[Anti-Child Labour Day Special] Child Labour: Causes and Legal prospectus by Supriti Bhargava [Intern Post]

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Child Labour takes place when young children are forced to work and earn money at the age when they are expected to study, laugh, enjoy their innocent phase of life. This kind of evil activity leads to the exploitation of children in various forms like mental, physical, social, and sexual and so on. This kind of evil activity should be thrown out from the root. Child Labor is extra-ordinarily hazardous for upcoming society because children are getting mentally abuse, physically abuse and morally abuse which leads to a big distraction in their life and this may lead to a wrong selection of path which can destroy their life.

Background of child labour

From the time of British India, there are a large number of children were forced to work as labour as the demand for cheap labour is high. Many companies are recruiting children as labour because they demand fewer wage. Moreover, there is a better utilization in a factory environment with a lack of knowledge of their basic rights and possessed higher trust levels.
This practice of child labour even continued in the post-Independence India, though the government continued to take legislative measures against child labour. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights passed in 1948, engulfs the basic human rights and needs of children for proper development and growth in their younger years. Article 24 of the Indian Constitution bans the involvement of children below the age of 14 in factories, mines and other hazardous employment. Article 21A and Article 45 promise to impart free and compulsory education to all children between the ages of 6 and 14.
The Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act enacted in 1986, prohibited children less than the age of 14 years, from being employed as child labour in hazardous employment. Significantly in the year 2009, India passed the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act (RTE). More recently, the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Amendment Act, 2016, passed by Parliament, prohibits “the engagement of children in all occupations and of adolescents in hazardous occupations and processes”. The Act also imposes a strict penalty towards the person who employs or permits adolescents to work under them.
Nevertheless, child labour has now led to an alarming segment not only in India but throughout the world.

The Cause of Child Labor

  • Unplanned family members,
  • Alcoholic father neglecting their responsibility,
  • Due to the death of parents through accidents,
  • Riot, sickness, war or by any natural disaster.
  • The child with no guardian as they can’t justify their right path.

Eventually, if there is a gradual increase in child labour, it may lead the nations and societies in the fields of terrorism, criminals, prostitution, and many other criminals professions. Now it’s become compulsory to for every government of the nation that they must strict towards tackling the situation of child labour.

Various laws but they need to be implicated effectively 

Apart from the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986, the Indian Constitution has engulfed various provisions against child labour such as:
According to Article 24 of the Indian Constitution, no child below the age of 14 years shall be employed to work in any factory, mines and hazardous place.
As per Article 39(f) of Indian Constitution, adolescence and youth children are to be protected against exploitation.
The Factories Act of 1948 prevents the work of children below the age of 14 years in any factory.
The Mines Act of 1952 prevents the work of children below 18 years of age in a mine.
Indian Penal Code, such as the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection) of Children Act-2000, and the Child Labour (Prohibition and Abolition) Act-1986 plays an important role in India in order to prevent the practice of child labour. Unfortunately, these laws and regulations have not been properly enforced.


This judgment is treated as the historic judgment on child labour, which elaborated the current scenario of child labour in India. It silhouettes the vision of Constitution with respect to children. The judgment highlighted the relation between poverty and child labour and also shed light on how the state has failed to eradicate child labour and its lack of zeal to deal with it. The judgment also deliberated on possible solutions to emanate the child labour.


For putting an end to child labour, every person in the society should work collectively in order to achieve 2019 theme: CHILDREN SHOULDN’T WORK IN FIELD, BUT ON DREAMS! As a matter of fact, every single citizen should take a promise to never employ child as a worker, rather prevent others too from doing so. We should hereby create an understanding amongst people employing child labourers and the parents sending who are sending their children to work. It’s our duty to provide our children with a happy childhood that they are able to enjoy the best part of their lives with a merry and carefree attitude. Only by taking comprehensive steps, the Government and people of India can eliminate all forms of child labour by 2025.

Ms. Supriti Bhargava is law student at Amity University, MP and presently interns with MyLawman. She can be reached at [email protected]

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