Regarding to the UNICEF – “United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund” – around 158 million children aged between 5-14 years are engaged in child labour. But regarding to ILO the total number of child labourer worldwide is more then 300 Million. That means, that 1 in 6 children in the world is forced to work in manufactories, on plantations, in stone quarries, as carpet weaver or as a personal slave.
With about 12.6 million children engaged to child labour, India has the largest number of child labourer under the age of 14 in the world. Most of the children work on cotton plantations or in stone quarries. Although that child labour in India actually is forbidden since 1986, the kids still get exploited from the dominating textile and stone industry.
There are 2 main problems why child labour still exists in India. One factor is a forlorn vicious circle existing of the extremely high poverty rate, an insufficient social-system, missing education and exploitation. About 37 % of India’s population live under the poverty line. For numerous families child labour is the only way to survive. But most of the people don’t recognize that poverty actually is the consequence of child labour. Children, who have to work, cannot go to school. And as they have no education, they have no prospect on a better live and neither their children will have. In addition, special religious views and the caste system make it more difficult to dispose child labour in India.
The second main problem is the economical disequilibrium of our world. For example the European Union exports lots of different goods to India. If the EU forbids the import of Indian child labour products, the logical consequence would be an import-stop of European products to India. India would refuse the import of western products. Of course, this would harm the European economy. For example, imagine what would happen to Germany, which is known as the country with they highest export rate. So, that’s why there are still no laws, which forbid the import of child labour products. At least the UNICEF and some other organization could manage that the European Union implemented certificates for products, which are 100% free of child labour. So, now it’s up to the companies and of course also to us if we buy child labour products or not.