Right from studying at a reputed institution to working in hazardous factories children suffer mental, physical, and psychological abuse everywhere. But they cannot express themselves and these situations turn them into depressed beings which later results in reflecting the similar situations on the society. As a citizen, we appreciate your concern for such lively souls and we expect you to understand the situation and come together to make the situation better for these little ones while protecting child rights and safeguarding their future.
What is child abuse?
Firstly, child abuse or mistreatment could be physical, sexual, or psychological mistreatment. It could also include neglecting or avoiding a child or children, by a caregiver or parent.
Consequently, child abuse may actually or potentially affect a child and can occur in their home, any organization, schools or communities the child comes in contact with. As a rule, any sort of child abuse violates child rights among which child sexual abuse is the worst of all the abuses. So, it is a serious matter. Hence, we need to take immediate actions.
What causes child Labour in India?
In India, Millions of children face child labour. The causes are poverty and lack of care along with resources. It also includes high illiteracy rates due to minimum education, unemployment, overpopulation, and more. Moreover, we can change the situation through awareness and taking actions.
Facts and stats of the child labour and abuse 2019
- According to the 2011 Census, the total child population in India from the age group (5-14) years is 259.6 million. Out of which, 10.1 million (4% of total child population) works either as ‘main worker’ or as ‘marginal worker’.
- 200+ million children today work as child labourers. Approximately, 120 million involved in hazardous activities. Out of which 73 million children are below 10 years.
- In India, one child is sexually abused every 15 minutes.
- On average child abuse kills 5 children every day.
- As per the analysis, 1 in 3 girls & 1 in 5 boys will be sexually abused before reaching 18 years of age.
- 68% of children get abused by known people.
- Most of the cases are reported for children between 5 to 11 years of age.
- Delinquency and crime, often stemming from substance abuse, are more prevalent in adolescence with a history of child sexual abuse.
- India has a huge number of 33 million child labourers between the age of 15-18 years.
- 80 Percent of child labour happens in rural India. While there are many children working in urban areas, but the most depressing scenarios of labour circle is for rural children.
- The agriculture, forestry, and fishing industries contribute to 62 Percent of complete working children population in the country.
- The largest number of child labourers in the country come from Uttar Pradesh which constitutes a total of over 6 Lakh children as per the Census 2011.
What are the impacts of child labour and abuse on children?
- Child labour constitutes to maximum exploitation around the world. Their involvement in such harmful activities not only spoils their childhood but it actually takes away the opportunity to learn. The worst types include slavery, trafficking, sexual exploitation and hazardous work that put children at risk of death, injury or disease.
- The effects of hazardous child labour vary from skin disease to asthma too (in the worst case) fatal injuries. Mental and physical abuse along with behavioural problems are an outcome of hazardous child labour.
- Some injuries or illnesses from hazardous work might cause a permanent disability. Very often the causes of child labour can be seen in adulthood.
- Besides immediate injuries, skin problems, impaired growth and malnutrition, child labour links to poverty, lack of education and poor health.
- General child injuries and abuses like cuts, burns and lacerations, fractures, tiredness and dizziness, excessive fears and nightmares.
- Physical abuse involves punishments, mistreatments – emotionally or physically, or even blaming, verbal abuse, non-acceptance, humiliation or passing bad comments.
- Emotional neglect such as deprivation of family love and affection, resulting in loneliness, and hopelessness.
- Avoiding physically with lack of food, shelter, clothing or medical treatment.
- No access to education results in lesser knowledge and understanding which ultimately adds to continuous poverty.
What action can we take to improve this current situation?
- Primarily, Governments, trade unions, businesses, international organizations, communities, employers, teachers, parents, children and you – we all should help eradicate child abuse.
- Support education of children by providing or sponsoring at least one child if you can.
- Also, help children solve their problems or guide them emotionally through speeches in schools, for example.
- Provide children with stationeries at schools, etc.
- Take immediate action if you see a child under 14 yrs of age working somewhere.
- Spread awareness and protect the girl child from any kind of sexual abuses.
- Encourage their mental growth by counselling, etc.
- Join child protection organizations and NGO’s.
Hence we all need to come together to save our future from the disasters that impact a lifetime of these children and help build a better world for every one of us.