With increased economic insecurity, lack of social protection and reduced household income, the Covid-19 pandemic is pushing the children from poor households to contribute to the family income with the risk of exposure to exploitative work. Subsequent lockdowns have worsened the situation, posing a real risk of backtracking the gains made in eliminating child labour.
The true extent of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on child labour is yet to be measured but all indications show that it would be significant as children are unable to attend school and parents are unable to find work. However, not all the factors that contribute to child labour were created by the pandemic; most of them were pre-existing and have been exposed or amplified by it. Though the pandemic has amplified its contributing factors, policy and programmatic interventions can save children.
Associated Issues With the Child Labour ¾ Cause & Effect Relationship: Child labour and exploitation are the result of many factors, including poverty, social norms condoning them, lack of decent work opportunities for adults and adolescents, migration and emergencies.
These factors are not only the cause but also a consequence of social inequities reinforced by discrimination.
Threat to National Eonomy
The continuing persistence of child labour and exploitation poses a threat to national economies and has severe negative short and long-term consequences for children such as denial of education and undermining physical and mental health.
Child Labour in Informal Sector
Though child labour is banned the law, across India child labourers can be found in a variety of informal industries like in brick kilns, carpet weaving, garment making, agriculture, fisheries, etc.