Pakistan is a developing country where poverty and food insecurity overshadows other small developments and achievements. Just like any other developing country Pakistan also suffers from child labor issues.
According to Human right commission Pakistan, in the country, more than 11 million children are the victim of child labor. It has been estimated that one quarter of the country’s workforce is made up of children and half of the child labor is under the age of 10.
Child labor in Pakistan is most rampant in the provincial capital cities and big industrial cities. Multan, Faisalabad, Sialkot, and Lahore in Punjab have the highest number of child labor because they are the main production centers for export goods. Moreover, hundreds of thousands of children work in the brick kilns in Punjab. In Baluchistan and Karachi, child labor is mainly identified as working in the fishing sector.
The main causes of the increasing number of child laborers are poverty, no education or low quality of education, lack of job prospects, and lack of progress in the region. Poverty is the major issue behind child labor but social attitude, worse economic crisis, large family size, and, the increasing unemployment are the other causes of child labor.
The prospect of poverty necessitates that children work in order to feed families because in Pakistan the daily per capita income is around $6 a day on average. The average Pakistani has to feed more than seven people with their daily wages. The children are sent from their villages to the cities to earn for their families.
Constitution of Pakistan does not allow children to work under the age of 14 years but who cares when poverty overshadows and the only way left is to start laboring in childhood. An empty stomach has the power of making a person compelled to do what a person could never think of.
No mother gives birth to a child thinking the child would start working at a very early age but this happens when the whole family is impoverished to the extent of starving. The only way to continue living is to send the little soul to earn money and in this way, the innocent soul becomes a wage earner at a very early age with no education.
Majority of the child labor remains illiterate and they grow up doing labor work for daily wages their whole life. When they have children of their own, they are also made child laborers at a very real age and in this way the cycle continues. This is the ultimate hopelessness and these people are not given any importance in society.
Now is the utmost need that the government should take steps to make child labor abolished completely and make new educational institutions in far-flung areas from where much child labor emerges. The government can only succeed in this when new employment opportunities are created alongside that employee their parents and kids are not compelled to start working at an early age.
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