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Child labour in India facts for kids

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Enfants au travail dans le monde
Child labour in India and rest of the world, during 2003 in 10-14 age group, per World Bank. India with estimated 11%, is in green with 10-20% incidence levels, along with countries in red (30-40%) and black (>40%).

A significant proportion of children in India are engaged in child labour. In 2011, the national census of India found that the total number of child labourers, aged 5–14, to be at 10.12 million, out of the total of 259.64 million children in that age group. The child labour problem is not unique to India; worldwide, about 217 million children work, many full-time.

The term 'child labour' is best defined as work that deprives children of their childhood, their potential and their dignity, and that is harmful to physical and mental development; interferes with their schooling by depriving them of the opportunity to attend school; obliging them to leave school prematurely; or requiring them to attempt to combine school attendance with excessively long and heavy work.

Child labour used to be most ubiquitous in rural India in which 80% of working children found work. Recently, however, child labour has relocated from rural areas to urbanized areas where the big cities are located. Larger cities provide more opportunity for work compared to smaller, rural areas. As reported by UNICEF, there has been a 54% increase in child labor in urbanized areas for children between the ages of 5-14.

Children who work fail to get necessary education. They do not get the opportunity to develop physically, intellectually, emotionally and psychologically. In terms of the physical condition of children, children are not ready for long monotonous work because they become exhausted more quickly than adults. This reduces their physical conditions and makes the children more vulnerable to disease.

Children who work, instead of going to school, will remain illiterate which limits their ability to contribute to their own well being as well as to the community they live in. Child labour has long term adverse effects for India.

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