EXPLOITATION OF CHILDREN
Looking on the condition of children living their parents in slums in metropolitan cities, or in the abodes of the poor or among the landless laborers in the rural areas one can guess the tragic fate of these buds that fade when they had to bloom. Most of the poor people in all castes and communities have a large number of children. It becomes rather obligatory for them to engage them in some remunerative work. In big cities and in smaller ones too one would find children between the age of four and twelve working in roadside restaurants and tea stalls. They hardly get rupee four of five a day-not sufficient even for their own meals. Many of them stay in the restaurant tenements during nights too and are sexually exploited.
Children of the same age group work in match industry in Sivakasi, quarries in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, carpet industry in U.P, brassware industry in Moradabad. According to a UN study the number of such children in India was 113 million. They could not have the joys of childhood. Worse is the condition of the girl child. She has to start working in the household and the fields in the rural areas at the age of four. The exploitation of the girl child is so much that 40 lakh of one crore 20 lakh born every year die before they are fifteen. In this developed age 1000 of them died in Delhi alone in a year before their birth. Sexual assault on girls between the age of 4 and 7 is a common feature in India.
According to a Bureau of Police Research and Development 1, 90,567 children were arrested in India in 1985. More than one third of them belonged to the 7-12 age groups. More than one third of them belonged to the 7-12 age group. More than nine thousand were below 12 and 777 of these were girls. An enquiry instituted by the Chief Justice of India and conducted by a district judge revealed that most of the children in jails are sexually assaulted by hard core criminals and even by the Jail staff. As there are no remand homes or Juvenile Jails in most of the districts in India lakhs of children are interned in regular jails. A large number rot there for years as under trials. When they come out many of them are themselves hard core criminals. A large number suffer from venereal diseases. Not many of them may catch AIDS too.
According to an anti-slavery International estimate, 25 million children are employed as slaves on the Indian sub continent, 8 million works as slaves in Andes, the region from Panama to Tierra del Fuego in America. Thousands of them work on Brazilian plantations to pay off their parent’s debts and thousands of these little ones are slaves like servants in South African households. A survey published in a esteemed English daily praises UNO for promulgating the ‘Convention of the Rights of Children’ on November 20, 1989. The bright patch is that charter of “The rights of Children to protection from economic exploitation were signed by a large number of countries next only to ‘the human rights charter’. The pity is as the report says, “And none is less respected.” The laws and charters are just to be instituted not to be implemented. The poor child remains the worst sufferer.