Child labour today is a universal problem which needs prime attention and care to sort out. “Today’s child is tomorrow’s citizen,” this is universally accepted truth.
But it is also a universal fact that children today form an important section of this labour force in all sectors of employment in all the less developed and developing Countries. Hence, it is rightly observed by the International Labour Organization that the child labour is a phenomenon deeply rooted in social and economic conditions. It has existed in one form or another form from time immemorial and existed to varying extents, through most of history. With the growth and expansion of factories and industries in the sub-continent beginning in the mid-nineteen century, new avenues for employment were created resulting in a gradual migration of the child labour force from rural areas to mills and factories located primarily in urban areas.
In the beginning of industrial period the employer were less concerned about the needs of their employees, the working hours were too long, wages were much below the subsistence level, and the workers employment conditions were unsatisfactory. Children were exploited by employers by not giving appropriate wages and taking too much work from them. Child labour in India is socio-economic phenomenon arising essentially out of poverty and lack of development and it is a cheap labour, which is preferred by many industrialists. Children in almost all societies do one kind of work or another. Child labour is prevailing in the World in the form of agricultural labour, industrial labour, domestic service, street children, brick kilns, self employed at hotels, tea stalls etc. Child labour has several negative impacts i.e. loss of quality childhood, health problems, mental trauma etc.
According to 2011,Census Data, released by Government of India, the number of children working in the 5-14 years age group stood at 43.53 lakhs in India.