With 2.5 lakh Child labourers, Uttar Pradesh ranks first
High level of poverty and unemployment coupled with a lack of adequate social security net compel parents to allow their children to work, compromising with their learning.lucknow Updated: Jun 12, 2017 16:04 IST
Over 8 lakh children in India between the age group 5 and 6 years are engaged in child labour. A large percentage, over 5 lakh of these children do not attend school. Majority of these kids are engaged in family based employments, states a CRY report.
According to the report released on Saturday, Uttar Pradesh has the highest number of 2,50,672 children engaged in labour, followed by Bihar with 1,28,087 children and Maharashtra where the number stands at 82,847.
Komal Ganotra, director, policy, research and advocacy CRY says, “Early childhood lays the foundation of cognitive, physical, socio-emotional development. The Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS), which was introduced with the intent of providing a strong base to these children, is marred by limited reach as it covers only 50 per cent of this population. Thus many children in this age group are seen accompanying their parents to their workplace or end up living with minimal care, she adds.
There are many cases where children are forced to migrate with their parents and help them in their occupations such as working in brick kilns. High level of poverty and unemployment coupled with a lack of adequate social security net compel parents to allow their children to work, compromising with their learning, she adds.
The recent amendment in the Child Labour Act with the intent to ban engagement in any kind of labour for children under 14, allows children to work in family occupations; thus defeats the purpose of preventing these children to be exploited as labour, Ganotra says.
“Even if they are enrolled in school, the burden of school along with work forces them to drop out”, adds Ganotra.
While the decade 2001-2011 saw an overall 30% reduction (about 3.2 million) in working children in the age-group of 10-14 years, number of working children within 5-9 years increased by 0.68 million, an increase of 37% from 2001.