  both the demand and the supply  side. While poverty and unavailability  of  good school , explain the supply  side , low-paying  informal  economy rather than higher  paying  formal  economy is the cause of demand  side.


We know  that child labour involves  exploitation  of children  but it is vital to understand  it is not only child victim but how  society  suffer when it is implemented.

The victims  of child labour  usually  suffer from depression  and anxiety , pushing  them to destructive  habits like smoking,  alcoholism  or drug abuse.

Formative environment  of  abuse also trigger lifetime  of low self esteem , depression  and relationship  difficulties . Physiological  and emotional  conditions  such as panic disorder  ,dissociative  disorder,  attention  deficit  or hyperactivity  disorder,  depression, anger ,posttraumatic  stress disorder and relative attachment disorder  have been  also noted in children  who have grown  up in abusive  conditions.

Government Policies  

Child labour is a serious  problem  in a country  like India  where we consider youth as the  future  of the country. Hence, to  protect  children  from this vicious  trap government  has  taken  many steps  such as:-

  • Child labour(Prohibition  and Regulation) Act 1986
  • Child labour(Prohibition  and Regulation)Amendment  Act,2016
  • Child labour (Prohibition  and Regulation) Amendment  Act,2017
  • National  Policy  on Child  Labour (1987)
  • Constitutional  Provisions  for child upliftment-
  • Article 21A: Right to Education .
  • Article 24 : Prohibition  of employment  of children in factories, etc.
  • Article  39: The state shall ,in particular, direct its policy  toward securing – that health and strength  of workers men and women and the tender age of  children  are not abused  and that citizen are not forced  by economic  necessity  to enter avocations unsuited  for their  age or strength .


Children  are  the gifts of nature  and we should  not destroy  their childhood. It cannot be denied  that even after having  laws, we have not yet  eradicated  child labour  but , their are many organization like ILO, UN Convention  and government  schemes, the efforts  of whom are accountable  in reducing  child labour.

More strict laws and implementation  will surely reduce this problem  and the society  as a whole can be uplifted.

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