Child labor is one of the major problem that is seen in our society. When children are forced to do labor during the time when they should receive education, they will become uneducated throughout their life and they will not even have moral values to live a peaceful life. Child labor can be defined as employing children in manual work. As per the Child labor protection (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986, a child means a person who below the age of 14 years. We all know that it is during this tender age that a child grows both mentally and physically. So during this period if he subjected to do manual work, he will not get education that he should get during those days, his potential cannot be identified and developed, no proper moral values will be received by him, it will affect the child both physically and mentally. The thing that has to be understood is that these children are the coming generation and if they are not properly educated it will affect the country’s progress in a long run.
It is a true fact that child labor is not only the problem that exist in India, it is also existing in many other countries. There is a need to look into the causes of child labor. When we look into the causes of child labor we can see that poverty is the main cause for child labor. Due to poverty many parents send their child to do manual work. Illiteracy is another important cause. When the parents are illiterate, they don’t know the value of education and the child labor prevention laws that are existing in our country, social economic circumstances of the family of the child is another major cause.
It has to be noted that children are not like matured man they will not take much care that a grown up man takes while doing a work, therefore accidents caused to such child labor’s are very much common. Besides physical injuries these child labors have to suffer many mental hazards also. In many times they may be also sexually abused. This child labor has a great consequence and has to be eradicated.
When we look into the laws that control child labor we can see that Child labor (Prohibition and regulation) Act, 1986 is the main legislation that prohibits the children below 14 years from doing manual works. The juvenile justice (Care and protection) of children Act, 2000 punishes the person who employs a child in hazardous work environment. The Right of children to free and compulsory Education Act of 2009 provides free and compulsory education to children below 14 years of age. The Indian Factories Act, 1948 prohibits the children below 14 years of age from working in the factories. The Apprentices Act, 1961 prevents a child who not attained the age of 14 years from undergoing apprenticeship training. As per the Merchant Shipping Act1958 except for training ship, children below14years of age should not be employed in a ship.
Therefore there exists a need to prevent child labor. All children should get compulsory primary education in order to become a good citizen with moral values and social commitments. So, at least the young generation can take steps to prevent such child labor practices.