The International Labour Organisation defines child labour as any work that deprives children of their childhood, their potential, their dignity and one that is harmful to the physical and mental development of the child. It includes work that is mentally, physically, socially or morally dangerous to children. Work that interferes with a child’s ability to attend and participate in school fully by obliging them to leave school prematurely; or requiring them to try to combine school attendance with excessively long and heavy work is also child labour. It is both a cause and consequence of poverty. In India, a "Child" as defined by the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act of 1986 as a person who has not completed 14 years of age.
India sadly is home to the largest number of child labourers in the world. A growing phenomenon is children being used as domestic workers in urban areas. The conditions in which children work are completely unregulated and they are often made to work without food, with very low wages, resembling slavery. There are cases of physical, sexual and emotional abuse of child domestic workers. A Ministry of Labour notification has made child domestic work as well as employment of children in dhabas, tea stalls and restaurants "hazardous" occupations.