Raju, an 8-year-old boy, who studied in a government school last year is searching for work. This is the plight of the plenty of children who have witnessed an increase in child labour post lockdown. The lockdown has really made their lives miserable as they are captives in hands of child labour.
According to a UNDESA (UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs), the economy is likely to shrink by 3.2% this year. India witnessed an increase in the child labour post lockdown as it was the only aid to survival.
Poverty, lack of access to employment opportunities, and weak social security systems during lockdown have induced large-scale distress in developing countries. These factors have attributed to the increase in child labour post lockdown.
During the COVID-19 lockdown, India experienced a tremendous movement of migrant workers across the country. This migration created a vacuum and undue pressure on poor sections of people to push their wards to child labour. So many kids were forced to take up child labour during lockdown to make their ends meet. This also was one of the major reasons for the increase in child labour post lockdown.
Massive job losses, extreme poverty, closed schools, and the relaxation of labour laws make children and adolescents vulnerable to exploitation. Hence there is an increase in the child labour post lockdown period.
Children from poorer families are forced to take up work post lockdown thereby increasing child labour. It is imperative that the children may face abuse, uncertainty, and stigma and may be prone to exploitation post lockdown. Everyone needs to undertake measures in their own way to curb the increase in child labour post lockdown.
Now there is an absence of both government support and adequate credit or savings to withstand financial setbacks. The government should take some financial support so that there is a dip in the increase in child labour post lockdown.