‘Child labour in Nagaland different from other parts of India’
Kohima, June 11 (EMN): World Day Against Child Labour is being observed every year on June 12 ever since it was launched by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) with an aim to create awareness and eliminate child labour but the menace of the social evil remains.
Now, reports have warned that Covid-19 crisis is making the scenario even more worrisome, with many more children at risk of being pushed into child labour due economic downturn across the world.
Talking about the child labour scenario in Nagaland, Co-ordinator of Childline Dimapur, Loza Kape told Eastern Mirror that child labour in Nagaland context is a little different from mainland India.
‘Maximum number of child labour cases in the state comes in the form of domestic child labour (domestic helper). Children found working in commercial sectors and other hazardous environment coupled with ragpickers is very few in number here,’ she informed.
However, that does not mean the record of child labour in the state is lower. When we look at both angles, domestic helper weighs maximum compare to other forms of child labour in Nagaland, she added.
Citing Childline Dimapur intervention ratio, Kape said that one can’t say that child labour (domestic labour) has increased in Nagaland following the pandemic as lot of domestic helpers had returned home (to their biological parents) after they stopped going to school.
She said that domestic helpers’ workload had increased as employers, who are home due to lockdown, give them more work. ‘When the work pressure becomes too much to handle, they tend to run away from home,’ she observed.
Childline Dimapur had encountered a total of nine child labour cases during the Covid-19 pandemic, it was informed.
Throwing more light on domestic child labour condition, Kape said that very few privileged children get to go to school. While some go to government schools, others never get such privilege in spite of the promised made by their employers to send them to school.
Unfortunately, most of the children who attend schools too drop out midway.
One of the reasons for the high dropout, she observed, was because of the inability to cope up with studies as they had to take care of the employers’ families and their children.
“They (domestic helpers) have so many responsibilities at home that they are not able to get time for their studies,” Kape added.
The co-ordinator also informed that whenever any child labour case arises, employers usually claim to have sent them to schools but they refused to attend, while most children said that they neither get time to do their homework nor study at home. As a result, they are scolded by their teachers and would not want to attend next class, she added.
Meanwhile, to marked the day, Childline Kohima will be releasing a short video based on this year’s theme “Act now: end child labour” on June 12, which will be made available on social media platforms.
According to a report conducted jointly by the ILO and UNICEF, which was released ahead of World Day Against Child Labour, there are 160 million children — 63 million girls and 97 million boys – involved in child labour globally in the beginning of 2020, which is almost 1 in 10 of all children worldwide.
The ILO and UNICEF report stated that in the last four years, for the first time since 2000, the world did not make progress in reducing child labour. The report further alerted that the world is not on track to eliminate child labour by 2025 and the global progress would need to be almost 18 times faster than the rate observed over the past two decades in order to meet the target.
Caption: Representational image (EM Graphics)