CHILD LABOR IN PAKISTAN

(Rizwan Arshad, Lahore)

Child Labor is one of the ever growing social problems faced by Pakistan since time immemorial. This causes adverse impact on mental, physical, moral, and social life of children. In India the figure of child labor has crossed above 44 million, in Pakistan it is from 8 to 10 million, in Bangladesh 8-12 million, in Brazil 7 million, whereas it is 12 million in Nigeria. Unfortunately with the passage of time, there is an increase in child labor, ranking Pakistan on third position of child and forced labor. According to an estimate of Child Rights Movement (CRM) National Secretariat, 12.5 million children in Pakistan victimized in forced labor.

Causes

According to an estimate by International Labor Organization (ILO), poverty is the primary and major reason behind the menace of child labor. Talking about Pakistan, the country has high per capita of approximately $ 1900. The daily wages of a middle class person in Pakistan is around $ 6 on average. An average Pakistani has to feed nine or ten people with this minimal wage.Another big cause of child labor is high rate of inflation. In the year 2008, 17.2% of the total country’s population lives below poverty line. This is the lowest figure in the history of Pakistan. Due to immense poverty prevailing in the country, parents urge their children to work in order to reach the target of take-home salary.

According to a research conducted by Akhtar, Fatima, &Sadaqt, another main cause of child labor in Baluchistan’s fishing sector was the low quality of education, lack of job opportunities, and lack of economic progress in the region. High dropout rates and low literacy rates is the major highlight in the province. Making on effective policies on quality education can considerably reduce the ever growing rate of child labor.

Child Labor in Pakistan

In Pakistan children aged 5-14 are above 40 million.During the last year, the Federal Bureau of Statistics released the results of its survey funded by ILO’s IPEC (International Program on the Elimination of Child Labor). The findings were that 3.8 million children age group of 5-14 years are working in Pakistan out of total 40 million children in this age group; fifty percent of these economically active children are in age group of 5 to 9 years. Even out of these 3.8 million economically active children, 2.7 million were claimed to be working in the agriculture sector. Two million and four hundred thousand (73%) of them were said to be boys.

Steps Taken by Government on Child Labor in Pakistan

There are number of lawsregarding the prohibition of child labor, or regulating the working conditions for adolescent workers. The most significant laws are:

• The Factories Act 1934
• The West Pakistan Shops and Establishments Ordinance 1969
• The Employment of Children Act 1991
• The Bonded Labor System Abolition Act 1992
• The Punjab Compulsory Education Act 1994
• The Employment of Children Rules 1995

Constitutional Provisions 

Article 3: the state shall ensure the eradication of all forms of exploitation and the regular fulfillment of fundamental principle, from each according to his ability and to each according to his work.

Article 11(3): No child below the age of 14 years shall be engaged in any factory or mine or any other hazardous employment.

Article 25(A): The state shall provide free and compulsory education to all children of the age of five to sixteen years in such manner as determined by law.
Article 37(e): The state shall make provision for securing just and humane conditions of work, ensuring that women and children are not employed in vacations unsuited to their age or sex, and for maternity benefits for women in employment.

Child labor remains one of the major problems troubling Pakistani children. Many laws have been passed in an attempt to limit or eradicate this menace from our society. Unfortunately, these laws are globally ignored. Around 11 million children between 4 – 14 age groups are behind the operations of country’s factories, working in even hazard conditions.

Minimum Work Age in Pakistan

According to Employment of Children Act 1991 a “child” is categorized as a person below 14 years of age and an “adolescent” is below 18 years of age. The Constitution of Pakistan also regards the minimum work age as 14 years. However, the 18th amendment has actually risen the minimum age up to 16 years without amending the labor laws, this has increased the contradiction. Article 25(A) of the Constitution says that the state now has to provide compulsory education to all children between the ages of five and sixteen years, which means that, a child can’t be allowed to work before 16 years of age.

There are certain exceptions to this law. It says clearly that no child has to be employed in any occupation which is hazardous for children except the family business or in any (training) school established, assisted and recognized by the government.
 

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Reviews & Comments
In various occasions, media doing an important role to raise the voice against the rights of the Children. To reduce the graph of Child labor in Pakistan I give all the credit to the media because they highlight this matter and influence the law.
By: amir, khi on Nov, 17 2017
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The per capita income in pakistan is quite low that’s why it is impossible for the middle class family to run home in one person income that’s why parents for the middle class family forced there children for the employment in under age. I think it is the main reason of Child Labor in Pakistan.
By: anas, khi on Nov, 15 2017
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I think need to give the awareness to the peoples about the child labor because we noted that many high class families also get involve into this crime because they don’t know it is against the law. To give a job to child at home is also a crime.
By: imtiaz, khi on Nov, 14 2017
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Yes, I am noting that many children doing several kinds of jobs in shops and also in homes where they do hard work and earn money on daily wages. I think it is due to the inimplementation of law.
By: hasham, khi on Nov, 10 2017
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In local disricts of Punjab, ironing and the bricks killing are the common jobs in Pakistan but many peoples of the big cities also give the employment to the children in there home for different works..
By: babar, khi on Nov, 09 2017
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Poverty is the main cause of Child Labor in Pakistan. Due to the poverty and illeteracy, you can see that many under ages children are doing a mechanical job, loader and several hard working jobs but no one take any serious action about it.
By: urooj, khi on Nov, 07 2017
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Child labor is such a critical problem in Pakistan that is increasing gradually. Greed of money and the uneducated parents are the main reason of Child labor in Pakistan. Due to the ignorance of Governement in this sector it increase upto 55% now.
By: rehmat, khi on Oct, 31 2017
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In Punjab and various regions of Sindh, Sahara trust and welfare organizations built many Educational institute where Children can get Education and earn money. I think it’s a great idea where many famous personalities like Jawwad Ahmad and Shehzad Roy also participating.
By: ashraf, khi on Oct, 31 2017
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The stats shows that children involve in brick kilns in many small disctricts and towns in Pakistan and get the daily wages. Many poor peoples in rural areas are the victims of child labor duie to the pressure of land lords, I think these are the main factor of child labor in pakistan.
By: adil, khi on Oct, 29 2017
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Law of other countries are very strong especially for the children but in the subcontinent, the ratio is quite high. Child Labor in Pakistan is also going high, it divert the mind of childen towards Education that’s why we have to do some serious step on it.
By: gul, khi on Oct, 27 2017
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Child Labor in Pakistan is increasing at a rapid rate. I urge all parents who still send their children to work to stop doing so and please send them to schools. Lets put an end to this child labor menace collectively.
By: Rida, Karachi on Oct, 25 2017
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The role of Welfare organizations and the NGOs helps to reduce the Child Labor in Pakistan. They organize many schools and Educational training department where they give scholarship and free education to the students.
By: rimsha, khi on Oct, 25 2017
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There is no any law enforcement sector in Pakistan who monitor the implementation of act. Article 3 is fully based on the law regarding the minimum age of any employer but due to the negligence the ratio of Child Labor in Pakistan is gradually increase.
By: waqar, khi on Oct, 23 2017
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Thanks for sharing wonderful information about Child labor, in this their is main causes which we have to resolve and makes every children of Pakistan be happy and educated
By: Ali, Karachi on Oct, 16 2017
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Child Labor in Pakistan is certainly the most growing problem of our nation. We have been the victim of child labor ever since we got independence. I think we must make sure that the poverty ends in our country and we can make our country great again.
By: Parveen, Lahore on Oct, 12 2017
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Poverty is the main reason of Child Labor in Pakistan because we are noting that the areas and districts where the rate of poverty is strong, the ration of Child Labor is also more than the other areas.
By: Obaid, khi on Oct, 10 2017
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Child Labor in Pakistan is increasing day by day which makes me wonder when and how to control it! I mean this is now at alarming rate. Please make sure that we send our children to school and not to work at this young age.
By: Taimoor, Karachi on Oct, 08 2017
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Child Labor in Pakistan is certainly the worst problem faced by the country. I am sure we can eradicate this menace by ensuring education for all. We must make sure that we urge the street children to go to these free school services available in the country.
By: Faryal, Karachi on Oct, 05 2017
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We are still not able to get rid of Child Labour in Pakistan! In my opinion, world organizations should join hands to eradicate this menace from our society at any cost. I am pretty sure if we work together, we will be able to overcome this menace forever.
By: Hafsa Salman, Karachi on Sep, 27 2017
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Child Labour in Pakistan is an ever growing problem that has been our focus since a long long time now. I am pretty certain that we can eradicate this menace, once we realize that school is the actual place for children to be.
By: Waqar, Karachi on Sep, 25 2017
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