Another outburst, with growing numbers each day. I am not talking about the COVID -19. But instead, the global Child Labour epidemic. Which in reality is a synonym for modern-day slavery. Children as young as 4 are incorporated in forced labour in every form. Children as young as high schoolers are bonded into unhealthy work environments. And children, who are the future of our planet are deprived of a school and greeted with hazardous labour.
Child labour is an epidemic which has spread far and deep into the norms of acceptability in many countries. This is not going to be a fancy piece of writing but instead a summary of my learning and what I think everyone needs to know about.
Modern slavery: Modern slavery includes the recruitment, movement, harbouring or receiving children, women, or men through the use of force, coercion, abuse of vulnerability, deception, or other means for the purpose of exploitation. It includes holding a person in a position of slavery, servitude, or forced compulsory labour or of facilitating their travel with the intention of exploiting them soon after. It includes sex trafficking, forced labour, forced criminality, domestic servitude, and forced marriage.
– Rajendra N Srivastava
Child labour is that which deprives a child of their childhood and schooling. In India and in many countries child labour refers to work which is mentally, physically or emotionally dangerous. Along with the conditions, the child’s ability to work must not conflict with their schooling or else this is classified by the Indian government as a form of child labour.
I have always wondered why child labour is not talked about more often, why it is not mentioned when people discuss the most harmful problems in society. Child labour or bonded labour uproots a childhood and destroyed a foundation without which a labourer can not thrive. Child labour may see short term economic benefits due to the below minimum wage salaried given to children, but in the long term, it is even more economically harmful. This is because a person without an education cant aspires to be anything than what they already are. In other words, education is freedom of choice and freedom that can never be taken away.
The future of everything we do is in the hands of those that come after us. In the children who will grow up and progress through life and the only way a child can do that is by being educated. Education expands a mind to limitless borders and gives a child room to grow and bloom.
Child labour should be at the forefront of creating a better world. At the end of the day, every child should be able to be a child and grow up through the school system. It is essential. For every child.
I used the https://www.indianpediatrics.net/aug2019/633.pdf report By: Rajendra N Srivastava