I, washing clothes early morning at a home and the master yelling for no reason; the day passes and there is nothing to quench the thirst and nothing like a breakfast or lunch; an evening at a roadside stall, serving tea and coffee amidst the rings of smoke from cigarettes in the hands of some people who have a family, a child of the same age as mine; a cold night with piteous supper; suddenly the roof leaks and the rain water drops down on my head– and that is when this dream ends. This dream is nothing less than a nightmare. And this nightmare is the reality of thousands of lives.
Child labour is something against which the society is fighting since ages and ironically it is something which the society itself is letting to prevail since ages. Across the globe one in six children between the age of five to fourteen are employed in work instead of being where they should be; in the classroom.
When children are forced to work they are not only denied their right to an education and to a childhood and leave them unprotected, with their health and safety immensely vulnerable, but also undermine the opportunities for adult employment and decent wages. Lack of education is not only a cause, but also a consequence of social inequalities reinforced by discrimination. Around the world, millions of children are working in slavery, prostitution and pornography, illicit activities and household services.
Children have the right to education at least until the age they are allowed to work which is fifteen. In addition efforts must be made to remove all barriers to local schools as well as ensuring the necessary financial and infrastructural support for the provision of quality education.
Government has a duty to ensure that they do not permit, or allow child labour to exist within their state. Furthermore they have a duty to ensure that state agencies, corporate bodies as well as their suppliers and trading partners worldwide, are fully compliant with the Convention on the Rights of the Child and other international agreements protecting the rights of the child.
As part of their corporate social responsibility, all transnational and other business enterprises using child labour should create and implement a plan to remove children from their workforce, including their supply-chain, and enroll them in full time education. Companies are becoming increasingly aware of the need to tackle child labour in their supply chains as it not only strengthens their reputation and brand recognition, but also builds their future workforce and broadens their consumer base.
Education is something that can change the whole world. It can abolish the concept of child labour and abolishment of child labour can change the situations in education. Both seem interlinked. But this link needs to be surely broken. Now the reader will think- How? Maybe by changing the situations as such that the world forgets that there can be something called Child Labour.