ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Determinants of Child Labour in India

A Cross-sectional Analysis

This paper aims to explore and analyse both the demand- and supply-side determinants of child labour by performing a cross-sectional analysis in rural and urban areas of select districts across Indian states. Results show that the availability of government schools is an insignificant factor in reducing child labour in the rural areas whereas the urban areas of districts with higher per capita district domestic product have more child labour. Additionally, districts with high labour demand in agriculture and household industries tend to report higher incidence of child labour.

The authors are grateful for the comments received from the anonymous referee and would like to thank them for the valuable and helpful suggestions.

The pervasiveness of child labour is a problem that continues to plague the world at large and developing nations in particular. Child labour is generally necessitated by the poverty of households. There are different factors interlinked that are the causes of this phenomenon. Child labour prevents childrens’ access to education and formal training, as a result of which they are deprived of opportunities to get dignified work as adults. Globally, agriculture is the highest employer of child labour (ILO 2017).

Although the Child and Adolescent Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986 (which was amended in 2016) and the National Child Labour Project Scheme, 1988 have addressed the issue of child labour, the practice is still prevalent. According to International Labour Organization (ILO), 10.1 million children (3.9% of the entire children population) are employed as main or marginal workers (Census of India 2011). According to Census 2011, Uttar Pradesh (UP) has the highest incidence of child labour, where 21.5% (2.18 million children) of the total working children are concentrated. With regard to the difference observed between rural and urban areas in the context of child labour, 4.3% of them are found in the former while 2.9% are in the latter.

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Updated On : 17th Oct, 2022
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