Organised Vs Un Organised Child Labourers
Author: DR. SHAILESH N HADLI.
BAL,LLB, LLM, PhD.
RNPI School of Law & Justice
“We are guilty of many errors and many faults but our worst crime is abandoning the children, neglecting the fountain of life, many of the things we need can wait, The Child cannot. Right now is the time his bones are being formed, his blood is being made and his senses are being developed, to him we cannot answer tomorrow his name is today…” Gabri A Mistral.
Existence of child labour can be traced from long decade but the labour to the child was utilised in a minimum and the limited manner. But as a result of Industrial Revolution it took the worst ever turn which we can find till the present date. During the Industrial Revolution, children as young as four were employed in production under factories with dangerous and often fatal, working conditions. Based on this understanding of the use of children as labourers, it is now considered by wealthy countries to be human rights, and is outlawed, while some poorer countries may allow or tolerate child labour. Child labour can also be defined as the full-time employment of children who are under a minimum legal age.
The problem of child labour is very common in almost every country when compared to the other countries India continues to host the large number of child labourers in the world today. According to the Census, there were more than 12.7 million economically active children in the age-group of 5-14 years. Census data shows that there is a decline in the absolute number as well the percentage of children (5-14) to total population in that age group.
Broadly speaking the child labourers can be classified into two categories as Organised sector Child Labours and Un organised sector Child Labours. Organised sector child labour are those children who are below the age of 14 years and working under some organised establishment like factories, mines, Shops and establishments, Plantations, stone crushers, Brick industries, beedi and cigar manufacturing industries, cracker industries and any work place which is coming under the definition of Industries small scale or large scale, where in Un Organised child Labours don’t have any definition of its own. In simple words any person below the age of 14 years does any work for the earning or helping for the earning of his family other than as defined in the Organised Sector is considered to be child labour under Un Organised Sector. For example Rag pickers, Supplying and cleaning tea glasses, beggars, helping the parents in farm land and cattle rearing, selling papers, flowers fruits, snacks at bus stands and doing other odd jobs which distract them from going to school.
From various studies conducted by the researchers it has come to light that very often the children found in the juvenile homes are from the un-organised sectors. The reason is that these children start working from the very young age of about 5 to 6 years and start earning money. When the money comes to their hands they try to keep some of the amount with them for their personal needs and rest is given away to the family members as the time passes the their personal needs increases and the amount paid to their family members goes lower than their own requirements. Due to the money in hands the children get addicted to bad habit like smoking eating gutkas and at last drinking and many more. By the time they reach the age of 12 to 13 they become the master of all the bad habits and the income generated by them is not sufficient for themselves and they try to do something where in the easy money can be generated and at last get into the trouble landing in juvenile homes. Female child workers are also in plenty in numbers they take their siblings of 1 to 2 years of age and beg for the money to create sympathy. And some people try to exploit them by luring the money and slowly and gradually are forced towards the prostitution.
No doubt the Government of India is working hard to eliminate the concept of Child labour from India and with regard to the same has passed many legislations for the protection of the children in organised sector, for example provision under Indian Constitution, Children [Pledging of Labour] Act (1933), Employment of Children Act (1938), The Bombay Shop and Establishments Act (1948), Child Labour -Prohibition and Regulation Act, The Indian Factories Act (1948), Plantations Labour Act (1951), The Mines Act (1952), Merchant Shipping Act (1958), The Apprentice Act (1961), The Motor Transport Workers Act (1961), The Atomic Energy Act (1962), Bidi and Cigar Workers (Condition of Employment) Act (1966), State Shops and Establishments Act, Child Labour and Probhition Act 1986 and others (Proposed Child Labour and Adolescent Act 2012), But the fact remains is the existing of child labour in organised and un-organised sectors.
The ambitious plan of right to education included under the Indian Constitution can be achieved only when the organised and un-organised child labourers find their places in school rather than at the work place. The act of the Government to provide mid day meal is an benevolent act but it is insufficient as some of the working children have responded in the negative sense, stating that what if I get one time food and all other aged persons depended on me are hungry whole day and the amount I receive per day from work can make my family more happy.
Considering all the things the Government has approved the (Child Labour and Adolescent Act) increasing the age limit from 14 years to that of 16 years and making it compulsory for every children to go to school and at the same time the fine and the imprisonment has been drastically increased to Rs 50000/- and 3 years imprisonment. But unfortunately again left the agricultural labour untouched, by stating the children who support their parents in their parental (family) activities of business are not governed by this laws. This clause makes the difference between organised and un-organised sector. It is commonly seen in the rural areas of our country the presence of the students’ increases in the class/school at the time of distribution of free food and after that there will be hardly few students in the school and at the time of harvesting season the children are not at all going to schools. The Cost of living has drastically increased and due to the urbanisation and mordanisation the agricultural lands are shrinking and the cost of the agricultural activity is increasing day by day. The agricultural labourers are shifting towards the city looking for better life and employment as a result there is an acute shortage in the agricultural labourers. Under these circumstances the people doing agricultural activities are in demand and to fulfill the said demand the children are forced to take up the activity for quick money. This is the Rule of Land DEMAND AND SUPPLY.
The present proposed act Child labour and Adolescent Act is the beneficial act whose scope is limited only to the urban population and it will be effective if the act is strictly implemented in accordance and if not done so then it will become the law limited only to the papers.
But what about the Un-Organised Child labourers where there is no proper definition about the same and what the Government of India had done for them is the big question mark. The main reason for the not making the law for this sector is these are small term labourers who groom up in no time and disappear in no time.
The main reason for not able to eradicate the child labour is the Poverty. Approximately about 25% of the Indian population leaves below the poverty line, and other major problem is the illiteracy. When we overcome these two major problems then the problem of the Child Labour will automatically perished from India.
No doubt there are many laws for the prohibition of child labourers but still it continues why? The reason is the lack of strict implementation of the existing laws. Laws are not framed to show to the world and the people that we too have the laws; the real meaning will be achieved by the strict and proper implementation of the same.
Majority of the Un-Organised Child Labourers work under the prohibited areas of work where their exist the prohibition of Child labour for example the Mouffesal bus stands, and private bus stands, Traffic signals, Railway Signals, busy places of the city and agricultural lands etc; When there are authorities for the implementation of the prohibition of child labourers then why theses authorities keep quite and allow them to grow.
The government shall strictly implement the laws in the organised sectors and see to it that the un-organised child workers does not erupt at all. As there are the governments authorities spread all over the states why they themselves cannot take steps to restrict the child workers and if some one is negligent as a result the child worker is found then why action should not be taken on such authorities. For eg Depot Manager for bus stands, Traffic police in charge for the traffic signals, railway gate in charge for the railway signals, and the Police personal on duty for the other unorganized child labourers. The person encouraging the Child labour shall be strictly dealt with the laws of the land and shall be imposed heavy fine along with the imprisonment. Then only we can remove the child labour in Organised as well as Un Organised sectors.
“If we do not prepare children to become good citizens, if we do not develop their full capacities, if we do not enrich their minds with knowledge then our republic will go down to destruction and mankind will be swept through a vast cycle of sin and suffering before the dawn of better era can arise upon the world”