Child Labour in times of Covid
By- Sonam Narayan
According to data from Census 2011, the number of child labourers 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 to be in child labour globally, accounting for almost one in ten of all children worldwide. (Data)
Child labour is something which has been recognised as a global concern. Child labour is something which is not restricted to any particular sectors . It is spread out in various sectors such as agriculture, domestic household, in factories and even in sexual activities and illegal activities. The core reasons of the child labour can be the Overpopulation, Poverty,Illiteracy and High cost of Education. The unplanned lockdown has not only made the migrant workers to walk thousands of miles but it also made them see their family break and suffer. With no source of income and with a family to feed the pandemic resulted in shattering the dreams,hope and the childhood of the millionth of the children. As per one of the news articles of aljazeera .India had more than 56 million children out of school, an estimated productivity loss of $6.8bn. To be able to survive and to support the family many children were forced to leave their education forever and join some work in the agriculture sector and now after the unlock they are also joining various factories. The demand for the child labour has also increased at a very high pace as after these lockdown and with no profit in these past few month the job providers are also preferring the child labour as they are cheap. Because of the covid the labourers, workers and the domestic helpers lost their jobs, which compelled them to make their child work and it is predicted that even when the covid crisis will end these children might not be able to go back to the school forever. In times of crisis, child labour becomes a coping mechanism for many families, UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore said.
“Quality education, social protection services and better economic opportunities can be game changers,” said UNICEF Executive Director, Henrietta Fore.The brief recommends social protection measures such as expanding cash transfer programmes, providing access to health care, ensuring income and food security through creating decent work for adults. It also harps on the need to ensure every child’s access to health and enforcing labour laws.