Rise in urban child labour, finds study

More than half of the working children in the Capital are forced to work for over eight hours a day without a day’s rest in a week.

The latest analysis of Census data released by the Child Rights and You (CRY), a day before World Day Against Child Labour, revealed that child labour has been decreasing at a mere 2.2 per cent annually over the last decade.

“At this pace, it would take more than a century to get the existing working children out of labour. Today, over a crore children continue to be part of the country’s workforce. The analysis points out a critical trend: the child labour in urban areas in the country has increased by 53 per cent over 2001-2011,’’ said Komal Ganotra, director, Policy and Research, CRY.

She said that this was of utmost concern since enforcement machinery is primarily based in urban regions and the implementation of child protection structures is stronger in urban India.

“This rise in urban child labour could be attributed to increased migration including seasonal migration for employment as well as trafficking of unaccompanied minors,” said Ms. Ganotra.

A staggering majority of working children (80 per cent) are based in rural areas and three out of four of them work in agriculture , or in household industries, most of which are home-based employments.

Child labour in India also reflects some remarkable age-based trends.

The decade 2001-2011 saw an overall decrease in working children in the age-group of 10-14 years.

Contrary to this, the number of working children between five and nine years has increased by 37 per cent. Of particular concern is the whopping rise in child labourers in the age group of 5-9 years in urban areas – the number of working boys grew by 154 per cent whereas the number of working girls grew by 240 per cent.

Interestingly, more than half of working children in India are concentrated in five States - Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra. These States account for more than 55 lakh child workers.

UP has witnessed an increase in child labour by 13 per cent with one out of five in India belonging to the State.

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Printable version | Jun 22, 2022 3:18:37 pm |