Voice of the Peo­ple

Child labour

Pakistan Observer - - OPINION - SYED MOHAMMAD SAAD

Ac­cord­ing to ILO, Child Labour is de­fined as work that has the po­ten­tial to de­prive chil­dren of their child hood. It will have bad im­pact on their phys­i­cal, moral and men­tal de­vel­op­ment. With­out any doubt child labour is one of the most ig­nored is­sues in our coun­try. The age-ra­tio of these child labour­ers is between 5 to 14 years old. Ac­cord­ing to the re­cent sur­vey held by the Fed­eral Bureau of Sta­tis­tics, there are ap­prox­i­mately 40 mil­lion child labour­ers in Pak­istan. It means that nearly half of the chil­dren are work­ing and are the vic­tims of child labour in Pak­istan. The Prin­ci­ples of Pol­icy en­shrined in the Con­sti­tu­tion of Pak­istan pro­vide for pro­vid­ing free ed­u­ca­tion and re­mov­ing il­lit­er­acy through­out the coun­try. In many cases, par­ents of these chil­dren couldn’t af­ford to ed­u­cate their chil­dren. How­ever, sta­tis­tics also shows peo­ple mostly em­ploy those chil­dren who can­not af­ford the ex­penses of schools and the cy­cle of poverty con­tin­ues. There is an acute need to do ev­ery pos­si­ble ef­fort to elim­i­nate this curse from its roots. There are al­ready con­sti­tu­tional pro­vi­sions per­tain­ing to child labour. Ac­cord­ing to Ar­ti­cle 11 (3) of Pak­istan’s Con­sti­tu­tion, No child be­low the age of 14 years shall be en­gaged in any fac­tory or mine or any other haz­ardous em­ploy­ment. More­over, Ar­ti­cle 25(A) also states that “The state shall pro­vide free and com­pul­sory ed­u­ca­tion to all chil­dren from the age of five to six­teen years in such man­ner as de­ter­mined by law”. Chil­dren in Pak­istan still work in many in­dus­tries suf­fer from se­ri­ous in­juries which some­times cause death and more­over they miss the chance of en­joy­ing their child­hood. Most of them do not go to school and are de­prived of ba­sic ed­u­ca­tional fa­cil­i­ties. I urge the govern­ment of Pak­istan to im­ple­ment Ar­ti­cle 11(3) and 25(A) as soon as pos­si­ble in or­der to erad­i­cate this men­ace and start more ed­u­ca­tional projects to pro­vide free ed­u­ca­tion to those chil­dren, whose par­ents can­not af­ford the ed­u­ca­tional ex­penses. — Karachi

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