According to ILO statistics, there are about 12.6 million child workers in India, of whom 20 to 40% are domestic workers.
In Indian cities, domestic workers are employed by thousands of well-off families. They are mainly women and girls from severely disadvantaged backgrounds. Every day, more girls are being removed from the countryside to work as servants in the city. As domestic workers, they often become victims of very long working days on very low wages. Sexual, physical and/or moral abuse by their employers is often also reported. They are not respected by society and do not gain any dignity through their work. Moreover, without any form of social or moral support, they lack confidence and accept their situation as inevitable.
Adolescent girls are the most vulnerable group. The vast majority find themselves in forced labour, debt bondage and/or fleeing rural poverty. Although the Government of India adopted a Child Labour ACT in 2006 prohibiting the employment of any child under 14 years of age, it has failed to enforce this law.
The city of Bangalore contains 700 slums. In these environments, violations of children's rights are rife. The extreme living conditions of families force them to offer up their daughters as domestic workers to support the whole family.