Abuse faced by child labourers: Novel territory in workplace bullying
Banday, M. U.
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As well as presenting the first empirical study on workplace bullying in the context of child labour, this chapter extends the substantive area through its focus on the agricultural sector, the rural economy and non-standard employment. Drawing on a larger multi-focus, multisource and mixed-method study, the chapter details the exploitation and abuse encountered by Indian child workers below the age of 18 years migrating from Rajasthan to undertake manual cross-pollination on Bt cottonseed farms in Gujarat. Despite international conventions and Indian regulations on child rights and child labour, child workers were found to perform the worst kinds of child labour and hazardous work. Against a backdrop of exploitation based on substandard working conditions, child workers face physical violence, bullying and sexual harassment. Class and caste/tribal identities (as well as gender), alongside corruption, inadequate oversight of the agricultural and informal sectors and successful resistance of perpetrators and their allies against concerted efforts to curb child labour play an important role. The chapter’s seminal contributions include redefining age within the field of workplace bullying whose focus is on adult workers and reconceptualizing the manifestations of workplace bullying to incorporate Eastern and developing country perspectives, in addition to speaking to the issues of bystanders, boundarylessness, power, workplace friendship, social support and dignity.
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