CHILD LABOUR IN PAKISTAN
What is child Labor?
Child labor means employment of children at regular basis. It harms children and
keeps them away from school. This practice is considered exploitative by nearly
all countries around the world and is considered illegal. Some International
Organizations working on Human Rights also condemn this practice.
But, around the world in general and in Pakistan in particular, growing gaps
between the rich and poor in recent decades have forced millions of young
children out of school and pushed them into work. According to an estimate of
International Labor Organization 246 million children between the ages of 5 and
17 currently work under conditions that are considered illegal, hazardous, or
extremely exploitative. Underage children work at all sorts of jobs around the
world, usually because they and their families are extremely poor. Large numbers
of children work in commercial, agriculture, fishing, manufacturing, mining, and
domestic services. Some children work in illicit activities like the drug trade
Child Labor: situation in Pakistan
In Pakistan, It is seen that parents threaten their children when they find
relief from school and get engaged in sports. They instruct their children to
devote more time to education than sports. The parents wish their children grow
with better education so that they attain high ranks in the society. They give
them examples of those children who work in the workshops that if they’ll not
learn, then the besmeared cloths and black hands and face will definitely be
their final destination.
Unfortunately, every government after coming into power promises for the
improvement of education standard and bringing poverty in to end but their
promises become ruins after some time. This situation becomes more destructive
when the small children are seen as Suzuki and bus cleaners. Those children who
should have books and pens in their hands are holding screwdrivers and pliers
and repair punctures in tires and tubes. Normally these children are seen on
general bus stands. Their conditions seem defaced and hands and faces smeared
with mobile oil.
NGOS working against the child labor always hold meetings in air conditioned
rooms of five star hotels but they they’ve not taken a single step for the
improvement of these distressed children. Some International Organizations
provide funds for the change in the lives of these cruelly treated children but
no dramatic change has been recorded so for. No true proof is available to show
that the number of begging or polishing children is reduced. If the Govt.
officials and NGOs study the miseries of the children working on the General Bus
Stand Peshawar alone, the secrets of their claims will open.
The story of these distressed children does not come to end only with the study
of General Bus Stand Peshawar. Look at the other bus stands in the city like
Dala Zak road, Wakho pul, Bacha Khan Chowk, Shoba Bazaar and Syphon Chowk. If we
try to study the future of these children then we understand that those children
who repair punctures and voice for the passengers in Suzukies and buses will
surely face a dark future.
Child Labor: Causes of Child Labor in Pakistan
The question arises, who’s responsible for bringing these children to miserable
life? Their Parents, Educational Institutions, States, Civil Society or their
poor financial conditions
To investigate the causes of Child labor in Pakistan, we need to understand the
different classes of people living in this country.
Pakistan has three classes of people. Rich, Middle and the Poor class
The Rich Class children enjoy their life to the best. They get good education,
wear good cloths and enjoy finest food. They’ve all facilities for their
recreation and personal growth. But the Rich Class parents are very careful
about their wealth. They hesitate to donate for the Social Welfare. Some times
some people participate in Social Welfare activities but they do this for just
to polish their Political or Business image. They’re normally interested to
introduce their status or products in the society but not to push a poor child
to a bright future. But this is quite a different topic we can discuss it at
some other time. For the moment we stop it here. However, political efficacy is
one of the causes of our educational backwardness which causes Child Labor.
Political efficacy has full control over educational and employment
The second class is the Middle Class People. This class is actually poor class
but we call it the Middle Class People. They’re the sinking class people. They
wish to get out of this whirlpool but fail to penetrate the secured shield of
the Rich Class and their control over the resources and employment
opportunities. This situation keeps them in the financial whirlpool and hence
they find themselves unable to send their children to Standard Educational
Institutions. Sometimes some people succeed to approach to good opportunities
but at the cost of high bribes.
Now we come to the third class of people. They’re depressed people and live
beyond the poverty line. Their number is bigger than the second class people.
They’ve no right of good living, they’ve no power and approach to any department
and they’ve no sources of income.
Their children never go to school neither they get fine cloths nor eat good
food. They simply collect scrap from the streets, polish shoes of Rich Class
People, repair punctures, work in houses, work in Suzukies and buses as cleaners
and many sell toffees and chocolates on the bus stands. While some beg just to
support their family members.
According to a recent survey made by MSWO (Madadgar Social Welfare
Organization), about 20% of the population is rich and they enjoy good living.
About 30% of the population is Middle Class but they’re also poor. Because the
high prices and low wages have broken their back bone. 50% of the total
population is those who live beyond the poverty line. This study shows that in
Pakistan, more than half of the population is poor. It means that 80% children
are facing child labor in one or the other way.
We understand this is quite a terrible situation. But this is not the end of the
story. In this article, we’ve taken Peshawar as a sample city of Pakistan. This
city has a unique status. It’s the state of conflict between the Taliban and the
local peace loving people. This bloody conflict has left many children homeless,
many lost their parents, many died and thousands lost their body parts.
Employment opportunities are zero because of the tight control of the central
mechanism of politics. Self employment and business like circumstances are
completely destroyed. What’ll happen when this situation arises? Child Labor!
We love your comments and suggestions. Please leave your comments below.
Madadgar Social Welfare Organization
Madadgar Social Welfare Organization (MSWO) provides Free Education to Orphans
and Free Vocational Training to Widows.
One school and one vocational training center are being managed by MSWO. Those
interested to seek admission in any school can apply to:
1. Principal Akhwan-e-Mutahidda Public School (AMPS) for Academic education or
2. Principal Madadgar Vocational Training Center (MVTC) for vocational training
Let’s put hands in hands with MSWO to help fight against Child Labor in the
South and South-West of Peshawar. The fight has already been started and any one
can join as volunteer, donor, teacher, technical trainer, doctor or a good word
Even a good word is charity