Child labour refers to the exploitation of children through any form of work that deprives children of their childhood, interferes with their ability to attend regular school, and is mentally, physically, socially or morally harmful.

More than 12.5 million children are involved in child labour in Pakistan. According to Reuters, “Pakistan’s Labour Force Survey, 2014-15 showed that of those children aged between 10 and 14 years active in child labour, 61 per cent were boys and 88 per cent came from rural areas.”

Childhood is the best part of life. It is full of innocence and joy. It is part of life when we are free from all the responsibilities. In some scenario, this does not case some children are burdened by the responsibilities of their family so they have to do work. 

Child labour is the act of employing children at an early age. It has become a social issue. Main reason for existence of child labour is poverty. Parents below the poverty line are not able to fulfil the basic needs of their family. So children are forced to work on low wages in unhygienic conditions.

In Pakistan, 38.8 per cent of the population is living in poverty, with one in four individuals living in acute poverty. For many citizens in Pakistan, it is hard to find a job or to secure one paying enough to provide for a family. Students from impoverished backgrounds who are unable to enter school are most likely to become affected by child labour in Pakistan.

There is a real story of one’s child labour I would like to share that the story name is changed for the reason of privacy. 

Poverty is one of the main factors that push children into work.  There was a girl name Sadiya started working after her father broke both his arms in a work-related accident. Due to the financial strain on the family, she was forced to quit school and found a job in a garment factory.

The job was difficult. She explains, ‘In times of high demand, the workers have to work all night’ with a one-hour break for a nap on the concrete floor at dawn, after which they continued to work the whole next day. The family’s financial situation left her feeling that she was unable to miss work, even when she was ill or exhausted.

Consultation

Government has made several policies to encourage those students to study. Free education mid-day meal is provided in government schools. 

It is the responsibility of citizens by not hiring children for work and encouraging them to get an education. Children are meant to learn not to earn.

Submitted by “Narjis Sayqal