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Child Labor Efficient?

Bonded labor, which is characterized by a long-term relationship between employer and employee, is usually solidified through a loan, and is embedded intricately in India’s socio-economic culture—a culture that is a product of class relations, a colonial history, and persistent poverty among many citizens. Also known as debt bondage, bonded labor is a specific form of forced labor in which compulsion into servitude is derived from debt. Categorized and examined in the scholarly literature as a type of forced labor, bonded labor entails constraints on the conditions and duration of work by an individual. Not all bonded labor is forced, but most forced labor practices, whether they involve children or adults, are of a bonded nature. Bonded labor is most prevalent in rural areas where the agricultural industry relies on contracted, often migrant laborers. However, urban areas also provide fertile ground for long-term bondage. Characterized by a creditor-debtor relationship that a laborer often passes on to his family members, bonded labor is typically of an indefinite duration and involves illegal contractual stipulations. Contracts deny an individual the basic right to choose his or her employer, or to negotiate the terms of his or her contract. Bonded labor contracts are not purely economic; in India, they are reinforced by custom or coercion in many sectors such as the agricultural, silk, mining, match production, and brick kiln industries, among others. Researchers of bonded labor in India seek to understand its long-standing practices through an examination of contemporary forms of labor coercion, their origins and relationships to poverty and inequality, and implications for policymaking. Child labor, agricultural debt bondage, and bonded migrant labor are persistent forms of modern slavery that fall under the Indian constitutional definition of forced labor. While child labor and bonded labor in India are typically addressed separately in the literature, many researchers focus on the causes and consequences of pervasive child labor in the world’s largest democracy