In this article, we will discuss the right against exploitation in a simple and easy way and understand its various important aspects.

So to understand well, definitely read the article till the end and also read other articles related to this topic.Fundamental Rights

If freedom is achieved, if equality is achieved, but still exploitation continues, then liberty and equality will also be meaningless.

Right against exploitation
Right against exploitation [image credit freepik]

This article is a continuation of the article on Fundamental Rights . Till now we have understood Right to Equality and Right to Freedom . If you haven’t read it, then definitely read it once.

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What is exploitation?

By the use of power or taking advantage of the situation, when someone is used against his will and in excess of his capacity and is not remunerated accordingly, it is called exploitation.

Since exploitation is done selfishly to take advantage of someone or a group, it can result in inhuman treatment of the individual, an act that hurts his self-esteem, etc.

That’s why Karl Marx said that there are two types of classes in society; One is the exploited class and the other is the exploiting class .

The exploiting class owns all the means of production and distribution while the exploited are propertyless and helpless. In such a situation, the exploiting class never wants that the exploited class should come equal to it.

Our country does not follow the whole principle of Marx, but it takes care that no one should be exploited. Exploitation is not good at all for a healthy society, that is why our constitution makers gave priority to its abolition and made it a part of fundamental right.

For this to be followed properly, over time many laws were also made in its support so that the oppressed class could be eradicated. So let us see what is special in this category of fundamental rights;

Right against exploitation and its articles

A total of 2 articles come under the right against exploitation – Article 23 and Article 24. the details of which are given below

right against exploitation
Article 23 – Prohibition of human trafficking and forced labor
Article 24 – Prohibition of employment of children in factories etc.

Article 23  – Prohibition of human trafficking and forced labor

Traffic in human beings and begar and other similar forms of forced labor are prohibited and any contravention of this provision shall be an offense and shall be punishable in accordance with law.

It is to be remembered here that this right is available to both citizens and non-citizens and it provides protection to an individual not only against the State but also against the individuals.

There are two main terms in this, the first is human trafficking .

As its name suggests, it deals with the buying and selling of human beings as a commodity and forcibly forcing women into prostitution, slavery and other similar works by which human beings are exploited. The Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act was enacted in 1956 to prevent such things .

The second term is – prohibition of forced labor, the meaning of forced labor is to get a person to work against his will. However, this article also prohibits other forms of forced labor such as bonded labour .

bonded labour (Serfdom)
Forced to work beyond the minimum wage rate fixed by the government without remuneration or for other reasons, due to any agreement made by ancestors or self (such as borrowing, being born in a particular caste) or other reasons comes under the purview of bonded labor.

Even after keeping it in the category of fundamental rights, human trafficking and forced labor never ended, even today evils like human trade, prostitution and bonded labor continue to be seen.

In order to prevent this and to achieve 100 percent of the provisions of the Fundamental Rights, many laws have been enacted such as – Bonded Labor System (Repeal) Act 1976 and Equal Remuneration Act 1976 etc.

It is important to remember here that, if the state wants, you can get military work and other similar work done without money, that is why it is kept in the category of exception.

Article 24 – Prohibition of employment of children in factories etc.

It states that children below the age of 14 years cannot be made to do any work which is not suitable for that child in factories or any other similar place.

The Child Labor (Prohibition and Regulation) Act of 1986 is a very important law in this direction, which was again amended in 2016 to become the Child and Adolescent Labor (Prohibition and Regulation) Act 1986.

It clearly states in the Act that children below the age of 14 years cannot be employed in any hazardous work. It also prohibits employment of adolescents between the ages of 14 and 18 in hazardous occupations and processes.

For this, a system of fine has also been made, which can be imprisonment from 6 months to 2 years or fine from 20 thousand to 50 thousand.

In 2005, a National Commission and State Commissions were set up for the protection of the rights of children under the Commission for Protection of Child Rights Act, so that crimes against children or violation of child rights can be tried expeditiously.


bonded labor in india

For once it seems that it would be difficult to be a bonded laborer in today’s time but it is not so at all. According to the data of the Ministry of Labor and Employment, more than 13,500 bonded laborers were released and arrangements for their rehabilitation were made in the last 4 years. This makes it clear that bonded labor has not yet been completely eradicated.

condition of bonded labor

According to an estimate, there were about 32 lakh bonded laborers in India in the year 2018 and most of them were victims of indebtedness.

According to the Global Slavery Index released in 2016, about 8 million people (ie 8 million people) in India are living in modern slavery.

Bonded labor is mainly prevalent in agriculture and informal sector, such as cotton textile handloom, brick kiln, stone quarry, household work etc.

Bonded labor is still prevalent in states with extremely poor populations such as Jharkhand, Odisha, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh.

Although bonded labor was completely banned in India through the Bonded Labor System (Abolition) Act, 1976, it remained in practice.

Due to the spread of bonded labor

Poverty and socio-economic inequality are the main reasons behind the spread of bonded labour.

Apart from this, landlessness also propagates bonded labor because people have to opt for such labor option due to lack of land.

Due to illiteracy and lack of awareness, the rural poor are forced to take money in the form of loans from moneylenders, etc. The cost of which has to be paid in the form of bonded labor at times.

Bonded Labor System (Abolition) Act, 1976

Under this act, the workers were released completely by abolishing bonded labor and their debts were also abolished.

Along with this, any custom, agreement or other means by which a person was obliged to render any service like bonded labor was repealed.

The bonded labor system was declared a punishable cognizable offence.

Several schemes related to the rehabilitation of bonded laborers are also being run by the Ministry of Labor and Employment with the aim of eliminating bonded labor completely.

Bonded Labor Rehabilitation Scheme 2016

Under this scheme, a provision has been made to provide financial assistance of up to Rs. 1 lakh

Along with this, arrangement was made to provide financial assistance of Rs 4.50 lakh per district to each state for the survey in this regard.

Right against exploitation Practice Quiz #upsc

Next – Right to religious freedom

Right to Culture and Education

Right to constitutional remedies

Types of writ and its scope

Other provisions of Fundamental Rights Article 33, Article 34 & Article 35

Conflict Between Fundamental Rights and DPSP

Procedure established by law and due process of law

Basic Structure of the Constitution and Kesavananda Bharati Case

complete process of constitutional amendment

habeas corpus case 1976

AK Gopalan case 1950 and Maneka Gandhi case 1978 

Directive Principles of State Policy (DPSP) 

Parliamentary system of Government

Federal System of India

co-operative federalism)

fundamental duties 

Important links,
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