The United Nations introduced the observation of World Day against Child Labour every year on June 12. The day is meant to raise awareness about child labour worldwide.
According to data released by the UNICEF in 2017, 12% of all children in India actively engage in child labour,
and more than 200 million children across the world participate in some form of labour.
While some children are forced to drop out from schools to help impoverished parents at home, many are forced into crime rackets, and others have never stepped in a school because of extreme poverty.
The theme of this year’s observation is, ‘Children shouldn’t work in fields, but on dreams.’
The observation of World Day against Child Labour began in 2002, and the main goal is to decrease the demand for child labour and to create awareness.
International Labour Organisation (ILO) believes that the elimination of societal evils and reducing poverty can contribute largely to solving the problem from scratch.
India has come a long way in tackling this problem, but there is still a long way to go.
Acts like the Child Labour Act, 1986 Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009 are a step in the right direction against child labour.
To effectively combat child labour, the Centre, in 2016, amended the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986.
While the amendment seeks to completely ban child labour, it allows children to render help in “family enterprises” and allows adolescents to work in certain occupations not considered hazardous.
Experts and members of several NGOs have expressed several concerns about child labour and the inadequacy of the government’s response to it.