Child Labour Today
Child labor is a very complicated development issue, effecting human society all over the world. It is a matter of grave concern that children are not receiving the education and leisure which is important for their growing years, because they are sucked into commercial and laborious activities which is meant for people beyond their years. According to the statistics given by ILO and other official agencies 73 million children between 10 to 14 years of age re employed in economic activities all over the world. The figure translates into 13.2 of all children between 10 to 14 being subjected to child labor.
Child labor is most rampant in Asia with 44.6 million or 13% percent of its children doing commercial work followed by Africa at 23.6 million or 26.3% which is the highest rate and Latin America at 5.1 million that is 9.8%.
In India 14.4 % children between 10 and 14 years of age are employed in child labor. in Bangladesh 30.1%, in China 11.6%,in Pakistan 17.7%, in Turkey 24%, in Cote D’lvoire 20.5%, in Egypt 11.2%, in Kenya 41.3% , in Nigeria 25.8%, in Senegal 31.4%, in Argentina 4.5%, in Brazil 16.1%, in Mexico 6.7%, in Italy 0.4% and in Portugal 1.8%. The above figures only give part of the picture. No reliable figures of child workers below 10 years of age are available, though they comprise a significant amount. The same is true of children in the former age group on whom no official data is available. If it was possible to count the number of child workers properly, and the number of young girls occupied in domestic labor taken into account – the figure will emerge as hundreds of million.
Child labour is also prevalent in rich and industrialized countries, although less compared to poor nations. For example there are a large of children working for pay at home, in seasonal cycles, for street trade and small workshops in Southern Europe. India is a glaring example of a nation hounded by the evil of child labor. It is estimated that there are 60 to 115 million working children in India- which was the highest in 1996 according to human rights watch.
The problems coming from a centrally planned to market economy has led to the creation of many child workers in central and eastern Europe. Same is the case in America. The growth of the service sector, increasing provision of part time jobs and the need for flexible work force has given birth to a big market for child workers here.
Historically the working force of child workers is more in rural areas compared to urban settings. Nine out of ten village children are employed in agriculture or household industries and craftwork. In towns and cities children are more absorbed in service and trading sectors rather that marketing. This is due to the rapid urbanization of the modern world. Survey done by experimental statisticians of ILO in India, Indonesia and Senegal have revealed that child labor under the age of fourteen takes place in family enterprises mostly, with the exception of Latin America. Child labor is also found to be gender specific, with more boys than girls employed in laborious activities. But this is also because it is difficult to take a count of girls working in households.