Child Laboring in FATA and KP

(Tajdar Alam, Peshawar)

In developing countries growing populations are making ground for many alarming challenges and issues but Child laboring is one of that. Child laboring is a type of warm which slowly and gradually cut the roots of the developmental process. On one hand if Pakistan ranked 6th by population wise but on other hand according to the Global Slavery Index 2013, it comes third, after Mauritania and Haiti, in the prevalence of child laboring. 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. Child laboring can be seen in a great numbers anywhere in any sector like agriculture, industry, services and other unethical as well as terrorism. According to the Child Right Moment (CRM) National Secretariat at Pakistan more than 12.5 million children are engaged in child laboring and according to the (SPARK) 1.5 million children were involved in child laboring at 2012 but since no appropriate survey has been conducted to get latest figures while on government level it was conducted in 1996 on national level, thus Khyber Pakhtunkhwa PTI government decided to have fresh data of child labors and located the funds as well to be conducted after census but still no sign of it. Same case also exists in Federally Administrative Tribal Areas as well. Thousands of children in each agency of FATA are feeding their families through child laboring. In both regions numerous of children can be seen while doing laboring in the shape of harvesting, brick making, working in local hotels, serving on tea stalls, domestic services, rag picking, carpet weaving, auto mobile workshops etc but beside of this we have been observed that these children have been used in many others unethical and violent activities like terrorism, armed conflicts, smuggling etc. child laborers are more exposed commercial sexual exploitations as compare to others. The main reason of increasing of child laboring is extreme poverty, having no employment opportunities, no sources of income, no career counseling, in seriousness of government having no practical actions on grounds and expensiveness of daily usage things and many more aspects. Twelve years old child Abid Ullah from Khyber Agency consist his family on nine members started child laboring in the age of 8 years due to extreme poverty. He wanted to go school and get his fundamental right but his family power economic condition does not allow him to do this. There are many others like Abid Ullah which are deprived from his/ her fundamental rights and forced to work on 50 to 100 rupees on daily wage basis. Under the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), Pakistan has committed to take immediate and effective measures to eradicate forced labor, modern slavery and human trafficking as well as secure the prohibition and elimination of the worst forms of child labor, including the recruitment and use of child soldiers and by 2025, end child labor in all its forms. Unfortunately along with government, national and international level organizations performance is also questionable in the eradication of child laboring in Pakistan. Child laboring can’t be maximize by giving statements in news papers, if they want to control the child laboring issue first of all they have to enforce the employment of children act 1991 comprehensively, conducting setting up of vocational and technical training centers for such children to impart skills to them to so they could earn a living with honor, to open special school for them specially in those areas where nearby child laborer easily can access, providing equal education opportunities to all, empowering NGOs and societies. If government of Pakistan does not act accordingly especially in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA against child laboring than it should start preparation in advance for a steep walk and alarming threat? Now this is up to Pakistani government, NGOs and societies to stay limited up to observing Labor Day to 12th June of every year.

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About the Author: Tajdar Alam

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Tajdar Alam is a social activist and President of youth led organization named “Mashal Society and Young Chinar Falahi Committee community based welfa.. View More
12 Apr, 2018 Views: 312


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