This research endeavours to delve into the intricate web surrounding child
labour in India, a nation grappling with the paradoxical coexistence of
progressive legislative frameworks and persistent socio-economic challenges.
Children, heralded as the greatest gift to humanity, embody the promise of a
society's future. Childhood, being a pivotal phase in human development, is
marred by the widespread engagement of children in various forms of employment.
These activities span a spectrum from innocuous household chores to perilous and
morally questionable endeavours, creating a moral and legal conundrum.
Despite concerted global efforts and the enactment of stringent laws, child
labour continues to persist as a grave concern on a worldwide scale. This
research, however, focuses specifically on the Indian context, acknowledging the
nation's endeavours to combat this issue since gaining independence. India,
despite implementing legislative measures to reform and eradicate child labour,
confronts a stark reality that belies the progress promised by these laws.
A comprehensive survey reveals that India ranks among the top countries where a
significant portion of the labour force comprises children. The research
critically examines the socio-legal legislatures established by the Indian
government, analysing their efficacy in addressing the multifaceted dimensions
of child labour. The study incorporates an in-depth exploration of the
ramifications of these legislations at the grassroots level, shedding light on
the stark disjunction between legal frameworks and ground realities.
The research aims to contribute to the discourse on child labour by unraveling
the complex interplay between legislation, socio-economic factors, and cultural
influences. By scrutinizing the efficacy of existing legal frameworks and their
impact on the ground, this study aspires to offer nuanced insights that can
inform future policy interventions. Through a multidimensional analysis, the
research seeks to delineate the persisting challenges hindering the effective
eradication of child labour in India and proposes potential avenues for holistic
Child labour is unusually prevalent in underdeveloped and emerging nations of
the world and is seen more as a social issue of higher importance than other
associated issues related to the development of human beings. There is no doubt
that today's youth will be tomorrow's adult citizens, bearing full
responsibility for the nation's complex growth and expansion.
In reality, it is
in this context that the all-around development and expansion of the child's
personality, as well as the personality of the country, are required as a result
of the children's development into mature individuals with enough skills and
information, achieved with help from the state, society, and family. The needs
and vulnerabilities of all children and young people have received great
attention from the governments of all industrialized nations as well as many
The State and Children currently have relationships in
various sectors, including political and socioeconomic ones. State agencies are
required by domestic law, and many international treaties, norms, and
conventions, to not only defend but also advance their citizens' human rights.
The rights of children, including their claims to care, protection, welfare, and
justice, are frequently disregarded, if not outright abused, notwithstanding
such official declarations, particularly in cases of child labour. India also
Child labour is that portion of a country's child population that is discovered
to have engaged in paid or unpaid employment in a particular circumstance,
albeit the definition and notion of child labour may vary greatly based largely
on social, economic, environmental, or physical postulates. Here, an attempt has
been made to analyse the problem of child labour in the context of those working
below the age of 14 years in any gainful industrial and non-industrial
occupation, which is viewed not only injurious to their physical, mental or
moral development but also hampers their social progress in a big way.
be found working hard in agriculture fields, where they are exposed to many
risks brought on by the use of modern machinery and chemicals; in hazardous
industries and occupations like glass production, construction, mining, and
carpet weaving; and in domestic service, where they perform arduous tasks in
isolation for excessively long periods of time while also dealing with physical
and sexual abuse.
In India, a child means a person who has not completed his 14 years of age. No
child below the age of 14 years shall be employed to work in any factory or mine
or engaged in any other hazardous employment.
There are a variety of factors that can contribute to child labour, including
poverty (which is the root cause), large families, cultural norms, civil wars,
etc. These and other factors force poor children to engage in slavery and
slavery-like practices like forced labour and bonded labour, child soldiers,
sexual exploitation, or are used by adults in illegal activities like drug
Statement Of Problem
Child labour persists as a significant social issue, particularly in
underdeveloped and emerging nations, with India being a pertinent case. Despite
legal frameworks and international commitments to eradicate child labour,
challenges in implementation, regional disparities, and the root causes of
poverty and cultural norms continue to hinder effective solutions. This research
seeks to analyse the problem comprehensively, identifying gaps in the current
approach and proposing measures for improvement.
Objective Of The Research:
- To analyse the prevalence and magnitude of child labour in India, considering regional variations.
- To investigate the causes of child labour, with a focus on socio-economic factors, cultural norms, and legislative gaps.
- To assess the effectiveness of existing legal provisions and international commitments in combating child labour.
- To examine the role of the judiciary and its decisions in shaping child labour policies in India.
- To evaluate rehabilitation measures, including the National Child Labour Project (NCLP) Scheme, and their impact on addressing child labour.
- What is the current magnitude and prevalence of child labour in India, and how does it vary across regions?
- What are the primary causes of child labour, with a specific focus on socio-economic factors and cultural norms?
- How effective are the legal provisions and international commitments in combating child labour in India?
- To what extent has the judiciary contributed to shaping child labour policies, and what are the key judicial decisions in this regard?
- How successful are rehabilitation measures, such as the NCLP Scheme, in addressing the issue of child labour?
The research employs a mixed-methods approach, combining quantitative analysis
of available statistical data on child labour prevalence with qualitative
examination of legal frameworks, court decisions, and rehabilitation
initiatives. Data will be collected from government reports, academic
literature, and legal documents. Interviews with experts, policymakers, and
representatives from non-governmental organizations will provide valuable
insights into the challenges and potential solutions.
Scope And Limitation Of The Paper
- The research focuses primarily on child labour in India, considering its unique socio-economic and cultural context.
- The study may face limitations in accessing up-to-date statistical data due to potential delays in official reporting.
- The qualitative analysis may be influenced by the availability of relevant documents and the willingness of stakeholders to participate in interviews.
Magnitude Of Child Labour Problems
Owing to the diverse array of definitions, varying computation methodologies,
and the temporal nuances of data collection, the assessment of the extent of the
child labour predicament presents a challenge. The multifaceted nature of the
issue is compounded not only by the distinctive and practical hurdles associated
with devising and implementing child surveys aimed at estimating the prevalence
of child labour but also by disparities in perceptions regarding the delineation
of childhood, child work, and child labour.
In attempting to gauge the magnitude of the challenge, the difficulty in
acquiring accurate statistics on child labour becomes apparent. This difficulty
arises not only from the inherent complexities of crafting and executing surveys
tailored to assess the problem of child labour but also from the divergent
interpretations of what constitutes a child and the nature of child work or
A report by the International Labour Organization underscores the
gravity of the situation in developing nations, revealing that more than 250
million children in the 5�14 age range are engaged in some form of work.
A geographical breakdown of these figures unveils a stark reality�child labour
is particularly pervasive in certain regions. Asian countries, for instance,
grapple with an alarming rate, reaching as high as 61 percent, while African
nations contend with 32 percent, and Latin American countries experience a
slightly over 7 percent incidence of child labour. These statistics underscore
the global nature of the issue and emphasize the urgency of addressing the
complex interplay of socio-economic, cultural, and legal factors contributing to
the persistence of child labour.
Child Labour In India
As an emerging nation, India has recently witnessed a reduction in the
prevalence of child labour. According to statistics provided by the
International Labour Organization, there has been a noteworthy decrease of 20%
in the number of children engaged in labour activities in India since the 2001
The 2011 International Labour Organization study highlights that India
still contends with a substantial challenge, with 10.1 million children falling
within the category of child labourers, primarily concentrated in the 05�14 age
Encouragingly, the positive trend is underscored by the 20% decline observed in
the incidence of child labour in India since 2001. However, this laudable
progress is tempered by regional disparities, as five states�Uttar Pradesh,
Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra, and Rajasthan�contribute to approximately
50% of the child labour population in the country.
Notably, Uttar Pradesh has
experienced a concerning 13% increase in the number of children engaged in labour, highlighting the nuanced dynamics at play within specific regions of the
country despite the overall positive trajectory. This nuanced perspective
underscores the importance of targeted legal interventions and region-specific
policy considerations to address the persisting challenges associated with child
labour in India.
Causes Of Child Labour In India
In the context of India, the phenomenon of child labour is rooted in various
socio-economic factors, with poverty emerging as the primary catalyst,
especially in developing nations like India. A 2012 study by the Reserve Bank of
India (RBI) revealed that an estimated 269 million Indians grapple with poverty,
creating a pressing need for additional household income. The complexities arise
from the challenges faced by these impoverished families in coordinating
schedules due to their large size.
In the midst of economic hardships, parents often perceive the involvement of
their children in income-generating activities as a pragmatic solution to
alleviate financial strain. This is particularly pertinent in households
characterized by a high number of children and a limited number of employed
family members. Beyond economic necessity, cultural norms and traditions in
India play a pivotal role in perpetuating the practice of child labour. The
familial expectation that children will contribute to the family's livelihood is
ingrained in customs, such as a carpenter's son following in the footsteps of
carpentry or a goldsmith's son pursuing goldsmithery.
The research findings highlight that in areas like Firozabad and Aligarh, where
bangle and lock factories are prevalent, a significant number of young workers
are drawn into employment due to entrenched family customs. This nuanced
interplay of socio-economic challenges and cultural expectations underscores the
multifaceted nature of child labour in India and emphasizes the importance of
comprehensive legal and policy interventions to address the root causes of this
Legal Provisions Against Child Labour
The Indian Constitution was meticulously crafted by the country's founding
fathers. When drafting the Indian constitution, they did not spare any details.
Every legislation has received equal attention from them, and child law is one
of them. The Constitution now has a particular clause protecting the rights of
children who work. States are allowed to establish unique measures for women and
children under Article 15(3).
It gives the state the authority to step in and
create unique laws that would improve the social and legal standing of children.
Every child is entitled to the protection of life and individual freedom under
Article 21. The use of minors in factories and other workplaces is prohibited
under Article 24. It clearly indicates that children under the age of 14 are not
permitted to work in mines, factories, or in any other dangerous jobs.
provisions in this article are in the best interests of children's health and
development and are consistent with Directive Principles Article 39(c), which
places a duty on the state to ensure that children's health and development are
protected and that they are not coerced into careers that are inappropriate for
their age or development. Article 32 requires the states to interfere and stop
hazardous working conditions detrimental to the health of the children and look
into their proper physical, mental and social development.
It also seeks the
states to legislate, fixing minimum age, working hours, and conditions for the
child labourers, and at the same time to prohibit the employment of a child
below the age of 14 years. Article 39(f) makes it obligatory for the state to
direct policy towards securing "the health and strength for the children that
they are given proper opportunities and facilities to develop in a healthy
manner and in conditions that the freedom and dignity and the childhood and also
the youth is being protected against any moral and material abandonment."
Article 45 provides children with free and compulsory primary education them. It
declares that the state shall provide free and compulsory education for all
children from ten years till they complete fourteen years.
With the passage of the Indian Factory Act, of 1881, the process of regulating
child labour in India was initiated. The statute included clauses restricting
the employment of children under the age of seven. The statute also mandates
that no more than nine hours should be worked each day and that at least four
vacations must be taken each month.
The Mines Act, which was established in
India in 1901, forbade the employment of children under the age of twelve since
it was hazardous to their health and safety. However, the colonial state gave
little attention to the protection of children's rights. The Constitution's
drafters were aware of this issue and included sufficient provisions in the
Indian Constitution to safeguard children's rights and general welfare.
International Labour Organization's numerous agreements and recommendations,
notably those pertaining to child labour rights, had a significant impact on the
country's labour laws. In addition to the constitutional guarantee, a number of
legislative acts offer children who work in a variety of occupations legal
- The Children (Pledging of Labour) Act, 1933
- The Employment of Children Act, 1938
- The Minimum Wages, Act 1948 and rules made there under by the government
- The Factories Act, 1948
- The Plantations Labour Act, 1951
- The Mines Act, 1952
- The Merchant Shipping Act, 1958
- The Motor Transport Workers' Act, 1961
- The Apprentices Act, 1961
- The Atomic Energy Act, 1962
- The Bidi and Cigar Workers (Conditions of Employment) Act, 1966
- The Shops and Establishment Act in Various States
- Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986
Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, of 1986 was the efforts and ideas
that had emerged from the recommendation and suggestions made by various
committees on child labour. The committee was National Commission on labour
(1965-1969), The Gurupadaswamy Committee on child labour (1979), and Sanat Mehta
The main aim of these committees was to ban completely
children from working in hazardous industries and regulate children's activities
in non-hazardous occupations. In particular, it is aimed at banning the
employment of children up to 14 years in 18 specific occupations and 65
processes; proper procedure to include a further schedule of banned occupation
or process; controlling the working condition of children in those occupations
in which their working is not restricted; imposition of penalties for the
employment of children in violation of this act or other act which prohibit
employment of children; bringing similarity within the definition of child in
The Judicial system of India has proven itself and is also continuously having a
progressive attitude towards child labour.
People Union for Democratic Rights V/S Union of India, 1982 AIR 1473, 1983 SCR(1) 456:
This case is also known as the Asian worker case. It was brought to the notice of the Supreme Court that children below the age of 14 years are being employed in construction activity, which is dangerous work. Justice PN Bhagwati and Justice Bahrul held that construction activity is obviously and absolutely hazardous and, as per Article 24 of the Indian Constitution, no child below the age of 14 years can be allowed to work in construction.
Francis Coralie Mullin V/S Union Territory of Delhi, 1981 AIR 746, 1981 SCR(2) 516:
The court held that Article 21 states the protection of the health and strength of workers, men, women, and minorities of children versus abuse. According to the court, the occasion and services for children should be developed in a healthy way and order of freedom and educational benefit.
Labourers Working on Salal V/S State of Jammu and Kashmir, 1984 (1) SCALE 680, (1984) 3 SCC 538:
A bench of Justice P Bhagwati and R Mishra stated that no children below the age of 14 years should be employed by any contractor or sub-contractor or any factory under any schemes. In case any child is employed by any contractor or sub-contractor, a quick order for their break should be furnished right away, and an outline report should be provided to the sanction.
Sheela Barse V/S Union Of India, JT 1986 136, 1986 SCALE (2)230:
The court gave the decision that children are a blessing for the state and it is the responsibility of the state to focus on the children with the perspective to guarantee the proper development of their personality. Judiciary had played an important role not only in solving issues but also has regularly attempted to grow and expand the law and to fulfil the desire and dreams of the people who are looking to the judiciary to give life and fulfil the law.
Srirama Babu V/S The Chief Secretary, ILR 1997 KAR 2269, 1998 (1) KarLJ 191:
On 6 June 1997, a bench of Justice V M Kumar observed that This needs a relook, and the abolition of such difference would certainly go a long way in increasing employment potential for grown up and dissuade the employer from employing child labour. The State shall take steps to educate and aware people to prevent child labour and abuse and the state should create an independent department concerned with child welfare the state should also maintain a record of the birth and progress of the children. The State should monitor their education, health, etc progress timely and the state should have these records till they attain 14 years of age. Further, the state shall effective steps for homeless children in the city and towns, and they shall be shifted to after-care homes where these homeless children can be taken proper care of, should be trained, and made useful citizens of the Country.
M.C. Mehta v/s State Of Tamil Nadu And Others, AIR 1997 SC 699, (1996):
On judgment dated 10 December 1996, a bench of Justice Kuldip Singh, B.L. Hansaria, and S.B. Majmudar include payment of compensation amounting to Rs.20,000/- by the offending employer for every child employed by him of the provisions of the Act, giving alternative employment to any adult member of his family in place of the child withdrawn from the hazardous occupation and payment of an amount of Rs.5,000 by the government. The amount collected shall be deposited as a fund to be known as Child Labour Rehabilitation- cum-Welfare Fund.
Bandhua Mukti Morcha, etc. V/S. UOI & Others, 1984 AIR 802, 1984 SCR (2) 67:
On judgment dated 7 May 1997 the Supreme court had given several directions on the identification and rehabilitation of child labour. The court directed the Government. of India to convene a meeting with the State Government's to evolve principles and policies for the progressive elimination of employment of children below 14 years in all the employment sectors.
These directions were
given by the Court in the context of employment of children in the carpet
industries in the state of U.P., most of the children belong to SCs and STs
communities and were brought from Bihar. The Court issued the following
directions to the Government. of UP in this case.
Investigations were made for the conditions of employment of children in hazardous occupation.
Issue such welfare directions as are appropriate for a total prohibition of employment below the age of 14 years.
Provide facilities such as education, health and sanitation, nutritious and hygienic food, etc.
A Conference of State Labour Ministers was held on 7-8 July 1997.
Following were the major conclusions derived from the conference:
Survey in most States/UTs had been completed. The remaining States/UTs had to complete the survey without further delay within the stipulated time frame.
All children of age 6-14 years must receive education upto primary level as a matter of fundamental human rights. The Union Government and State Government and UTs must jointly plan to make this possible.
The State Government should provide the names of employers of defaulting establishments who had not responded to the show cause notice for recovery and who had not deposited the money, to the Supreme Court.
As per the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Labour, Child Labour Rehabilitation-cum-Welfare Funds was in the process of being constituted. The conference suggested that child labour rehabilitation-cum-Welfare Societies should be registered under the chairmanship of the collector and funds should be set up with initial capital shall be paid by the state government.
It was noted with satisfaction that in many cases, several units had been formed at the State Level and committees had been constituted at the District Level to monitor, supervise and coordinate all matters about the implementation of directions issued by the Supreme Court.
Based on the information received from the States/UTs, an affidavit dated 5
December 1997 was filed before the Supreme Court.
The important points made in the said affidavit are as under:
- The first phase of the survey has been completed in all the State governments/UTs except in the state of Nagaland.
- The State Government where employment of child labour in hazardous occupations had been found, have already initiated necessary action for the establishment of the Child Labour Rehabilitation cum-Welfare Fund at the District Level in the accordance with the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Labour. While in some districts, funds have already been collected, in others the same is in the process of being constituted.
- State Government/UTs Administrations of Andhra Pradesh, Chandigarh, Dadra & Nagar Haveli, Daman & Diu, Goa, Haryana, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Mizoram, Orissa, Pondicherry, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal had reported that separate labour cells have been established in the state for ensuring enforcement of various provisions of the Act and monitoring the activities to be taken up in compliance with the directions issued by the court.
- Besides taking action to agree with the directions of the Court. The Central Government. has also initiated action to amend the Child Labour (Prohibition & Regulation) Act 1986, to make it more inflexible and effective, based on suggestions received from several state governments. Necessary amendment proposals were under the active consideration of the government.
For the rehabilitation of child labour, the Government of India initiated the
National Child Labour Project (NCLP) Scheme in 1988. The main focus area of this
scheme was to rehabilitate working children in 12 child labour endemic districts
of the country. Its coverage soon expanded to more than 200 districts within a
few years. Under the NCLP Scheme, children are withdrawn from work and put into
special schools, where they are provided with bridging education, vocational
training, mid-day meal, stipend, health-care facilities, etc., and finally
mainstreamed to the formal education system.
The Ministry of Labour, Government of India, has also set up a National Resource
Centre on Child Labour (NRCCL) at the V. V. Giri National Labour Institute,
Noida in 1993, with the objective of creating a data bank of child labour and
assisting the Central and State Governments, to develop schemes and programs for
eliminating child labour in the country.
Other measures for bringing labour reform and eliminating child labour, made by
the Union Ministry of Labour was in the year 1994, by constituting the National
Authority for Elimination of Child Labour (NAECL), with the sole objective to
withdraw, through the suitable working mechanism, child labour found engaged in
hazardous occupation and rehabilitate them through special schools.
According to the Annual Report of the Ministry of Labour (1999- 2000), the
objective of the NAECL is "to secure convergence of services for providing
education, health and other inputs to children taken out of schools in a
cost-effective manner by pooling the resources of various ministries.
In its sincere endeavours to eliminate child labour in the sequel to the global
program introduced by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in December
1991, India was the first country to sign the Memorandum of Understanding, via,
the Ministry of Labour in the year 1992, and set up a National Steering
Committee (of which the labour Secretary is the Chairmen) to implement the child
labour projects connected with:
- Designing and evaluation of programs for the elimination of child labour;
- Identification of interventions at community and national levels;
- Creation of awareness and social mobilization for securing elimination
of child labour.
During the 11th Plan Period, three Projects viz., INDUS Project, Andhra
Pradesh Phase-II &Karnataka Project was implemented in the country under
ILO-IPEC. Jointly funded by the Ministry of Labour, Government of India, and the
Department of Labour, United States of America (USDOL), the INDUS Child Labour
Project was implemented in ten hazardous sectors in 21 districts across five
states viz. Delhi (NCT Delhi), Maharashtra (Districts of Amravati, Jalna,
Aurangabad, Gondia, and Mumbai Suburban), Madhya Pradesh (Districts of Damoh,
Sagar, Jabalpur, Satna, and Katni), Tamil Nadu (Districts of Kanchipuram,
Thiruvannamalai, Tiruvallur, Namakkal and Virudhunagar) and Uttar
Pradesh(Districts of Moradabad, Allahabad, Kanpur Nagar, Aligarh, and Ferozabad).
The project adopted a participatory method to identify beneficiaries and
enrolling child workers in schools, transitional education centers, and
vocational training centers were seen as a key strategy for the rehabilitation
of child and adolescent workers withdrawn from work. The project was
instrumental in operationalising the public education component in the field.
However, despite such measures and institutional support, the condition of child
labour in India is still in a dismal state of affairs.
Limitation: Reason For Fragmented Implementation Of Laws
The most important factor that has been the reason most often for its improper
implementation has been a paucity of funds. However, there are other sorts of
evidence to show that the system suffered not so much due to lack of funds, but
mostly due to frittering away of scarce resources or by adopting more expensive
measures with lesser outcomes like institutionalization prospects for
rehabilitation. There were other various reasons too, revealed by scrutiny of
the pattern of development and implementation in the child labour reforms.
Prevailing Negative Attitude
The negative attitude of the general public towards children who works in child
labour is one of the most important limitations. This is mainly because of its
natal tie with the criminal justice system. The belief that such children happen
to have traits of criminal behaviour � leads to the difficult task of settling
those children back into society. Hence, at the end of the day, such a
prevailing attitude creates no less significant obstacles in the proper
implementation of the laws related to these children.
Lack Of Organized Pressure
One of the main factors for the improper implementation of child labour laws and
reforms in India has been the lack of organized pressure on the state either
from the beneficiaries of the system or any other group involved in it to
improve the policy or operations.
While the beneficiaries of the system �the children, mostly coming from low
economic and social backgrounds, and also with no political voice, cannot
organize themselves and lobby for the protection of their interests in any
articulated form. Their parents are also in no better position to do so.
Moreover, various voluntary organizations and workers have been involved in the
welfare of children, but have still not evolved any mechanism of cooperation and
coordination among themselves or jointly raise their voices against the gross
injustice done to these children, and a place of priority for them by the state.
Individual instances of taking up the cause of these children have been visible
more or less, but a joint and continuous pressure on the government to brace
itself seriously to ameliorate the conditions of these children is still
missing. The malfunctioning of the state system and bureaucratic rigmarole has
generated cynicism among the social workers and kept them away from the official
Unawareness And Untrained Officials
Given the poor social, economic and educational background of the beneficiaries
of the system, it is to be expected that they would be unaware of the rights,
duties, and obligations of the state vis-�-vis children. However, the existing
study reveals that most law enforcers and officials are ignorant of the concept,
philosophy, and even the law.
In most of the narratives, complaints regarding being beaten up by the authority
in charge and forceful confession of the crime tend to be obvious. This
complaint also states how officials deal with even minor mischief inmates with
All these shows, how inadequate laws have been and how India one of the
signatories of the International Convention, fails to ensure its conformity. A
serious demand for having laws that are more stringently enforced and adequate
training of the law enforcers.
Various studies show all works and services are perceived as welfare activity by
the state, rather than an obligation on part of the state. The priority granted
for fund allocation or implementation is bound to be low due to this perception.
Moreover, despite the declaration by the state in the National Policy on
Children in 1974 that a nation's Children are a supreme 'National Asset',
children are still treated as the subject of welfare. Here in lies the problem.
In the course of this study, it was found that there has been this shift from a
'welfare' to a 'right' approach, yet this shift has not produced any significant
results. The only change one witnessed has been in the form of formulating more
and more policies and Programmes without giving effective teeth. While this
ministry deals with labour, fails to provide much of the required attention to
the issue of child labour.
Governments across the spectrum, from developed nations to many developing
counterparts, have prioritized the removal of children from the labour force,
mandating their attendance in schools. The underlying principle is a firm belief
that employers should be prohibited from engaging child labour, and parents,
irrespective of economic challenges, should not be permitted to deprive their
children of education.
Despite commendable strides in overall social development, India, too, has made
significant progress and implemented essential measures for the protection of
working children. However, the imperative remains to fortify the enforcement
machinery necessary for upholding existing laws on child labour in the country.
The extant legal framework notwithstanding, there is a compelling need to expand
and strengthen the enforcement network. This expansion would not only enhance
the efficacy of current legislation but also serve as a catalyst for
safeguarding the rights of children engaged in both formal and informal labour
By fortifying the enforcement mechanisms, India can more effectively eradicate
child labour, paving the way for the nation's continued progress and ensuring
the well-being and future development of millions of children whose potential is
currently entangled in the complexities of the labour force.
This strategic move aligns with the broader goals of national development and
underscores the nation's commitment to nurturing a generation free from the
shackles of exploitative labour practices.