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A sociological study of patterns and determinants of child labour in India

Barsa Priyadarsinee Sahoo (School of Law, Alliance University, Bangalore, India)

Journal of Children's Services

ISSN: 1746-6660

Article publication date: 14 May 2021

Issue publication date: 6 July 2021




The purpose of this paper is to understand the patterns and incidence of child labour in India and to examine the magnitude of child labour across different social groups. It analyses the impact of the socio-economic background of the children on their participation in the labour market.


The paper primarily relies on the data collected from secondary sources. The census of India data and the National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO) 66th round data (2009–2010) on employment and unemployment in India for the study. The dependent variable on child labour has been computed by the author for the analysis in the paper.


The findings of the paper suggest that poverty is not the only determinant of child labour, but gender and caste of a person is also a significant factor for child labour. The study found that children from lower-caste backgrounds in India seem to participate more in the labour market. In terms of gender, the study found that boys are more likely to engage in economic activities or paid jobs while girls are more likely to engage in household activities.


Data used in this paper has been extracted by the author from unit level data provided by NSSO. The variables used for the analysis in the presented paper has been constructed by the author and the figures provided are the result of the author’s estimation on data.



Sahoo, B.P. (2021), "A sociological study of patterns and determinants of child labour in India", Journal of Children's Services, Vol. 16 No. 2, pp. 132-144.



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