Child Labour

Ali Sherazi

Ali Sherazi

• Digital Entrepreneur
• Teacher
• Social Activist

Pakistan has been ranked third in the world for having the largest children’s workforce.According to the report by ILO, in 2012, around 12.5 million children in Pakistan were involved in child labour while 264,000 were reported in domestic child labour.

The child is father of the man. It is the small kid that will control the whole nation in near future. Children are the softest souls, they are flowers, if we force on these then their stems, petals and corolla will be broken and dispersed before they blossom. It is mostly, the problem of the third world country, that how children can be saved from labour. Only the kids from poor family are being compelled to work hard to live the hard life on the fertile and colorful planet—the earth. Much other country like Pakistan where the poor class is too big to be controlled easily, the labour through children is common. Pakistan is an underdeveloped country with the seventh biggest population. The national child labour survey conducted in 1996 by the federal bureau of statistics, found 3.3 million of the 40 million children (in the 5—14 years age group) to be economically active on a full-time basis. Of the 3.3 million working children 73 percent (2.4 million) were boys and 27% (0.9 million) girls. Children’s contribution to work in rural areas is about eight times greater than in urban areas. The number of economically active children in the 10—14 year’s age group.

Rural children are mostly engaged in agriculture sector (74%) while the urban ones are busy in manufacturing areas.
According to the survey main causes behind the child labour in Pakistan are:
High population growth in poor families.

  1. The disguised unemployment in agriculture sector in Rural Areas.
  2. Low productivity and low prevalence of poverty.
  3. Unpaid family helpers.
  4. Inadequate education facilities.

One third the working flowers are literate which show that mere completion of primary education is not an effective deterrent to child labour. School enrolment depicts that working kids who are not enrolled in school (34.2%) are higher than economically active children combined with school (13.2%). It shows that enrolment is negatively correlated with the involvement of kids in economic activities.
The surrey states also that most cogent reasons given by parents or guardians for letting their child work were to supplement household income: to pay outstanding debts; assist or help in household enterprise; and no one else available for household chores.
According to UN convention on the rights of the child (CRC) on November 20, 1989, “sate parties recognize the right of the child to be protected from economic exploitation and from performing any work that is likely to be hazardous or to interfere with the child’s education or to be harmful to the child’s health or physical, mental, spiritual, moral or social development.”
Another convention was adopted by ILO in 1973. It defined the age limit of is years for working of a children after the completion of schooling. In 1997, the US congress passed “the Bonded Child Labour Elimination Act”, introduced by Rep. Bernard sanders. The low amended section 3.7 of the US Tariff act of 1930 (19 USC 1307). After its passage imports of articles produced or manufactured with bonded labour, which are under the age of 15, are prohibited.
The constitution of Islamic republic of Pakistan sates “No Child below the age of fourteen shall be engaged in any factory or mine or in any other hazardous employment.” Also, “All forms of forced labour is prohibited.” A number of laws contain provisions prohibiting child labour in Pakistan are:

  1. The West Pakistan shops and Establishment ordinance 1969
  2. The employment of Children Act 1991
  3. The Bonded Labour system Abolition Act 1992
  4. The Punjab Compulsory Education Act 1994

The present government in Pakistan has made elementary education compulsory. Along with this, the government has announced some policies to eliminate the child labour.

The agreement that has been approved last year by Pakistan, Norway and ILD to eradicate child labour must be given importance and hopefully in the near future, Pakistan will be able to dispose the child labour.

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