Gender impact of globalisation children and young people essay

SUBMITTED TOPROF. ILA PATELSUBMITTED BYChampa Tudu(33008)Mimansa Khanna(33022)Niket Vanker(33031)Anshul Malik(33067)Sneh Prabha(33110)Tanuj Sharma(33118)Contents


Globalisation is the process of international integration arising from the interchange of world views, products, ideas, and other aspects of culture.[1]It describes the interplay between the macro-social forces. Globalization can erode and universalize the characteristics of a local group.[2]The term globalization is derived from the word globalize, which refers to the emergence of an international network of social and economic systems.[3]International Monetary Fund (IMF) identified four basic aspects of globalization: trade and transactions, capital and investment movements, migration and movement of people and the dissemination of knowledge.[4]Globalization can thus be defined as the intensification of worldwide social relations which link distant localities in such a way that local happenings are shaped by events occurring many miles away and vice versa.[5]Technology has played an important role in achieving globalisation. It has changed the life of millions of people by better irrigation, electricity, networks etc. It is a still going phenomenon and it has taken the objectives of constant growth and developing. Capitalisation has been an important characteristic of globalisation process. Use of huge amount of capital to increase the spending of the consumers was highly visible which eroded the labour-land relationship by disposing them of, what was at that time, the most productive form of resource. The end of cold war and the emergence of neo-liberation were important events which lead to the shaping of globalisation throughout the world. Child LabourThe ILO, however, categorizes three types of working children: children in employment, child labourers, and children in hazardous work. The category ” children in employment” is the broadest of the three categories and includes all types of paid productive activity as well as certain types of non-paid productive activity.[6]Child labour and GlobalisationThere has been lot of studies and researches on child labour but almost all of them view child labour from household point of view. However, there are many macro-economic factors such as economic growth, income inequality, and in particular economic globalization. At family level in short run, child labour is essential for poor population as child labour increases the household income and hence increases the survival chances. But in long run it boosts fertility as it causes parents to perceive a working child to be of less relative cost.[7]

Figure 1: The economic and social impact of Child labour


Globalisation no doubt has led to tremendous economic growth opportunities both for developed and developing countries. In this section we have attempted to show the possible causes of child labour linked with economic growth in all sectors (organised and unorganised). Economic growth has created a huge demand of cheap and available labours in developing country; credit of it can be awarded to persistent acute poverty. Country like India has become major beneficiaries of globalisation where low wage labour and high technology is employed. As globalisation has created demand of cheap labour so let’s focus on the supply side of it. Labour force for primary and other sectors[8]is generally supplied from lower income level groups whose income comes from daily wages that too in fluctuating form[9]. The dependency of this group on labour has also increased the magnitude of child labour participation. Low income level of family and propensity of child labour goes together. Parents belonging to the lower income group see their children as earning head and promote them to work. Low education and awareness level of parents along with acute poverty can be blamed for the forced child labour.


In many countries child labour is mainly an agricultural issue. Worldwide 60 percent of all child labourers in the age group 5 – 17 years work in agriculture, including farming, fishing, aquaculture, forestry, and livestock. This amounts to over 129 million girls and boys[10].


According to the annual report of the Department of Labour, children are exploited in the worst forms of child labour with a majority working in agriculture, including in the production of rice and hybrid seeds[11]. Children involved in pesticide, herbicide spray and in chemical processing of crops at secondary level are highly exposed to the danger associated with such practices. Women who are involved in agriculture often involve their children into it due to diverted attention between home and work place and also to earn more. Apart from this the land owner or growers like to employ women and children (girl child) for the works that needs more patient and skills i. e. paddy transplantation, cotton ball picking, horticultural work, growing and plucking of vegetables, processing of crop produce at household level[12]. Though machineries are available for this kind of work but the exorbitant price of it is easily substituted by available female and child labour. These jobs are repetitive, less remunerative in nature and time consuming led to drudgery (avoided by male labour force). Gender roles, norms and ages are the qualifying criteria for deciding and allocation of work for girl and boy child. A large number of children are involved in unorganised and informal economy like domestic work, waste picking, rack pickers, babysitters, shoe shining, car washing and beggars. Girl child involved in domestic work is forced to work for long hours and subjected to abusive treatment; whereas male child are forced to work under hazardous condition prevalent in manufacturing sectors like bangles making, fireworks, glass factories, bricks making, carpet industry, bidi making, stone industry and polishing gems. As bird’s eye view we can conclude that globalisation has exposed this innocent and vulnerable group of society at very marginal and dangerous cliff which is absolutely not meant for them.


As, we have already mentioned that globalization leads to free trade and encourage the movement of labor throughout the world. It has certainly impacted the economy and the people in both the positive and the negative way. First, talking about the positives, it has created many more opportunities for the poor to earn better bread and butter for themselves. Globalization has opened the doors for them to explore and fulfill their dreams. Due to opportunities, there has been a lot of demand of labor that has increased, and India being a developing country and due to its tremendous population serves as a great cheap labor market for the world. But there are a lot of negative facets that are attached to it. It may be giving a lot of opportunities and providing a good number of them to earn, but ultimately it is leading to exploitation and extortion of a lot of children lives.” At the age when they should be playing with toysReading bedtime storiesInstead they are delved into future of darkness and hardships” Why is happening, on the name of giving them good food, good money, are we not making their life worse?

Figure2: Problems leading to child labour

Not only there life has been impacted as cheap and extorted laborers, but due to free trade and free movement of labor, there has been cases where female child laborers have been forced into prostitution, trafficking and pornography as well. This not only affects their physical and social well-being but largely affects their mental well-being as well. Happening this much at such an early age leads to their negative transformation and they lead the life of a dead or an object for the rest of their life. Child laborers face a problem of lack of identity, lack of education, hazardous bonded life, malnutrition and many other adverse impacts. The main factor that has led to such miserable condition of child is mainly poverty. Being very poor, many people prefer to send their children to work, their helplessness to feed their loved ones make it inevitable to drag them to this vicious trap. Many other cases have also been seen where this is bee done illegally, people on the name of giving good lives to these children extorted them and forced them above said inacceptable practices. Society as whole instead of helping them, show them their back and even degrade their lives. In spite of being seen as innocent sufferers, they are more of seen as unacceptable part of the community which even lead to an imbalance in their mind and that lead a lot of ill doings by them. Just to cite a self-seen case, one of the daughter of our maid who was a student of class V was been given an opportunity to study abroad and in fact people not only targeted this girl but all the children of the community. They promised not only to provide them free education but also to give some money every month. What a tempting option for a poor, isn’t it? No spending on education, no spending on food, instead the children were proving to be a cash cow in their deprived condition. So they all agreed. But to their demise, it turned out that those children were forced into some menial jobs and even some older girls were forced into prostitution. So, this also shows how globalization impacts the poor at a small level but leads to greater impacts of hardship and failures in life.


UNICEF describes ‘ child labour as one of the clearest and worst manifestations of how poverty has a child’s face. India has seen child labour as an epidemic so widespread. The various forms of child labour which has been prevalent in Indian society are child labour, street children, bonded children, working children, children for sexual exploitation, children working on the agriculture fields. In this section the major emphasis will be on the low labour wages given to the female child labour. The first thing I would like to highlight is the reasons for why girl child are being sent to fields. Majority of the girl child especially belong to the scheduled caste and scheduled tribe. The main reason for this is due to the parents who are trapped in the vicious cycle of poverty and due to their inability they send their children to the farms as they think that they can be a source of the family income. There has been a wide discrimination that has being noticed, a disparity between the wages being paid to the girl child as compared to a male child. The reason is that the work done by they are not considered as something productive as is the case with the male and the female labourers. The work done by them is not valued enough. The same is the case when it comes to exploitation in terms of the gender. The girl child is actually subjected to more physical abuse. The early marriages, exploitation by the husband and the in-laws are a major source. The girl children are bought from remote areas by influencing them for the greed in terms of monetary benefits as well as a better life. There have been various sex rackets that has been operating in India which has all the more added to the worsening of the girl children scenario. The co modification process has actually led to a rampant increase in figures for trafficking, sexual exploitation and child abuse. Under the eleventh five year plan the Ministry of Child Development has now taken responsibilities from the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment. The government now aims to approach this concern with an aim to build every child safely and to have equal right to education. The change to actually take in place wherein no discrimination in female and male child would be made is actually a myth which would take centuries and ages to disappear. There has been various laws passed in the nation for child protection but as the case with gender budgeting applies there is not a demand for a separate budget on the basis of gender so it means that even when laws are passed it needs to be kept in mind that the girl child are the most deprived of the lot . Any policy framework needs to take this factor into consideration.


The effect of child labour is felt both at micro and macro levels. To deal with such a sensitive issue various laws and policies are framed in various countries. These restrictions range from putting a complete ban on involvement of children in any kind of economic activity (used in various industrialised countries) whereas some have put limitations on employing them in hazardous activities (used in India) . This naturally leads to the problem of illegal work by children as for most families it serves as an important source of income. Changes in technology, betterment of the existing working conditions for adult population and access to education can lead to withdrawal of children from labour industry. There are a series of legislative acts to put limitations on child labour and declaring it as an illegal practice. To use a legislative tool for fighting child labour, it would be more effective to go for compulsory education rather than imposing a straight ban on child labour. This can be reasoned using the argument that it is easy to monitor the presence of children in school rather than ensuring their absence from work. In the fight against child labour many laws are enacted. Indian legislature has Child Labour Act, 1986 to prohibit the engagement of children in certain occupations that are considered unsafe. The Ministry of Labour and Employment has been implementing the national policy through the establishment of National Child Labour Projects (NCLPs) 1for the rehabilitation of child workers since 1988. The strategies under the NCLPs includes the establishment of special schools to provide non-formal education and pre-vocational skills training; to promote additional income and employment generation opportunities; to raise public awareness, and conduct surveys and evaluation of child labour. Many NCLPs were launched across the country to rehabilitate children working in hazardous industries such as glass and bangles, brassware, locks, carpets, slate tiles, matches, fireworks, and gems. But there are some loopholes in these policies like their implementation and monitoring is still a big question. Another problem is that there is no separate provision for addressing the issues related to girls and thus many girls are unable to get benefits of NCPL programmes. These policies focuses more on children who are employed in industries. Various other intra national policies of India are attached in the annexure A.


1. http://www. ilo. org/legacy/english/regions/asro/newdelhi/ipec/responses/india/national. htmMany civil societies and NGOs are also working in eradicating this problem. International organizations like ILO and UNICEF which are actively participating in the fight against such heinous activity. A case on the success of UNICEF with NGO collaboration is illustrated below. 1MORADABAD, India. 29 February 2012. From the ages of 8 to 10, Asha spent 10 hours a day, six days a week fanning the furnace fire in a smoke-filled workshop in the Moradabad slum where metals were melted and moulded. She earned less than Rs. 20 a day. Moradabad is a bustling manufacturing city, which attracts large numbers of unskilled workers who look for low-paying jobs pulling rickshaws or driving small taxis. As beautiful as the final products are though, the conditions under which most of the workers live and labour are difficult. Workshops are crowded closely in the congested slums together with the houses, where soot, smoke, exhaust fumes and the odour of melting metals permeates the atmosphere. Open drains line the narrow alleys, leaving barely enough room to walk. There are no places where children can play. The piece work turned out by the small factories pays poorly and poverty drives children, like Asha, into labour. In India, 41. 6 per cent of people live on less than Rs. 20 a day, according to UNDP’s 2010 Human Development Report. Asha’s father was a rickshaw puller who earned about Rs. 50 a day and the income barely met the needs of the family of five people. Asha was worried about her grandfather, who needed costly medicine which the family could hardly afford, and so was easily drawn into the dangerous metal trade.” The concentration of wealth in urban areas hides the ugly face of poverty,” said Adele Khudr, Chief of Field Office, and UNICEF Uttar Pradesh. ” Children of the urban poor are exposed to various forms of violence and exploitation. To protect them, we must ensure that they are in school, so that they can realize their full potential. The Right to Education Act adopted by the Government of India in 2010 provides the framework for this to happen.” Now 11 years old, Asha is out of the workshop, in school and doing well, her life transformed by India’s Right to Education Act and a UNICEF-supported Child Rights Project, which is funded by the Ikea Foundation. The project works in 101 slums of Moradabad, in western Uttar Pradesh, to make the Right to Education Act a reality for poor children like Asha. Working through five implementing partners, the project systematically identified more than 14, 000 girls and boys as being out of school through surveys in the slums of Moradabad. Children out of school are at high risk of being drawn into labour, so once the children were identified, vigorous outreach began, to communities and families, as well as to schools, to ensure that the children were enrolled. The project also reaches nearly 70, 000 poor families and 55, 000 children, through a network of community groups run by trained animators. Groups of women and adolescents meet regularly to discuss the ” 10-Point Agenda for Children,” developed for the community outreach by UNICEF. The Agenda offers critical information on topics such as the importance of birth registration, immunization, safe delivery and breastfeeding, nutritional supplementation, hygiene, primary education and ending child marriage and child labour. Nagma is a spirited 15-year-old whose life has also been transformed thanks to the project. Two years ago Nagma was working six hours a day sewing decorative beads onto fabrics instead of learning. Like Asha, her earnings – less than a dollar a day – were needed to help her family scrape by. Today Nagma is an active and happy student, an inspiration to her brother and sisters, and an influence in her community, participating actively in one of the adolescent groups that meet regularly to discuss the 10-Point Agenda for Children. One message she never tires of sharing with friends and across her community, is that families should keep their children in school, because it is good for the family as well as for the child. ” Educated children can support their parents better,” she says simply. http://www. unicef. org/india/reallives_7546. htm


The Government of India and UNICEF have partnered and shaped the following objectives1 to restore the lost childhood. 1. Promoting children basic right to education. UNICEF programme emphasizes on access and retention in education as major strategy to eliminate and prevent child labour. Initiatives include mass enrolment campaigns, support to bridge schools, sensitisation programmes etc. 2. Capacity building of marginalised communities towards the elimination of child labour and towards the protection/promotion of child rights. Other initiatives to empower communities towards the protection and promotion of children rights include village planning exercises, the establishing of community level anti-child labour watching committees, as well as the regular sensitisation and support to local systems such as the Panchayati Raj (village council) institutions. 3. Advocacy and social mobilisation against child labour: Addressing existing attitudes towards child labour and facilitate people’s behavioural change towards a more protective environment for children are core components of the present GoI-UNICEF joint child labour intervention. In spite of policies and interventions, millions of children are being deprived of their fun filled childhoods every day.


1. http://www. unicef. org/india/child_protection_1726. htm


The Constitution of India (26 January 1950), through various articles enshrined in the Fundamental Rights and the Directive Principles of State Policy, lays down that: No child below the age of 14 years shall be employed to work in any factory or mine or engaged in any other hazardous employment (Article 24); The State shall provide free and compulsory education to all children of the age six to 14 years. (Article 21 (A)); The State shall direct its policy towards securing that the health and strength of workers, men and women and the tender age of children are not abused and that they are not forced by economic necessity to enter vocations unsuited to their age and strength (Article 39-e); Children shall be given opportunities and facilities to develop in a healthy manner and in conditions of freedom and dignity and that childhood and youth shall be protected against moral and material abandonment (Article 39-f); The State shall endeavour to provide within a period of 10 years from the commencement of the Constitution for free and compulsory education for all children until they complete the age of 14 years (Article 45). Child labour is a matter on which both the Union Government and state governments can legislate. A number of legislative initiatives have been undertaken at both levels. The major national legislative developments include the following: The Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986: The Act prohibits the employment of children below the age of 14 years in 16 occupations and 65 processes that are hazardous to the children’s lives and health. These occupations and processes are listed in the Schedule to the Act. In October 2006, the Government has included children working in the domestic sector as well as roadside eateries and motels under the prohibited list of hazardous occupations. More recently, in September 2008 diving as well as process involving excessive heat (e. g. working near a furnace) and cold; mechanical fishing; food processing; beverage industry; timber handling and loading; mechanical lumbering; warehousing; and processes involving exposure to free silica such as slate, pencil industry, stone grinding, slate stone mining, stone quarries as well as the agate industry were added to the list of prohibited occupations and processes; The Factories Act, 1948: The Act prohibits the employment of children below the age of 14 years. An adolescent aged between 15 and 18 years can be employed in a factory only if he obtains a certificate of fitness from an authorized medical doctor. The Act also prescribes four and a half hours of work per day for children aged between 14 and 18 years and prohibits their working during night hours. The Mines Act, 1952: The Act prohibits the employment of children below 18 years of age in a mine. Further, it states that apprentices above 16 may be allowed to work under proper supervision in a mine. The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection) of Children Act, 2000: This Act was last amended in 2002 in conformity with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child covers young persons below 18 years of age. Section 26 of this Act deals with the Exploitation of a Juvenile or Child Employee, and provides in relevant part, that whoever procures a juvenile or the child for the purpose of any hazardous employment and keeps him in bondage and withholds his earnings or uses such earning for his own purposes shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years and shall also be liable for fine. In some States, including Karnataka and Maharashtra, this provision has been used effectively to bring to book many child labour employers who are otherwise not covered by any other law and to give relief and rehabilitation benefits to a large number of children. The Minimum Wages Act, 1948: Prescribes minimum wages for all employees i n all establishments or to those working at home in certain sectors specified in the schedule of the Act. Central and State Governments can revise minimum wages specified in the schedule. Some consider this Act as an effective instrument to combat child labour in that it is being used in some States (such as Andhra Pradesh) as the basis on which to prosecute employers who are employing children and paying those lower wages. The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009: Provides for free and compulsory education to all children aged 6 to 14 years. This legislation also envisages that 25 per cent of seats in every private school should be allocated for children from disadvantaged groups including diffirently abled children.( * )India is a signatory to the: ILO Forced Labour Convention (No. 29); ILO Abolition of Forced Labour Convention (No. 105); UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). Source: http://www. ilo. org/legacy/english/regions/asro/newdelhi/ipec/responses/india/national. htm