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Essay on “Anti- Child Labour Day – 12 June ” Complete Essay for Class 10, Class 12 and Graduation and other classes.

Anti- Child Labour Day – 12 June 

From 2003 every year ‘ World Day Against  Child Labour’ is observed on June 12th by the International Labour Organization. The day has often focused on one of the worst forms of child labour listed in Convention No. 182. The event is aimed at mobilizing people around the world against  child  labour and  its worst forms, arising out of local cultures and customs, while encouraging the participation of authorities, the media, civil society and the public at large. 

In the year 2007 , the World Day Against Child Labour focus on the elimination of child labour in agriculture. Worldwide, agriculture is the sector where the largest percentage of working children is found – nearly 70 percent. Over 132 million girls and boys aged 5 to 14 years often work from sun up to sun down on farms and plantations, planting and harvesting crops, spraying pesticides, and tending livestock.

Prevalence of Child Labour

Child labour is the employment of children under an age determined by law or custom. This practice is considered exploitative by many counties and international organizations. Child labor was not seen as a problem throughout most of history, only becoming a disputed issue with the beginning of universal schooling and the concepts of labourers and children’s rights.   

Child labour can be factory work, mining or quarrying, agriculture, helping in the parent’s business, having one’s own small business, or doing odd jobs. Some children work as guides for tourists, sometimes combined with bringing in business for shops and restaurants. Other children are forced to do tedious and repetitive jobs such as assembling boxes, or polishing shoes. However most child labor occurs in the informal sector, “selling on the street, at work in agriculture or hidden away in houses- far from the reach of official labor inspectors and from media scrutiny.”

Today an important issue in human resource development is prevalence of child labour. The problem of child labour exists in almost all countries of the world, the difference if any, it only of degree of form. However, the predominance of child labour in many third world countries continues to be quite pronounced.

Child labour constitutes the most deprived section of population forced to earn a pittance or to contribute to family work sacrificing personal development at prime age for want of  opportunity. Both concept and practice of child labour being economically unsound, psychologically wrong and socially very disastrous has posed a big threat to peace, human rights and overall  world development.

Every child has a vital role to play in the society. The role of children is important for the continuation of the society and civilization over ages. The future prosperity of a society is hidden within the vast potentialities of the children. The issue of child labour is of international concern today.  

A child of today cannot develop to be a responsible and productive member of tomorrow’s society unless an environment which is conducive to his intellectual, physical and social health, is assured to him. Every nation developed or developing links its future with the status of its children. Childhoods holds the potential  and sets the limit to the future development of the society. Children are the greatest gift  to humanity.  Neglect of children means loss to the society as a whole. If children are deprived of their childhood, socially, economically, physically and mentally – the nation gets deprived of potential human resources for the social progress, economic empowerment, peace and order, social stability and good citizen.

UNICEF and Child Labour

UNICEF, in one of its annual reports, has evocatively observed, “ The day will come when nations will be judged not only by their military or economic strength, nor by the splendor of their capital cities and public buildings but by the well- being of their people , … by the provision that is made for those who are vulnerable and disadvantaged and by the protection that is afforded to the growing minds and bodies of their children”.

UNICEF determined that child labour is exploitative if it involves:   

  • Full time work at too early in age;
  • Too many hours spent working
  • Work that exerts undue physical, social or psychological stress
  • Work and life on the streets in bad conditions
  • Inadequate pay
  • Too much responsibility
  • Work that hampers access to education
  • Work that undermines children’s dignity and self esteem, such as slavery or bonded labour and sexual exploitation
  • Work that is detrimental to full social and psychological development.

The international programme on the elimination of child labour is a global problem launched by the International Labour Organization (ILO) in 1991. India was the first country to join it in 1992. Government commitment to address the problem of child labour is reflected in the announcement made in the National Agenda for Governance (1998). The agenda states that the main aim is to ensure that no child remains illiterate, hungry or lacks medical care and that measures will be taken to eliminate child labour.   

Child Labour in India

The magnitude of child labour is more serious in developing countries. India alone constitutes 25% of world’s working children.

Child labour is ,no doubt, an evil that should be done away with at the earliest. The prevalence of child labour reflects very badly on the society the is not able to stop this evil. A study conducted by the ILO Bureau of Statistics found that “Children’s work was considered essential in maintaining the economic level of households, either in the form of work for wages, of help in household enterprises or of household chores in order to free adult household members for  economic activity elsewhere”. In some cases, the study found that a child’s income accounted for between 34 and  37 percent of the total household income. This study concludes that a child labourer’s income is important to the livelihood of a poor family.

Poverty has an obvious relationship with child labour, and studies have revealed a positive correlation  as such. Poor families need money to survive, and  children are a source of additional income.

The twin factors (1) poverty and (2) the lack of a social security network from the basis of even the worst type of bonded child labour. Since the earnings of bonded child laboureres are less than the interest on the loans, these bonded children are forced to work, while interest on their loans accumulates. A bonded child can only be released after his/ her parents make a lump sum payment, which is extremely difficult for the poor.

Children are growing up illiterate because they have been working and not attending school. A cycle of poverty is formed and the need for child labour is reborn after every generation. India needs to address the problem by tackling the underlying causes of child labour through governmental policies and with the coordination and cooperation of the NGO’s and the enforcement of these policies honestly in true spirit. Without wiping out the causes permanently, we cannot eradicate the typical problem of child labour. If we could eradicate poverty, child labour will disappear automatically.

Constitutional Provision

India fully subscribes to this   universal aspiration. Our Constitution makers had known that India of their vision would not be a reality if the country’s   children are not nurtured and educated.

Articles 15(3,)  21, 24,32, 39(e), 39(f) and 45 made the following provisions:

  1. State to intervene and formulate special enactment that would uplift the social and legal status of children
  2. Guarantees to each child the protection of life and personal liberty
  3. Child below the age of 14 shall not be employed in any factory or mine or engaged in any other hazardous employment.
  4. The State to ensure that the health and strength of children are not abused and that children are not forced by economic necessity to enter vocations unsuited to their age or strength.

5.The States to legislate, fixing minimum wages, working hours and conditions of child labour.

  1. The Sates to direct its policy towards securing health and strength of children
  2. Envisages giving free and compulsory primary education to all children until they reach the age of fourteen.

Legislation’s Passed

Much legislation has been passed in India from time to  time to protect and  solve the problems of child labour. The legislations are :

  1. The Children (Pledging of Labour) Act, 1933
  2. The Employment of Children Act, 1938
  3. Minimum Wages Act, 1938
  4. The Factories Act, 1948
  5. The Plantations Labour Act, 1951
  6. The Mines Act, 1952
  7. The Merchant Shipping Act, 1958
  8. The Motor Transport Workers Act, 1961
  9. The Bidi and Cigar Workers (Conditions of Employment) Act, 1966
  10. The Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986

These legislations regulate the working conditions , age, hours of work, wages and services of child labour.

Causes of Child Labour

Child labour is a multi – dimensional problem. Several factors are expected to be the causes of the participation of children in economic activities. The causes are poverty, caste, tradition, size of the family, labour scarcity, wage rates, illiteracy, ignorance, lack of schooling facilities, neighborhood effect etc. these factors are interlinked and exert their influence directly and / or indirectly on the work participation of children.

Gurupadaswamy Committee

Gurupadaswamy Committee on Child Labour 1979 did not suggest total abolition of employment of children in industrial establishment, but emphasized, all round development of child including his education,  health   and employment in industries.

The Child Labour Act

The Child Labour (prohibition and Regulation ) Act, 1986, was the culmination of Gurupadaswamy committee and Center’s Advisory Board on Child Labour group’s recommendations. The Act was enacted with a view to rationalize earlier legislation son child labour , progressive elimination of child labour in hazardous employments , and regulating conditions of child labour in non-hazardous industries. The major loophole of the Act is that it only covers the child in organized sector and not the 90% working in the unorganized urban, rural sector and family units.

National Policy on Child Labour

The Government  initiated several action- oriented programmes to withdraw children from hazardous work and prevent them from entering labour markets again. The most significant step in this direction was the adoption of National Policy on Child Labour (1987). The Policy encompasses action in the fields of education, health, nutrition, integrated child development and employment.

Supreme Court Directions

In a landmark judgment on 10th December 1996, Supreme Court has given some directions regarding the manner in which the children working in hazardous occupations as defined in Child Labour Act 1986 are to be withdrawn from work and to be simultaneously rehabilitated. The direction was also given to regulate and improve the working conditions in the non- hazardous occupation.        


Increasing the incomes of parents by converging various development schemes is a pragmatic step. Efforts are afoot to establish proper coordination in the implementation of different programmes being run by various government departments. A number of innovative schemes have been initiated across the country for the uplift of children. The government is determined to eliminate all forms of child labour by 2020.   Indeed, poverty eradication combined with educational reforms to provide free or innovative and job- oriented curriculum for all can effectively eliminate child labour.


A literate mother can do wonders in building up a healthy society and a bright future for our nation. The windows and door of education  may be opened widely, so that girls and women get the bright light of knowledge in abundance. The most important them is to keep their family size smaller, which in turn would enable them to move up in the social and economic ladder.

The initiatives and support for the Eradication of  Child Labour in India, through government sector, non- government sector, judiciary, social workers and public at large have raised hopes for creating mass movement against the menace of child labour and provide universal compulsory education for children.

The problem of child labour is both large and widespread. Government alone cannot deal with this gargantuan menace. NGOs. NSS, NYK  and other voluntary organizations suitably supported by industrialists and people in general should also come forward and lend their full- fledged cooperation and support to trim down, if not eliminate, the social, economic and psychological problems of child labour.


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