As I write this my heart aches and my inner voice seems to be louder and stronger than usual.
Every child is a gift of God, they must be nurtured with care and affection but the reality
proves this wrong. Child labour is a severe matter in most of the nations. Children under the
age of 14 are engaged in economic work activity, they are compelled to work in industries,
leather factories and hotels etc. Children are also at risk of numerous other forms
exploitations such as sexual exploitation and production of child pornography. While we
enjoy the different luxuries of life, these children do not get an opportunity to live a healthy
life as they are affected both mentally and physically.
One of the main reasons for child labour and exploitation is the inequality within our society.
The denial of education for these children has posed serious threat to the national economies
and has severe negative short term and long-term consequence on the children. Child
trafficking is also linked to child labour. Trafficked children are subject to all kinds of abuse;
mental, physical, sexual and emotional. These abuses often leave a permanent scar behind,
making them suffer from low esteem, hopelessness, misery and experiencing loneliness.
Child labour and other forms of exploitation can be eliminated by comprehensive strategies
that promote child protection systems while addressing poverty and inequity, enhancing
access towards quality education, and mobilizing public support to uphold the rights of
children. Getting children out of work and into school requires wider changes in public
policy to empower families to choose education over exploitative labour.
The two conventions; ILO Minimum Age Convention 1973(no.138) and ILO Worst Forms of
Child Labour Convention 1999(no. 182) were established with aim to eradicate child labour.
There has been steady decline in child labour but the progress is far to slow. According to
ILO and World Bank data base there are 168 million children who are still trapped in child
labour. This is because child labour is a highly intricate issue. Eliminating child labour
completely requires a multi- pronged push and there is a need to make this as a people’s
Kailash Satyarthi Children’s Foundation has been fighting against all odds to erase child
labour from world and give them a new life. We all can do our little part by creating
awareness, and this starts at home. Educate your siblings, friends and neighbours. Let the
word spread, across different regions and nations.
We humans need to appreciate each other and work towards uplifting each and every one of
us without leaving anyone behind.