Saraswati Kumari, Law College Dehradun, Uttaranchal University, Uttarakhand
“There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its critical children.”
Child is an important human resource with a huge potential which in the coming time can lead the nation towards success and development. Childhood is a very important phase where it can be moulded into any shape and it is very important where it is led to because it is what that will decide the future of the nation. The development of the nation is seen in every aspect, be it social, economic, cultural and moral aspects. India is a country where majority of the population is young which means that if they are channelized in the right direction then nothing can stop it from achieving success and it is also a country where the children are made to do labour in large numbers. Child labour is an evil practice which still exists. It is more prevalent in developing countries. As per Global estimates the working children account for 152 million out of which 64 million are girls and 88 million are boys. In the recent scenario the Covid-19 has made the situation worse and increased the number of child labors. The condition of many people in developing countries is not up to the mark. In India a huge population is living in poverty and one of the drawbacks of which is child labour. The children who are believed to be the abode of god are compelled to do work at the expense of their life. The age when they should be happy, enjoying their childhood and living in the atmosphere of love and affection in the care and responsibility of their parents, they are left at the mercy and exploitation of the employers. Poverty and illiteracy are the major cause for this problem. It affects the health of the child and deprives him of his growth and development. It is not only derogatory to the child but also the society and the entire nation. This problem is not a new phenomenon and has been there in every society in different forms. Eradication of this problem has always been very difficult in spite of various laws been made for the protection of the rights of the children and also for the prohibition of this evil practice in the Constitution of India, National legislations, Judicial determinations, international legislations and other policies. The main reason behind it is the insufficient enforcement of these laws with strictness.
Keywords: child labour, child employment, exploitation, hazardous work, poverty.