Can Conditional-Cash Transfers Help Combat Child Labour?

Author: Neha Maria Benny

Child labour involves the engagement of individuals aged five to fourteen in work, a range ostensibly banned by Indian law, and remains a pervasive issue. India has the highest num- ber of child labourers globally, with an estimated 11.7 million children engaged in hazardous occupations and processes, constituting 4.5% of the children in the 5-14 age group (National Census Survey, 2011). Increases in child labour post the COVID-19 pandemic underscore the insidious side of domestic and global supply networks. This issue brief explores the persistent challenge of child labour in India and scrutinises the legislative framework, partic- ularly for adolescents engaged in non-hazardous work. The latter part of the brief explores Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) programs as potential solutions through a brief review of CCT schemes in India and their impact on incentivizing education to reduce child labour.