Neha Mehandiratta

Faculty, Surya School of Business Management

Child labour is work that harms children or keeps them away from attending school. Around the world and in the U. S., growing gaps between rich and poor in recent decades have forced millions of young children out of school and into work. The International Labour Organization estimates that 215 million children between the ages of 5 and 17 currently work under conditions that are considered illegal, hazardous or extremely exploitative. Underage children work at all sorts of jobs around the world, usually because they and their families are extremely poor. Large numbers of children work in commercial agriculture, fishing, manufacturing, mining, and domestic service. Some children work in illicit activities like the drug trade and prostitution.

Child labour involves following characteristics:

  • Violates a nation’s minimum wage laws
  • Threatens children’s  physical, mental or emotional well-being
  • Involves intolerable abuse, such as child slavery, child trafficking, forced labour, or illicit activities
  • Prevents children from going to school



Initiatives Taken By Unicef (The United Nations Children’s Fund)

UNICEF uses the Convention on Rights of the Child (CRC) ,which articulates child labour as “any work that is likely to be hazardous or to interfere with the child’s education, or to be harmful to the child’s health or physical, spiritual, moral or social development”, as the foundation of its work in India.

In line with this framework, UNICEF India, in partnership with central and state governments, as well as with NGOs and other key groups, is implementing initiatives aimed to build a protective environment in which children can live and develop according to their fundamental rights. Translated into action, this approach led to a programme whose main scope is the progressive elimination of ALL forms of child labour to comply with the CRC ratified by India in December, 1992.

UNICEF hopes the World Day against Child Labour (WDACL), which is observed worldwide on or around 12 June each year, serves as a catalyst for the growing worldwide movement against child labour.

Surya world is an academic institution. It provides education to children and increases their knowledge and makes them capable to choose their career. Different courses are also provided like management courses and engineering courses. Committing their support to UNICEF’s MEENA, an initiative to save the girl child, Surya World observed National Girl Child Day in Chandigarh by organizing a painting competition and a rally among the slum dwelling girl children of the nearby Kajheri village. In a tie-up with Society for Social Health (NGO) working for the needs of the slum girl children, Surya World oriented the participants about the rights of the Girl child. On this occasion cash prizes were given to the winning entries of the painting competition.