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Child Labour Utilization in the Tourism Industry: A Case Study from Ampara District in Sri Lanka

Authors:

H. A. N. Hettiarachchi ,

University of Sri Jayewardenepura, LK
About H. A. N.
Department of Geography
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T. M. S. P. K. Thennakoon

University of Sri Jayewardenepura, LK
About T. M. S. P. K.
Department of Geography
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Abstract

The tourism industry is considered as one of the world's fastest growing economic activities and the largest employer of manpower which generates millions of employment opportunities. Since tourism is a labour intensive industry there is an escalating demand for labour in different sectors of tourism. This demand becomes a critical issue due to reasons such as the scarcity of the trained and skilled human resource, lower salaries and wages and unwillingness among many people to pursue tourism-related employment. As a remedy to this critical issue, child labour has been used frequently. They have been employed in both formal and informal sectors of the tourism industry. This situation is more common in the Sri Lanka tourism industry, especially in remote tourism regions. The main objective of this research was to study the nature of child labour in the tourism industry of the Ampara district of Eastern Tourism region of Sri Lanka. After a preliminary survey, Ulla, Panama North and Panama West GNDs of the Ampara district of Eastern tourism region were selected as the study area. Applying judgment and purposive sampling techniques, 56 child workers and 19 accommodation establishments were selected as the sample. Both quantitative and qualitative methods such as questionnaire surveys, observations, interviews, group discussions and case studies were employed to collect data. The data was analyzed applying both qualitative and quantitative analytical methods. The overall findings of the study are discussed under several subheadings including the socioeconomic and family background of child workers, the existing nature and types of child labour, reasons for selecting of employment linked to tourism, places of work, salaries and wages, the nature of expenditure and problems faced by child workers. The overall findings of this study revealed that child workers have been employed in formal and informal sectors of the tourism industry. All the child labours are in the age range between 15 to 17 years. The most common form of utilizing child labour in the study area is as sellers. Economic burdens at home are the major reasons which draw the children to these jobs. Engaging in different activities, they are able to earn an income ranging from Rs. 3,000 to 15,000 and they have spent this income on different purposes. Since there are many problems related to child labour utilization active policies and plans are timely and significant to alleviate these problems.
How to Cite: Hettiarachchi, H.A.N. and Thennakoon, T.M.S.P.K., 2018. Child Labour Utilization in the Tourism Industry: A Case Study from Ampara District in Sri Lanka. International Journal of Multidisciplinary Studies, 5(2), pp.92–103. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/ijms.v5i2.103
Published on 23 Dec 2018.
Peer Reviewed

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