|Labour & Employment Department, Government of Gujarat|
|HomeSchemes Child Labour State Action planChapter – 1 Concept of Child Labour |
Concept of Child Labour
|It is very difficult to define child labour, even not defined by the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986. But, for the understanding of concept of ‘child labour’ let us examine some of the important definitions – |
The Encyclopedia of Social Science defines child labour as -“When the business of wage earning or of participation in itself or family support conflicts directly or indirectly with the business of growth and education the result is child labour.”
According to Amartya Sen , Child Labour is intimately connected with non schooling of children. The same definition is also adopted by the Government of Andhra Pradesh, according them - “any child out of school is a child labour.” It can be said that intention of Andhra Pradesh Government is very clear to eliminate child labour so it notified that those children not attending school can be considered as child labour.
But according to International Labour Organization - “child labour includes children prematurely leading adult lives, working long hours for low wages, under conditions damaging to their health and to their physical and mental development sometimes separated from their families, frequently deprived of meaningful educational and training opportunities that could open up for them a better future.” Through another project ILO defines that, “child labour refers to the work that deprive children of their childhood, their potential, and their dignity and that is harmful to their physical and mental development.”2
In other words, it refers to work that is mentally, physically, socially, or morally dangerous and harmful to children, and interfere with their schooling (i) by depriving them of the opportunity to attend school, (ii) by obligating them to leave school permanently, or (iii) by requiring them to attempt to combine school attendance with exclusively long or heavy work.
After analyzing above definitions, it can be said that all the work done by children should not be classified as child labour. Where the participation of children in work is not affecting their health and personnel development or interferes with their schooling is generally regarded as something positive. Activities such as helping parents around the home, assisting family business, or earning pocket money outside school hours and during school holidays, should not be treated as child labour. Such activities contribute to children’s development and to the welfare of their families; they provide them with skill and experience, and help in preparing them to be productive members of society during their adult life.
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This page is last updated on : 14/6/2013