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Samir Kumar Nanda

(B.Sc. ,PGDLLPM, M.A(Sociology),MBA,LLB.) FIELD OFFICER National Child Labour Project, Deogarh District, Odisha & Research Scholar, Berhampur University

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Sri Samir Kumar Nanda

As we know Child labour is one of the most violated human rights issue .Therefore the whole world is fighting against this cruelty. Since years thousands of children are deprived of their essential qualities of childhood and are forced as cheap substitutes for adults. Child labour being a complex phenomenon cannot be dealt in an isolated manner.

HISTORY OF CHILD LABOUR

History of child labour states that industrial revolution saw children working factories, mines, and even having his own small business like selling food, flowers and doing much unusual kind of jobs. Some children started being tourist guides, some set up a small shop of their own and some opened up restaurants in their backyards and worked as waiters too. Some children however chose to be actors and singers.

Although, child labour was not new to the world, it is believed that during 1780 and 1840, there was a massive increase in child exploitation. During the Industrial revolution, it was very common to find children working in factories. In 1788, more than 60% of workers in textile mills of England and Scotland were children. Many laws were passed to eradicate child labour, but hardly succeeded.

World

Maximum Child Labours are found in Asia Pacific Region . Minimum 26% of child population of age group 5-14 in the world is engaged as child labour.

 

Extent of child labour in the world is as follows:-

MAGNITUDE OF CHILD LABOUR (GLOBAL LEVEL)

Table-1

GLOBAL ESTIMATE OF CHILD LABOUR

Sl.No

Age –Group ( Years)

Economically Active

Child Labour

In Hazardous Occupation

1

5-17

317 million

218 million

126 million

2

5-14

190.7 million

165.8 million

74.4 million

From the above tables we can imagine the status of child labour in the global level. In the Table-1 the Sl. No.2 comes in the category of child labour as the age group is within 5-14.As per Sl.No2 of the said table it is cleared that out of 190.7 million children which are economically active in the whole world 165.8 million are child labour which includes 74.4 million under hazardous occupations.

India

Maximum number of child labours are being engaged in work in India. Rehabilitation of such children is a challenge for our country. As per the Census of India, 2001, the number of child labour in our country has been estimated as 12,591,667.If we compare 1971 onwards, the phenomenon of child labour has shown an increasing trend. Child labour in India is much more of a rural phenomenon than urban. There are 90.87 per cent of the working children in the rural areas and 9.13 per cent working children in the urban areas. Govt. of India has been spending 3.5% of the total budget in the field of mass education & poverty alleviation. Although as per the report of the World Bank 75% of the Indians are below poverty line yet Govt. of India report says that only 25% are below poverty line.

 

 

MAGNITUDE OF CHILD LABOUR AT NATIONAL LEVEL

Table-2

The extent of child labour identified in different Census reports.

YEAR

NUMBER OF CHILD LABOUR

Trend

1971

10,753,985

1981

13,640,870

26% increased

1991

11,285,349

25% decreased

2001

12,591,667

12% increased

Table-2 indicates the number of child labour identified in India in different Census. If we compare the report of different Census mentioned in the above table we will find that the percentage of child labour has been increased to 26% in 1981 in comparison to 1971.Again, the percentage of child labour has been decreased to 25% in 1991 in comparison to 1981 and again increased up to 12% in 2001 in comparison to 1991. If we compare census of 1971 with that of 2001,we can see the percentage increased in 2001 up to 17.08%. So we come to a conclusion that, the percentage of child labour has been increased in all the census except in 1991. So, the number of child labour in our country is increasing and increasing instead of decreasing.

Odisha

Hon’ble Supreme Court of India has given directions to find out the number of children engaged in hazardous occupations in the year 1997.As per the survey 2,15,222 number of child labours were identified in Odisha. However, as per the 2001 Census of India 3, 77,594 child labours were found in the State of Odisha. The economic exploitation of children in Odisha has always been an area of concern. Most children work in highly exploitative conditions and all are deprived of even the most minimal educational facilities.

 

EXTENT OF CHILD LABOUR AT STATE LEVEL

Table-3

STATE

1971

1981

1991

2001

ODISHA

492477

702293

452394

377594

TREND

 

43% increased

36% decreased

17% decreased

Above table (Table-3) describes about the number of child labours identified in Odisha in the four different Census. We can observe that the percentage of number of child labour has increased 43% in the year 1981 in comparison to 1971 Census whereas the percentage has decreased up to 36% in the 1991 census in comparison to 1981 and 17% decreased in 2001 in comparison to 1991.If we compare the census report of 1971 and 2001 than we find the percentage has decreased 23%.

Western Odisha

In Western Odisha 79% of its population depends on agriculture and nearly 48% live below the poverty line. It is obvious that children are compelled to work in hazardous occupations and became vulnerable to occupational hazardous & diseases. The health of child labour is a matter of least concerned among the employers indulged in economic exploitations. The child labourers who work in insanitation conditions for long hours remained vulnerable and become disease prone and in many cases when they got diseases they are send back to their respective homes of the parents.

Table-4

PLACE 1991 1997 2001 2005
10 DISTRICTS OF WESTERN ODISHA 139526 58131 109276 149299
TREND -58% +88% +37%

The above table(Table:-4)indicates the number of child labours identified in the 10 Districts of Western Odisha during the 1991 & 2001 Census and 1997 & 2005 District Level Child labour Survey. If we observe the trend of the above figures ,we will see that, the percentage of child labour only decreased once 58 % in the year 1997 in comparison to 1991. But during the rest of the survey there is an increasing trend. In the 2001 census percentage increased up to 88% than in 1997 survey ,in 2005 survey the figure again increased to 37%.If we compare the figures of 1991 census and 2005 survey we also get that the % percentage increased up to 7% in 2005.


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