ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Impact of Social Labelling on Child Labour in Carpet Industry

Social labelling is an initiative introduced in the nineties with a view to eliminating the exploitation of child labour in carpet production in India. The four labelling programmes, viz, RUGMARK, Kaleen, STEP and Care and Fair are analysed in terms of their mechanisms, approaches, objectives and their effectiveness over 35 villages spread over nine districts in three states in India.

Simultaneous Analysis of Child Labour and Child Schooling

This study investigates the key determinants of child labour hours and child schooling experience, paying special attention to the interaction between the two. A significant methodogical feature that distinguishes the present study from previous investigations is that this analysis recognises the joint endogeneity of child labour, child schooling and child poverty. The study is conducted on Nepalese and Pakistani data, and the results are compared. A key empirical finding, with significant policy implications, is the sharp trade-off between child labour and child schooling. Another common feature of both countries is the gender bias in favour of boys' schooling, though the bias is much larger in case of Pakistan.

Private Schools for Less Privileged

The 1990s saw a surge in parental demand for education which prompted a new phenomenon, the growth of small fee-charging private schools for the less privileged. While this development has been welcomed by education bureaucrats, there has been little research on these schools, which often because they remained 'unrecognised' even missed statistical surveys. This paper reports a small field study of these schools in one district each in Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan.

Child Labour in India

In the drive for universal education all children not in school have been subsumed as working children. Such a development is ill-advised. This article analyses this changing definition in the context of the Labour Commission Report 2001. With a redefinition of child labour, the number of working children is set at more than, 10 times the official figures available from Census and NSS reports. Such a development only aggravates the problem.

Women's Employment and Reduction of Child Labour

This article attempts to study the linkages between empowerment of women and reduction of child labour in the beedi industry in rural Tamil Nadu. It also analyses the socio-economic conditions of women and the nature and extent of child workers' participation in beedimaking. The article argues that the initiatives taken to empower women in the beedi industry have not helped reduce child labour, due to lacunae in the existing legal provisions and social security measures.

'No to Child Labour, Yes to Education'

Children of landless labourers in Andhra Pradesh's Ranga Reddy district now attend school instead of employing their labour to augment a meagre family income. The impetus has come from their parents who have been active participants in the process. This paper looks at the initiatives of an NGO seeking to eradicate child labour and attempts to explain why this endeavour differed from other attempts to universalise education and eradicate child labour.

Employment and Unemployment Situation in 1990s

The concepts and methods used by NSSO to net work and workers are not able to capture the work of the poor, particularly of women, satisfactorily. Since that part of the workforce which is not captured by the NSS surveys is not likely to remain stagnant and is subject to increases and declines, depending on the specific situation, it is possible that an increase in this part of the workforce may explain the decline in the worker-population ratio (WPR) in the nineties. The workforce in these 'difficult to measure sectors', such as subsistence work, home-based work or informal work, can be better captured through time use surveys. Using data from the pilot time use survey (1998-99), this paper shows that (a) this survey technique is capable of getting more realistic estimates of workforce and (b) some of the work not captured in the NSS surveys but captured in the time use surveys is likely to explain the changes in the employment situation in the nineties to a considerable extent.

Flexible Production, Feminisation and Disorganisation

The paper argues that central to the export success of the Tiruppur industry has been the feminisation and the demographic segmentation of the labour force brought about through the disorganisation and reorganisation of production structure and labour process. Young and married women workers constitute about half of the workforce in the industry, concentrated in the lower rungs of production organisation. A direct outcome of the process of feminisation has been its impact on labour relations of the industry, marked by the informalisation of the workers.

Post-Reform Setbacks in Rural Employment

This paper looks at the pace and pattern of employment growth in the 1990s (post-reforms period) and compares it with the 1980s (pre-reforms period), based on NSS data, and attempts to figure out the challenges and threats that lie ahead for rural workers in India. The empirical evidence calls into question the optimism of pro-reform analysts on the all-round positive impact of economic reform on employment. The study also raises a number of questions that need further analysis to enable us to understand better the continuing and likely impact of the economic reforms.

Liberalisation and the Woman Worker

Liberalisation and its after-effects has been a subject of great debate. While proponents point to the declining levels of poverty, opponents insist the opposite has happened - poverty has increased, employment opportunities and access to social services have declined. This article looks at the micro sector - the world of the unorganised woman worker and analyses the varied impact that liberalisation and globalisation has had on her working conditions. A decline in employment opportunities has seen a simultaneous 'casualisation' and growing 'feminisation' of the workforce - with concomitant ills of low wages and declining job security.

Mysore Kirloskar: Workers' Alternative to Unemployment

Attempts by workers to takeover and revive companies in crisis have been a recurring response to the threat of closure. Such takeovers are a pragmatic response rather than an ideological reaction for establishing self-management. In most cases they have been able to revive sick units provided there is support from the government and its agencies. This paper charts out the plight of workers of Mysore Kirloskar who have been anxiously waiting for the BIRF to arrive at a decision on the unit and continue to seek the support of the state government.

An Informalised Labour System

The textile mill closures in Ahmedabad cost over 1,00,000 jobs, and resulted in the informalisation of a vast majority of the sacked workers. Gujarat can thus be understood as an experiment for trying out what will happen to state and society under a policy regime that does not attempt to harness the most brutal consequences of a market-led mode of capitalist protection. The total eclipse of Gandhian values has also led to the shrinking of the social space needed for humanising economic growth.

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