The problem of child labour spread its wings like a dragon and take all the world in its embrace. In India, conditions are very dreadful and challenging.

Child labour in India can be defined as work performed by children below 14 years of age in India than either endanger their health and safety interfere or prevents education and keeps them away from play and other activities important to their development.

Causes. India is an overpopulated country. Overpopulation has given birth to problems like poverty, illiteracy etc. Majority of Indian people are illiterate and large ratio of people live below poverty line and they are unable to meet their daily basic needs. The poor families have a number of children but with no means to sustain them therefore the children are the main sufferers.

The poverty-ridden society has led to much social evil, one of such evils is child labour. Due to the lack of resources children are underprivileged and not avail to education opportunities. From the early years of their age, they are plunge into sloppy jobs. In both conditions, their health and innocence have been exploited. The age at which the children of affluent families go to school, the children of poor families found in the households, factories and on roads trying to earning their livelihood.

The poor thinking of people also is responsible for this problem. People belonging to some caste and classes prefer engaging their children in their family work instead of sending them out for studying as they believe that they have to handle their family work only, so what is the use of learning different things.

child labour in india

Due to child labour in India childhood get lost which is considered as a most important and conducive period of learning and child labour is corrupting the lives of many precious children every day.

Hard long working hours of labour chunk the children word of imagination and dissipate their creative skills. As a result of this they start to suffer from various skin diseases, asthma, rupture of eardrums and their disturbed childhood also drive them to commit a crime. Numerous of them suffer sexual abuse and many are impel into prostitution. They are castigated not for their own fault but for their elder’s fault.


It became very necessary to stop child labour from spreading its wings further. For this purpose, the government of India has expanded the list of prohibited under the CHILD LABOUR (PROHIBITION AND REGULATION)ACT 1986 which came into force on Oct. 10 2006.

The year 1979 was declared as the international year of children. In this year various activities were undertaken at regional, national, international levels for the improvement of the life of the children.

The Constitution of India also confers the provisions for the protection of children in order to eliminate the problem of child labour. Article 24 provides a safeguard to the children below the age of 14 years against their exploitation which has to occur against them in factories or mines or in a hazardous activity.

Article 39(e) direct the state to construct its policy for the purpose of securing the health and strength of the tender age of children and protect them from being abused.

By 86th amendment of the Indian Constitution provides the right to education for the children of tender age becomes a fundamental right. After that, no child can be deprived of education.

Apart from the constitutional provisions, the legislature has enacted the various statutes that prohibit the employment of children below a certain age which are as follow




The employment of children as domestic help or servant at restaurants, hotels, other recreations centres has been added in the enlisted occupation prohibited under child labour (prohibition and regulations) act 1986.

The judiciary’s contribution to preventing child labour in India.

People’s Union for democratic rights v union of India

MC Mehta v Union of India

Bandhua Mukti Morcha v Union of India

It was held by the Hon’ble supreme court that children below the age of 14 years cannot be employed in any hazardous industries and there should be a child labour rehabilitation welfare fund in which the offending employer should deposit Rs. 20,000


Despite the rectification of international convention, availability of the constitution provisions, enactments, judicial decisions social evil of child labour could not be curbed. Now this to high time to make investment in children because they will an asset for the future of the country.

Article by – Adv. Pooja Singla (P&H High Court)

Leave a Comment