Since 2002, every year, June 12 is being celebrated as World Day against Child Labour, an initiative of International Labour Organisation of UNO, throughout the world to increase awareness on child labour. It is a movement against any form of child labour. It is celebrated to bring to the attention of governments, industries, civic workers, local authorities and employers about the risks of employing children for various activities, especially hazardous and unsafe environment. Child labour is against the rights of children and it deprives them of education, freedom, health and leisure. Many children from economically weaker sections of the society are the tdargets for child labour. Many a time, these families, who do not have any family planning in mind, send their children to work to earn some money to support the family. The main areas of work for these children are automobile, fireworks, hotels, etc. On the other side, employers put them in work as they can manage paying less or meagre wages to these children. In other cases, kidnapped or abducted children are forced to involve in prostitution, drug trafficking and even in armed conflicts. As children are sensitive and innocent, they should not be used in such activities and opportunities are to be provided to them to grow into responsible citizens of the world, instead of getting labour work done by them, which may turn them, in some cases into anti-social elements due to lack of proper education. Children should not become a burden to the society. In 2015, Indian government completely banned employing children below 14 years in labour activities, excepting in family enterprises or entertainment industry and children between 14 and 18 years should not be employed in hazardous industries. According to law, first time offence by employer to child labour is Rs 50,000 and second or subsequent offence, it is minimum imprisonment of one year, which may extend. Parents from second offence onwards will be penalized with a fine of Rs 10,000. Awareness about the child labour laws is need to be increased, as one can see children being employed in many activities of our society.
Dr S V N Vijayendra, Mysuru