Child labour is a grave concern that still persists in several parts of the world. Despite several initiatives by governments and non-governmental organizations, the problem continues to prevail. In this blog, we will discuss the story of Upcountry Tamils and their struggles with child labour, and then move on to explore the various factors that contribute to child labour and how we can identify them.
Up Country Tamils and Child Labour:
Up Country Tamils, also known as Indian Tamils, are a community of Tamils who were brought to Sri Lanka by the British as indentured labourers during the colonial era. They were mostly employed in tea plantations and were subjected to poor living conditions and low wages. As a result, many families were forced to send their children to work in order to supplement their income.
This led to a situation where children as young as five or six were employed in hazardous working conditions, which resulted in a high rate of injuries and illnesses. Many of these children were unable to attend school, which limited their future opportunities and perpetuated the cycle of poverty.
Thanks to non-governmental organizations (NGOs) like World Action Foundation (WAF) for working against child labour and poverty and helping vulnerable communities with education, donation, and support. World Action Foundation is working hard to create permanent changes in the most vulnerable, societies, with its first target being Up Country, Sri Lanka. WAF envisions expanding worldwide and eliminating child labour, as well as many other target groups.
Identifying Where Children are Vulnerable to Child Labour:
The current situation of Up Country Tamils highlights the various factors that contribute to child labour. In order to effectively address this issue, it is essential to identify the areas where children are vulnerable to child labour. The following subheadings explain the factors that contribute to child labour and how to identify them:
1. Poverty: Poverty is one of the primary causes of child labour. Families living in poverty are often forced to send their children to work in order to supplement their income. Identifying areas where poverty is prevalent can help in identifying children who are vulnerable to child labour.
2. Lack of education: Children who are not enrolled in school are more likely to engage in child labour. Identifying areas where children have limited access to education can help in identifying children who are at risk of child labour.
3. Gender inequality: Girls are more likely to engage in child labour than boys. Identifying areas where girls face gender discrimination can help in identifying children who are vulnerable to child labour.
4. Family dynamics: Children who come from disadvantaged families or vulnerable communities like Upcountry Tamils or have lost their parents are at a higher risk of engaging in child labour. Identifying areas where family dynamics are unstable can help in identifying children who are at risk of child labour.
5. Cultural norms: In certain cultures, child labour is considered a norm, which perpetuates the cycle of poverty. Identifying areas where cultural norms contribute to child labour can help in identifying children who are vulnerable to child labour.
Child labour is a complex issue that requires a multi-faceted approach. Identifying the areas where children are vulnerable to child labour is an essential step in addressing the problem. By understanding the various factors that contribute to child labour, we can develop targeted interventions that can help break the cycle of poverty and provide children with the opportunities they deserve.
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