Officials in India claim to be ramping up efforts to reduce the instances of child labor. According to the United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of International Labor Affairs, child workers are being exploited and used as cheap labor in many of the country’s industries. The findings of the study explained that the child workers are divided into three different workforces: agriculture, industry and services.

 

Child Labor Continues To Plague India

The 2011 findings found that more than 4 million children, ages 5 to 14, spend more than six months out of the year working in India. This means that these children spend more time working than in school or enjoying their childhood. The Indian government vowed to improve these dismal conditions, but the numbers remain disappointing. So, where do these children come from? Many of these children are forced to work to pay off a family debt. Others are manipulated into these situations because they have no family to turn to. Even more are kidnapped or sold as slaves. Whatever the reason may be, child labor is illegal and these employers should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. However, the country’s legal system remains backed up and some cases may never result in prosecution. As the country is tightening child labor laws, the abundance of child workers continues to plague the country.

 

Child Labor Exists In Three Industries

Statistics have shown that there are three industries that seem to have more instances of child labor. The agriculture sector has benefited from these young workers. Many work under farmers, who impose difficult standards upon them. Tasks, such as picking cotton, harvesting sugarcane and gathering rice, cause these children to work long hours doing very tough manual labor.

Other children are forced to work in a manufacturing industry. There are a huge number of jobs in this sector. These jobs are the one that the rest of the world usually connects with child laborers, such as sewing garments, weaving fabrics and producing shoes. The New York Times reports that the majority of Indian rugs in the United States were made by child workers held against their will. In fact, carpet weaving is a big industry in India and the business owners have been corrupted into believing that more profit can be made by exploiting these children workers.

The services industry is another big user of child labor. Many children are taken out of school to work in hotels, sell food items or other domestic tasks. Carpet cleaning is also another business that has bought into the idea of abusing child workers. Children, many kidnapped or sold as slaves, are forced to work as carpet cleaners for businesses and homes. While the job may sound easy, it is not. There are a number of methods used by these workers to properly clean. These valuable carpets can not be cleaned by simple vacuuming or steaming. One technique used is immersion cleaning. This technical process involves the carpet being shampooed and rinsed a number of times. Another method involves using a rug spinner to help get rid of all the water used to clean it. As you can see, these jobs are not easy and use a tremendous amount of energy.

 

Putting An End To Child Labor

Children workers in India are forced to abandon any chance of gaining an education. This means that as adults that are not equipped with the tools to benefit society or provide sufficiently for their family. This creates a vicious circle of passing the life of child laborer onto their children. The Indian government promises that the numbers of child workers are declining. But, the harsh reality reveals that many of the country’s children continue to give their lives up for the greed and profit of many of India’s businesses.

 

By: Jennifer Livingston 

 

Note: Al-Rasub is not responsible for writer opinion, figures and facts.

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