ASIA/INDIA – Over half a million children engaged in risky work in cotton fields

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

New Deli (Agenzia Fides) – The number of children working in cotton fields continues to rise. According to a survey by the Indo-Dutch Committee and the private body Stop Child Labour Coalition, in India this activity involves some 200,000 minors age 14, minimum legal age for labour in the country. This year India is expected to become the world’s largest cotton producing country. Already one of the main exporters of this prime material, it expects to produce 6.63 million tons of cotton. About half a million children work in cotton fields including those of legal working age, between 14 and 18. Of the total number 25% are under the age of 14 and 35% are aged 14 to 18 years. It is to be noted that the number of children working in the cotton industry in India today is 100,000 higher than in 2010, the survey said, adding that working conditions in the fields are still dangerous and the children are exploited. (AP) (4/8/2015 Agenzia Fides)