Submitted by arvind.bagadgeri on January 5, 2009 - 9:25am.


Children need to grow in an environment them enables them to lead a life of freedom and dignity. Opportunities of education and training are to be provided for the to grow into worthy citizens, Unfortunately a large proportion of children are deprived of their basic rights. They are found working in various sectors of the economy particularly in the unorganized sector. Some of them are confined are beaten, reduced to slavery or denied freedom of movement thus making child labour a human rights issue and a developmental issue.

Definition of a child

Article 1 of The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Child defines a Child as anyone below the age of eighteen years. The Child Labour ( Prohibition and Regulation ) Act, 1986 defines child as “ a person who has not completed his fourteenth year of age.

Meaning of Child Labour

‘ Child labour ‘ is defined as and work within or outside the family that involves time, energy, commitment , which affects the ability of a child to participate in leisure, play and educational activates. Such work impairs the health and development of child .

According to the international Lab our Organization, Child lab our includes children pre- maturely leading adult lives, working long hours for low wages under conditions damaging to their health and to their physical and mental development, ‘ They are often separated form their families and deprived of meaningful education and training opportunities that would offer them a better future.

Rights of Children

The convention on the Rights of the Child is the outcome of the effort of the international community to arrive at a standard to be followed by all countries in matters relating to children . In the words of the Convention , “ in all actions concerning children .. the best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration. “ It lays emphases on the
Fundamental freedoms and liberties of the individual , protection against discrimination, violence , abuse, neglect and exploitation as well as on the p9ositive measures such as upbringing within the family and under parental care, access to health care , social security, education , and to rest and leisure ,

Childhood is required to be a period of evolving capacities, of the development of the child’s personality, talents and mental and physical abilities to their fullest potential” , primarily through education During this period ,a child has a right “ to a standard of living adequate for the child ‘ s physical, mental . spiritual , moral and social development ,”The convention establishes the right of the child to be and actor in his or her own development, to express opinions and to have them taken into account in the making of decisions relating to his or her life standards and practices, These include its provisions of on I

. the rights to a name and nationality form birth
. adoption
. the rights of disabled and refugee children
. the rights of those in trouble with the law .
It protects children form all forms of exploitation, deals with the question of children of minority and indigenous groups and the problems of drug abuse and of neglect.

Basic to the development of the child are the rights to express views in all matters affecting her or him and of their being given due weight, freedom of expression including rights to information and ideas freedom of though , conscience and religion , as well as freedoms of association and of peaceful assembly, The child has a rights to privacy and to special prot3ection and assistance provided by the State where the child is deprived of family environment.

As regards employment , the child , in view of is physical and mental immaturity, has a special right to be protected from “ economic exploitation and form performing any work that is likely to be hazardous or to interfere with the child’s education , or to b harmful to the child’s health or physical, mental, spiritual , moral or social development , ‘ Article 35 seeks to protect children for trafficking in children for any purpose or in any form,

Tags: Children
Submitted by jcravens42 on January 5, 2009 - 9:30am.

I don't think anyone on the AWN forum would argue that children shouldn't be harmed by anything, including labor. But we also must face the reality that child labor doesn't always happen because of greed -- it also happens because of economic necessity: there are entire families that survive because their children work. In addressing child labor, we also have to address ways for families to generate sustainable income so children don't have to work.

Jayne Cravens
Bonn, Germany

Submitted by priyanthi on January 6, 2009 - 1:19pm.

I agree with Jayne that it is a complicated issue. There is an organisation in Karnataka, India that I worked with on and off called the concerned for working children (see, that addresses these issues and has unionised children so that they can be working, contributing to their families economically and also ensuring their rights. Worth getting contact with them if you are really interested in this issue.

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