Voice of the Peo­ple

Child Labour, a threat to fu­ture

Pakistan Observer - - OPINION - SYED ALI QASIM

The term “child labour” is gen­er­ally de­fined as work that de­prives chil­dren of their child­hood and is harm­ful to their phys­i­cal and men­tal devel­op­ment. In its ex­treme forms, it in­volves chil­dren be­ing en­slaved and ex­posed to se­ri­ous haz­ards and ill­nesses of­ten at a very early age. Mil­lions of chil­dren around the world are trapped in child labour con­se­quently de­priv­ing them of their child­hood, health and ed­u­ca­tion. Un­for­tu­nately, Pak­istan is also one of those coun­tries where child labour is ram­pant. As per the In­ter­na­tional Labour Or­ga­ni­za­tion’s es­ti­mates in a 2012 sur­vey, 12.5 mil­lion chil­dren in Pak­istan are in­volved in child labour. In or­der to ad­dress this alarm­ing sit­u­a­tion, the prom­ise by the Chief Min­is­ter Pun­jab Muham­mad She­hbaz Shairf to end child labour from the Prov­ince sounds good as child labour is a crime against hu­man­ity. Al­though the gov­ern­ment has taken many revolutionary steps and is pro­vid­ing a stipend of Rs 1,000 per month to the chil­dren work­ing at brick kilns in ad­di­tion to other ed­u­ca­tional facilities like books, uni­form etc. how­ever more needs to be done. Nev­er­the­less, the exemplary pack­age by the gov­ern­ment to equip the chil­dren work­ing at brick kilns with ed­u­ca­tion shows the gov­ern­ment’s firm re­solve to rid the Prov­ince of child labour. Since child labour per­pet­u­ates poverty, un­em­ploy­ment, il­lit­er­acy and other so­cial prob­lems, there­fore, the gov­ern­ment now must act with in­tegrity in ful­fill­ing its prom­ise oth­er­wise only words will not do any­thing. More­over, there is also a need to re­al­ize that chil­dren are the flow­ers of heaven and they are the beauty of this world hence, aware­ness must be raised and the at­ten­tion of par­ents ought to be di­verted to the ed­u­ca­tion of their chil­dren. It is hoped that the gov­ern­ment will keep it’s words and child labour will be elim­i­nated from the Prov­ince and chil­dren work­ing at brick kilns will be equipped with ed­u­ca­tion so that they may be­come great builders of the na­tion. — La­hore

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