Tejas is not alone. India is home to the largest number of child laborers in the world, with nearly 13 million boys and girls, aged 5-14, relegated to kitchens, factories and fields. Glaring gaps in current laws do not protect children between the ages of 15 and 18 at all. Additionally, laws allow for children of all ages to work in seemingly non-hazardous occupations, such as agriculture and domestic work. So it is no surprise that six in 10 of India’s child laborers are engaged in agricultural activities.
According to Jonathan Spampinato, Head of Strategic Planning and Communications for the IKEA Foundation, “We recognize that child labor is a highly complex issue that crosses social, cultural and economic boundaries. We must address attitudes and beliefs that perpetuate child labor practices and help build quality education and economic empowerment programs as sustainable alternatives to child labor.”