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More than 200 million children worldwide are still working as child labourers and a staggering 115 million at least, are subject to its worst forms. As per the National Census 2011, there are close to 10.1 million child labourers in India, in the age group of 5 to 14 years.

About 1.4 million child labourers in India in the age group of 7-14 years can’t write their names, analysis of Census data by  JOYFULGEMS and You reveals. This means one in three child labourers in the said age group are illiterate. This is the grim reality of children who work for more than six months in a year. Even for children who support the family economy by working for less than six months in a year, which is very common in a country like India, the situation is equally, if not more, worse. A shocking 2 million of these marginal workers have compromised their education as well.

There is a high potential of early school leavers and those not learning at school to remain outside the world of employment. These children when they grow remain at a risk of not having secured jobs and thus remain trapped in the intergenerational cycle of poverty and deprivation. It is imperative to relook at what we as a nation are investing in our children’s education.  We are approaching 6th Anniversary of Right to Free and Compulsory Education and it is crucial that state reviews its strategies in order to reverse this trend.

13 year old Sobuj works in a textile factory in conditions of extreme heat and noise. For this he earns about 1200 Taka a month (£10.00 GBP).
  • 10.13 million child labourers between 5-14 years in India (2011 Census data)
  • Child labour in 2011 has decreased by around 20% from 2001 Census Figures
  • There are 22.87 million working children in India between 15-18 years.
  • As per 2011 Census, 1 in 11 children are working in India (5-18 years)
  • 80% of the child labour in India is concentrated in rural areas
  • 168 million children are estimated to be engaged in Child Labour around the world (ILO, 2012) that means every 17th working child in the world is in India

JOYFULGEMS’s efforts towards the prevention of child labour include:

  • Identifying the root causes which force families and communities to allow children to be engaged in labour
  • Addressing these underlying issues by interacting with parents, community leaders and children’s collective where the importance of child rights and the damaging effects of child labour are discussed
  • Empowering communities with the knowledge to demand for proper implementation of employment schemes, food security and access to all government provisions
  • In instances of child trafficking and children forced into labour, JOYFULGEMS and grassroots partners work on rescue, repatriation and rehabilitation of children through child protection networks under the Juvenile Justice Care & Protection Act and the Integrated Child Protection Scheme
  • JOYFULGEMS and its partners work to create and strengthen ‘Children’s Collectives’. These forums create a platform for school-going children to play an important role in influencing children who are out of school to get enrolled/re-enrolled. They are also instrumental in voicing their opinions to parents, panchayats, government bodies and decision makers on issues related to child labour and the need for education.

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