Child Labour & Pandemic

  • IASbaba
  • June 19, 2021
  • 0
UPSC Articles
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  • GS-1: Social Empowerment;  Poverty & Developmental Issues
  • GS-2: Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and State

Child Labour & Pandemic

Context: This year is supposed to be the International Year for Elimination of Child Labour, whereby countries and networks come together in committing themselves to address the root causes of child labour. 

Some of the root causes of Child Labour are

  • Poverty
  • Social marginalisation,
  • Lack of alternative or safe livelihoods for parents
  • Adequate child protection mechanisms 
  • Lack of quality education.

Pandemic, Education and Child Labour

  • School Closures pushing Children into Labour: With 1.5 million schools closed for the last one year and more. In 2021, says UNESCO, 24 million children may not find their way back to schools after the pandemic. Any child who is not in school is a potential child labourer
  • Child Marriages: India witnessed an increase in the number of child marriages since 2020. Girls are further at risk – married off early, these child brides are also often child labourers. Save The Children puts half a million more girls at risk of early marriage
  • Abuse & Trafficking: Closure of schools and pandemic induced poverty has increased the vulnerability of children especially the girl child to abuse and trafficking 
  • Reduced Education Budget: Despite knowing the impact of Pandemic on education system & thus on Children’s future, the Union budget has Rs 5,000 crore less to spend on education for children this year.

Way Ahead

There has to be relentlessly campaigns for 

  • Increased allocation for education, at least 6% of GDP, 
  • Better infrastructure in primary schools
  • Inclusion of breakfast along with mid-day meals
  • Remedial measures for loss of learning 
  • Transfer of monies to vulnerable states and local governments on a priority basis.

Connecting the dots:

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