Indian child labor among the highest in the world


Muskan Mishra/SCC

Hazratganj Market, Lucknow. Children under the age of 14 are selling balloons which is not legal, because according to law it’s child labor.

Muskan Mishra, Reporter/SCC

Child labor has been an international concern in countries like India as well as other developing countries.

In countries, with high poverty and little educational opportunity, child labor is still prevalent and is found in rural as well as urban settings.

Child labor, or the employment of children is illegal in many countries.

According to an Oct. 21, Washington Post report, India has one of the world’s largest economies. But despite its wealth, 33 million children from ages 5 to 18 are working — and almost one third of this group are under the age of 15 according to the organization, Save the Children India, making India home to one of the highest concentrations of child workers in the world.

It is estimated in this report, that child labor is not declining because children are paid considerably less compared to adults and it saves lots of money for those who gain to profit most.

In a 2016 report from Unicef, child labor is frequently utilized in India in various places of production and services such as small scale industry, restaurant service, domestic aid, shopkeeper’s assistant, stone breaking, book binding, tea stalls, garbage pickers and in the house-hold industry.

As many children work in the informal sector they manage to escape the scrutiny of the labor inspectors and the media. In the same report, there are an estimated 150 million children aged five to 14 engaged in child labor worldwide.

Akshara Asthana, a journalism student in India spoke to Northeast Valley News about the future of children in India without strict employment laws against child labor.

“All nations must take strict rules against labor child, and they can prohibit the child labor by rules. Some are exploiting child labor for financial benefit, while children’s future is turning to dark without education and care of parents,” said Asthana.

Vishesh Mishra, is a working journalist and street photographer who witnesses firsthand the devastating toll on children in India.

“Child labor is destroying the future of India. We must understand that the little hands belong to school not tools,” said Mishra.