Child Labor in India

by V Mercier on February 2, 2016 - 2:29pm

a. Topic & Type of Paper / Justification of Social Issue

The following paper will discuss the topic of child labor in modern India.  This essay will be analytical and comparative.  This essay will compare the negative effects of child labor to the immediate necessary outcome it can bring for some children and their families, such as an additional source of income for extremely poor families.  This paper also aims to identify the causes for the use of children in the Indian workforce.  Finally, it will attempt to identify possible solutions to the ongoing problem.

The widespread use of child labor in India is a social issue as it demonstrates a clear gap between the social ideal (all children possess the right to receive an education, as well as being protected from any form of abuse) and the social reality (children are exploited and forced to work in dangerous conditions).

As a result of several hours of work in dangerous and unsanitary factories, many children in India fall victim to illnesses and injuries.  While at work, millions of Indian children aged from 5-17 years old cannot receive a decent education which will impact their mental development for the rest of their lives (Physicians for Human Rights Child Rights Group, 2003, p. 32).  Some causes of child labor include poverty, parental illiteracy, and lack of education.  Difficulty of access to school establishments, as well as parental neglect or ignorance of hazardous effects of child labor are also contributing factors that allow the problem to grow (Shrivastava & Kumar, 2015, p. 189).  Government laws concerning child labor have been implemented but have proven to be mostly ineffective (Shrivastava & Kumar, 2015, p. 189). 

b. 2-3 Major areas of interest / Important questions & associated with social science disciplines

-How can the Indian government successfully implement laws that protect the rights of children and how can the international community get involved in the resolution of the problem? (Political science)

-How does child labor affect the socio-economic situation of local communities around India? (Sociology, Economics)

-How significant is the role of child labor in India’s global economy? (Economics, Political science)

c. Who / what groups are involved in this issue?

Child labor in India affects children who are aged between 5 to 17 years old.  The issue can be examined at a community level, observing how it contributes to the socio-economic condition of several regions in India.  The government is also involved in the social issue that is child labor. 

d. Sources:

Physicians for Human Rights Child Rights Group. (2003). Child labour in India: a health           and human rights perspective. The Lancet: Extreme Medicine, 362, 32-33.       Retrieved from Academic Search Elite database.

Shrivastava, S., & Kumar, R. (2015). The Hidden Factory: Child Labour in Bihar (India).          International Journal of Multidisciplinary Approach and Studies, 2(2), 186-191.             Retrieved from             Academic Search Elite database.


I think the topic of child labor in India is very interesting and worthy of discussion! I think it is good that you will develop the aspect of the education children miss when they are working. I also think it is interesting that you will examine the implementation of laws against child labor in India and the reasons why said laws are not enforced. I believe an interesting element you could add to your paper would be the economic theory of supply and demand, for the more people in developed countries want cheap clothes, the more children need to work to make these clothes in India.

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