Child Slaves in Modern India: The Bonded Labor Problem

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This article is about child slaves in India and how there's this never ending cycle to it. There are these creditors that offer families that aren't doing so well financially some money in the form of loans. In return, their child must work for them until it's paid back. "The debt that binds them to their employer is usually incurred by a parent, and ranges on average from 500 rupees to 7,500 rupees, depending on the industry and the age and skill of the child" (Lee 573). There's also interest on these loans making it virtually impossible to pay the money back. Unfortunately, if the child doesn't make enough money to pay back the creditor that debt may fall on the child's future children.
I found this article interesting because it deals with modern slavery in India. There are laws against child labor but a lot of people indulge in it illegally. It is estimated that there are about 15 million child slaves in India trying to pay off debts.
Poverty is one of many things that make families vulnerable to "debt bondage". "Other elements include: an ancient tradition of slavery and debt bondage; the lack of small-scale loans for the rural and urban poor; the lack of a concerted social welfare scheme to safeguard against hunger and illness; a noncompulsory and grossly inadequate educational system; the lack of employment opportunities and living wages for adults; an ossified stratification of occupations, with little opportunity for upward mobility or intergenerational career changes within families; corruption and indifference among government officials; and endemic societal apathy" (Lee 573). As you can tell, this is a very complex and complicating situation to get out off.
This article reminds me of the character Rutherford in Middle Passage and how he was in debt and needed to pay back his creditor Papa Zeguine. In a way, he was a slave to Papa Zeguine; and if he doesn't pay off his debt, he will have to face a consequence just like how those child slaves in India would have too if they don't either. Also, debt one of those things where it will never be forgotten about because you've took a good chunk of someone else's money and unless it's paid back, it will forever haunt the person. Another thing, 85% of this child labor that goes on in India is agriculture; just how slaves in the United States had to work on plantation to help the economy, so to speak.

Works cited: Tucker, Lee. "Child Slaves in Modern India: The Bonded Labor Problem." Human Rights Quarterly 19.3 (1997): 572-629. Web.

6 Comments

I really like this article. It's sad to see little children who should be playing and living their childhood life, yet they are being forced to work and pay off their parents debts. I think it's not fair for the little children because they are still young and don't know anything yet.

I'm pretty sure the cycle of those children and majority of people also have to do with the religon of the area, which is dominately Hindu. Because many people believe they are born in different castes,or social standings. And in order to move up on this heirarchy, you have to live your life how others above this heirarchy dictate. It's an example of how religon is used in a bad way in our world today

I was surprised that there are approximately 15 million children in India are being slaves to pay off their parents' loan. The picture and your description can make me imagine how hard it is for both the parents and the children to be in this poverty situation. There are so many cruel people in this world that if they have money, they have the power to own anyone life.

I found this article really informative and relevant because we could see that most of the time the parents of these kids have to take their children as a second option to pay their fees, but sometimes it isn't enough. I do not know if most of these kids are Dalits or if they belong to superior castes, but it could be related with the farmers in India that try to make a living but end up committing suicide because they can not pay all the money that they lend.

I can't believe children were treated like this. The picture on this blog really caught my eye. I heard so many things about what happens to the child in India and its so sad. Overall this was a great read!

I can't believe kids were treated like this, it's horrible. Parents feel as though just because they birthed the kid then they can do whatever they want with them.

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This page contains a single entry by zamza001 published on July 3, 2013 2:04 AM.

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