World Day against Child Labor

159

Pakistan is inflicted with a very serious social problem: child labor, and it’s a crime. The progress and development of Pakistan and future of Pakistan is mainly dependent on the education of children who are not brought up as literate and confident citizens. Children are God’s most purest and beautiful creatures as they are innocent and there is no doubt about their inner and outward beauty as well. It feels really good when you’re leaving for work and you see adorable children in different kinds of uniforms and going to schools for the sake of knowledge. There is a certain bliss in watching their sleepy faces that are yet so fresh, but then you see children picking up the garbage and cleaning the roads. These are the kids who can only wish to seek knowledge.

In accordance with World Day against Child Labor on June 12th of every year to increase awareness, it should put an ache in your heart, when you realize that a massive amount of child labor has perked up. In Pakistan, 3.3 million children are the target of child labor who are under 14 years. The ratio of boys is 73 percent and 27 percent girls. In Pakistan, the most common cause behind child labor is death or severe illness of an adult member of the family followed by poverty, unbridled inflation, illiteracy and unemployment and lack of opportunities.

We see a number of innocent children working at the chai dhabbas called as ‘chotus’, auto-shops, transport vans, utility stores or on streets selling newspapers and balloons. Sometimes, children are bound to work overtime for extra money that is merely 50 or 100 Rupees. For them, this amount is a matter of grave concern.

Also, a number of children are employed as house servants earning morning and sending to their families each month, this is the worst kind of child labor mainly because children are used for domestic chores, in many cases, children are sexually abused especially girls as the ratio of girls working as home servants has become 62 percent. They are physically abused and most of the times they are forced to work for a longer period than their usual timings. Child labor facts even go to lengths stating that some of the children are unpaid for their work. This is an extremely tragic situation because the government of Pakistan does not consider the domestic work done by young children as a hazardous occupation.

Hundreds of thousand children were pushed to the pool of child labor after the 2005 earthquake in northern Pakistan and Azad Kashmir affecting their families to the wall of economic destruction and there was no choice left for the children to earn their living and butter themselves. In addition to this, due to the recent floods in Pakistan, estimated of 20 million people were affected in which 10 million were children aging under 5 only, in such circumstances when government is only busy working for the damage and rehabilitation of the affected people, there were no facilities provided to them and they did not have mean of earning their bread, in such cases, the priorities changed and the only option they are left with is to work and not to seek knowledge.

As we all know ‘action speaks louder than words’, and for the future of Pakistan to be safe, the government should take a notice against child labor very seriously. Child labor solutions include the government making primary education compulsory for all the children, it should be the responsibility of the government to make sure that free books are supplied to the government schools as poor children cannot to study in a private school and pay the fees. In addition to this, the level of government schools should be at par like the private schools so that there should be an equality in the quality of Friends of  education. The good news is that now the government of Pakistan is taking this major problem in consideration and taking steps to eradicate the problem of child labor that has increased in proportion beyond imagination.

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