Group Discussion on Child Labour

Child labour is a serious social and economic problem in our country. This GD guide attempts to bring before you some statistics, information on some child labour laws, some quote, possible Group Discussion topics on Child Labour, its causes and steps taken to curb.

We hope that this guide helps you in doing well at any Group Discussion related to Child Labour.

Facts About Child Labour

  • As per UNICEF, there are three forms of child labour:  
    i. Within the family - where children are engaged in household tasks without payment.
    ii. Within the family, but outside the home - Child labourers like domestic maids, migrant labourers and agricultural labourers.
    iii. Outside the family - like working in restaurants, offices etc.
  • As per 2001 census, children in the age group 5-14 years constituted 10.2 million of the economically active children's work force.
  • As per ILO's World Report on Child Labour and CRY's analysis of the 2011 census, 1 out of 11 children in India is a victim of child labour
  • More than half of the 5 million working children in India are concentrated in the states of Bihar, UP, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and MP.
  • Teens between 15 and 17 years of age working in life threatening/risky/hazardous industries form 62.8% of the overall child labour population.

Laws Banning Child Labour

  • Fundamental Rights in the Constitution prohibit child labour below 14 years of age in factories, mines or hazardous employment under A24.
  • A21-A states that State shall provide free and compulsory education for children between 6-14 years of age
  • Factories Act of 1948 states that children below 14 years cannot be employed in a factory.
  • The Mines Act of 1952 prohibits employment of child labour too.
  • Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act 1986 prohibits employment of children below 14 years of age.
  • Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection) of Children Act (2000) has made employment of children a punishable offence.

Possible Group Discussion Topics on Child Labour you can expect to see

1. Can a ban on Child Labour eradicate poverty?
2. Can Initiatives like Pencil Portal Eradicate Child Labour?
3. Curbing Child Labour: Are We Taking Enough Actions?
4. Child Labour - Social or Economic Problem
5. Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Amendment Bill 2012: Pros and Cons
6. Should Child Participation in Reality TV shows be Banned?
7. Can a Complete Ban on Child Labour Solve the Problem?
8. Child Artists: Unnoticed Victims of Child Labour
9. Law can be the instrument of change in combating Child Labour
10. Can a one child policy eliminate Child Labour?
11. Child Labour is Caused by Poverty
12. Firecracker Industry Employing Children: Can a Ban Work?
13. Banning Child Labour Will Push Families into Poverty.
14. Can Education Curb Child Labour?
15. Social Change in Mores is needed to eradicate Child Labour.
16. Child Labour deprives children childhood?

Quotes on This Topic

In India, innocent and poor children are victims of child labor.
- Nobel winner and Child's Right Activist Malala Yousafzai

You can't regulate child labor. You can't regulate slavery. Some things are just wrong.
- Documentary Filmmaker Michael Moore

Causes of Child Labour

  • The major factors contributing to child labour include
    i. Poverty and illiteracy of child's parents,
    ii. Lack of awareness about impact of child labour,
    iii. Lack of access to quality education and skill training,
    iv. Unemployment and under-employment of adults,
    v. Cultural values of family and surrounding society.
  • Out of school children or those at risk of dropping out can be targets of child labour.
  • Bonded child labour is often due to family indebtedness
  • Girls from socially marginalised backgrounds are more likely to be forced into work
  • Conflicts, droughts and other natural disasters can also be contributing factors.
  • Rural poverty and urban migration can also lead to child trafficking.
  • Many MNCs flout laws and legal statutes to employ child labour.

Steps Taken to Curb Child Labour

  • Midday meals are being introduced to attract children to attend school
  • Many laws are in place to safeguard the future of children.
  • NGOs are working to stop child education and child labour, spreading awareness with the aid of government and media
  • In 2016, the Modi government introduced comprehensive anti trafficking laws and helpline numbers to report child labour
  • International projects like IPEC's TACKLE (Tackling child labour through education) was launched  in 2008 by EC and ILO.
  • Country level engagement and assistance to reduce child labour/CLEAR project by ILO
  • Acts such as Juvenile Justice Act (2000) and Right to Education Act (2009) have cleared the decks for combating child labour.

From education to monetary support, laws to regulations, successive governments have tried to eliminate child labour. This is a social evil with profound economic, social, psychological and welfare repercussions. Child labour can only be eliminated if the laws are followed and big MNCs as well as the entertainment industry stops promoting this evil too.

We hope that this GD guide was helpful to you in seeing through the expected topics and preparing yourself for a GD on Child Labour.