OPEN works with grassroots NGOs to provide support in children’s rights campaigns, and engages in advocacy, mobilising public opinion and policy change through rural, urban and tribal area projects.
Poverty and lack of social security are the main causes of child labour. The increasing gap between the rich and the poor, privatization of basic services and the neo-liberal economic policies are causes major sections of the population out of employment and without basic needs. This adversely affects children more than any other group. Entry of multi-national corporations into industry without proper mechanisms to hold them accountable has lead to the use of child labour. Lack of quality universal education has also contributed to children dropping out of school and entering the labour force. A major concern is that the actual number of child labourers goes un-detected. Laws that are meant to protect children from hazardous labour are ineffective and not implemented correctly.
UNICEF has categorized child work into three categories:
1. Within the family- Children are engaged in domestic household tasks without pay.
2. Within the family but outside the home- Example- agricultural labourers, domestic maids, migrant labourers etc.
3. Outside the family- Example- commercial shops in restaurants and jobs, prostitution etc.