Abstractwriting:Childlabour is a social problem that not only deprives the children from their rightto a prosperous future but also affects them physically and psychologically.
The research aims to study the factors that contribute to child labour inPakistan. And proceeds by investigating the existing laws and thereimplementation in Pakistan. The research is a combination of primary andsecondary research. The research is conducted by reviewing the already existingdebates on child labour and by interviewing the children. The first intervieweewas Natasha, a 10 year old girl how knits sweaters and sells them by theroadside.
She has a family of 6 members. The other interviewee was Ali, an 8year boy who works in a mechanic shop. And has a family of 6 members. Both the intervieweesthrew light on how lack of access to free education and large number of familymembers has resulted in their forced labour. Government is blamed for notimplementing the laws but in my opinion the whole society should play a vitalrole in elimination of forced child labour.
Robbing the child’s dreams andaspirations is equivalent to robbing a country from its bright future. Poorpeople with low aspirations should be shown other ways to live a life than justworking for small scale low income factories. They should be trained to liveabove the poverty line rather than finding a solution in child labour. The researchhas suggested that education should be made free for all the children below theage of 16 according to Artile 25(A).
Also there should be an increased demandfor skilled labour, so children can fall in the category of unskilled labour.Laws regarding prohibition of child labour do exist, but they are not beingimplemented. And census on child labours ratio, has not been conducted forquarter past century.
Pakistan has been ranked three in terms of child labour.The research enabled to conclude that, poverty alone cannot be blamed but it isthe lack of access to education and lack of child policy that has resulted inforced child labour. Greater the number of children, more difficult it is forthe sole bread earner of the family to bear the burden, hence resulting inforced assistance by children. If a country wants to pave its way to road ofsuccess, it must take the future generation into consideration. And this isonly possible and feasible when the government, organizations and the entiresociety work together for the collect benefit of country. Introduction:Ifsuccess is a measure of how well we chase down the opportunities, unlock theachievements and fight the storms, then what is it really like to fail at thevery first step of life? How does it sound, if all the dreams are snatched andopportunities are sealed during one’s childhood? Unfair indeed.
This is whatchild labour does to numerous children in every developing country includingPakistan. Child labour is a social problem that not only deprives children from their right to a prosperousfuture but also affects them physically and psychologically. As Nelson Mandela(1990) said:”Children of today are the leaders of tomorrow and educationis a very important weapon to prepare children for their future roles asleaders of the community.
” Howunjust a society is to a child, if the delicate hands are forced to holdhammers or screw drivers than pencils, to carrying heavy garbage bags insteadof school bags, to how their smiles fade away, when they are turned down bypeople on roads because of shabby appearances? It not only affects themphysically but also meddles with their proper nourishment. Facing with such aserious social issue, a society not only fails to find future leaders but alsocreates a sense of inequality and injustice. Theresearch aims to explore, the factorsthat contribute to child labour in Pakistan. And will proceed by investigatingthe existing laws and there implementation in Pakistan. The topic bearsimportance because every child has the right to a life they want forthemselves. The socio-economic conditions of the society and their families,should not become a hurdle in their progression in life. At the age of five tofourteen, children are forced to work at very low pay for their survival thatdoes not even satisfy their family’s basic necessities.The research will beginby integrating the already existing debates on labour child followed bymethodology, analysis of data, research findings and lastly by conclusion.
Literaturereview:Child labour is one of the everincreasing social problems that is being faced by Pakistan. The number ofchildren caught up in child labour ranges from 8-12 million indicating how millions of children are beingaffected mentally and physically. Another latest statistic of Child RightsMovement (CRM) national secretariat, has issued that about 12.5 million have become a victim of forced labour. (Hamariweb.
comArticles, 2018) Outof the many reasons, poverty is considered to be themajor reason behind child labour. An average Pakistani has to feed on averagenine to ten people hence making it difficult for the single bread earner of thefamily. In 2008, about 17.2% of Pakistan’s population lived below the povertyline. Owing to large scale poverty, families are forced to send their childrenout for work to increase the ‘take-home salary’.
Findings given by The Federal Bureau of Statistics revealed the results of itssurvey funded by ILO’s IPEC (International Program on the Elimination of Childlabour that out of 40 million children in the age group of 5-14, 3.8 millionchildren are working. Out of these 3.8 million, 2.7 are seen to be working inagricultural sector. About 73% are noted to be boys.Zareen khan, in herarticle in ‘The Nation’, drew the attention on child labour by calling it noless than cruelty on children. She refers to un-educated parents as criminals who are responsible for forcingtheir children to work as labour for money and survive the world.
(The Nation,2018Another article publishedin ‘Dawn News’ has published a report that Pakistan ranks number threein world ranking with greatest prevalence of forced child labour. Theseminar conducted in Karachi that government has failed to conduct any newsurvey since 1996. Due to lack of latest survey the, it is hard to ascertainthe correct ration of children working in different sectors.
One of the mostimportant point highlighted was, that laws regarding bounded child labour , forabout past quarter century have not been implemented.Ms Husain said there were 25 million children out of school, out of which 15million were active economically. According to her, none of the four provincesseem to be interested in conducting fresh surveys. Syed Hasan Feroze, a retiredjudge, said the government and citizens should work hand-in-hand to persuaderich people to educate children they have employed. Government is now providingsubsides to worker’s children by enrolling them in schools and by offeringtraining in Punjab Vocational Training Council (VCAB). VCAB has trained 69,000from its 14-18 years of development inan effort to eliminate the children in brick kilns, the provincial governmentis Rs1000 per child available; while the three sectors identified – auto repairshops, fuel pumps and hostels. (Reporter, 2018) The laws for theprohibition of child labour in Pakistan are as follows: (Hamariweb.com,Articles, 2018)• The Factories Act 1934• The West Pakistan Shops and EstablishmentsOrdinance 1969• The Employment of Children Act 1991• The Bonded labour System Abolition Act 1992• The Punjab Compulsory Education Act 1994• The Employment of Children Rules 1995The constitutionalprovisions of Pakistan envisage:Ø Article 3: the state shall ensure the eradication of all forms ofexploitation and the regular fulfilment of fundamental principle, from eachaccording to his ability and to each according to his work.
Ø Article 11(3): No child below the age of 14 years shall be engaged in anyfactory or mine or any other hazardous employment.Ø Article 25(A): The state shall provide free and compulsory education to allchildren of the age of five to sixteen years in such manner as determined bylaw.Despitethe effort of implementing the laws to eradicate child labour, these laws arenot only ignored in Pakistan but are ignored globally as well. The constitutionof Pakistan has regarded the minimum work age as 14 years. But the 18thamendment has changed it to 16 years which clearly says that no child should beengaged in any sort of hazardous work at all except family business or someschool.
Methodology:Sincethe research is based on examining the factors that contribute to child labourin Pakistan, a secondary research was done in order to inquire the variouspossible reasons. The two main reasons found were poverty and uneducated,ignorant parents. To validate the factors known through secondary research,interviews were taken. The total number of interviewees were two. Ø Aboutinterviews:Thefirst interviewee was Natasha, a 10 year old girl how knits sweaters and sellsthem by the roadside.
She has a family of 6 members. The other interviewee wasAli, an 8 year boy who works in a mechanic shop. And has a family of 6 members.Both the interviewees Ø Limitations:Thefollowing are the limitations of the study:1. Sincethe research is being conducted in Pakistan, the research findings are notapplicable widely.
2. Theresearch has time and money constraints.3. Duringthe interviews the answers may not be accurate.
Ø Ethicalconsiderations:Theinterviews were told about the research and were explained the whole topic indetail. Consent of their guardian was taken. They were asked if recording theinterview was fine by them or not. The interviewees showed their willingnessfor recording of audio but had concerns regarding videos. They were asked ifdisclosing their personal information or real names was a problem or not.Ø Interviewquestions:Theinterview began with the most introductory questions to make the intervieweescomfortable with the ambience. The major interview questions were:1.
Whatis the main cause for you to work?2. Howwell you think your earned money is making a difference to your family’seconomic well-being?3. Dothe people who you work for, treat you right?4. Whatis that one thing you wished was there that you did not have to work? Discussion:Theresults of research are based on primary and secondary data. The major resultsacquired from the interviews enabled to throw light on the factors that werenot brought into discussion through secondary research. The following are theresearch findings:1.
Increasedrate of inflation:The increase in prices and lack ofavailability of basic needs in terms of food, clothing and shelter has played aleading role in giving a push child labour. Since it is very difficult for thesole bread earner of the family to bear the burden of the entire family,children are sent out to contribute to family’s income.2.
Nopolicy for child policy:Pakistan’s one-third of the population isliving below poverty line. With no policy or law regarding child policy,family’s end up having so many children. And in a developing country likePakistan which is caught with up increasing inflation, it becomes hard toprovide each child with same level of nourishment and with basic necessities.3. Lackof access to education:One of another reason for child labour islack of access to schools. Poor families with 4-5 children cannot afford toprovide each with educational facilities. For them, being able to satisfy thebasic needs of life are more than enough. Children brought up in this sort ofenvironment are already prepared with the mind-set to work in early childhoodthan to study.
4. Lowaspiration:Children and parents need to realize that theycan live a better life and make good of themselves. Poor people usually have arigid mind-set and believe that they working in an industry of selling items onthe streets, is a normal way of life.
They think hard work and success is onlymeant for a specific class of people. So since people like these have lostaspiration to work for their future, children are forced to become a victim ofchild labour.5. Divorceand single-parenting:Usually after divorce, responsibility isleft on the female.
She not only has the responsibility to make a living forher own but also bear the burden of her children. With minimum number ofchildren varying from 4 to 5, it becomes impossible for a single women to feedthe entire family and fulfil their basic needs. Such a situation can result inincreased child labour.
Another case maybe, that the male is caught up in drugsand has no sense of responsibility left. Or does second marriage and completesignores the children and wife from the first marriage.6. Requirementof cheap labour:Since children are unskilled and are asource of cheap labour, greedy employers hire them for their own benefit.Hiring children with no skill means paying them less and hence getting a chanceto maximize their own profits.
The interviews helped to acquireinformation on areas that were never open for research. Child labour is usuallyconsidered to be synonyms with poverty. But it has been seen that poverty is not theonly cause for child labour, but socio-economic conditions of the family alsoplays a very important role. Illiterate parents with ridged opinions play arole in robbing children’s aspirations and dreams. They not only live povertythemselves but also convince their children from the beginning that, theycannot have a life better than this. Researchfindings:It has been seen through the primary andsecondary research, that eradiation of child labour is usually considered asthe responsibility of government.
But in my opinion, a part from government theresponsibility of putting an end to child labour depends on privateorganization, NGO’s and society as a whole. Only if this is dealt with an ironfist, we can ensure a society where each child gets his due right to aprosperous future. The research findings indicate the following importantpoints:1. Implementationof the laws: Government needs to keep a check if thelaws are being implemented or not. Failure to abide by the law should result instiff punishments so others can learn a lesson.
If necessary the owners or thefamily’s that force children for labour, should be fined or put behind thebars. There should be a census after every two years to check the progress ineach four provinces of Pakistan. 2. Creatingsense of awareness:A sense of awareness must be created insociety, if the government and organizations decide to work together. Peoplefrom backwards areas of Pakistan should be made aware of the illegality.Campaigns should be carried out so that everyone can play their role in theeradication of this menace. 3. Freeeducation for all below the age of 16:According to Article 25(A) free andcompulsory education should be given to all the children below the age of 16.
Children whose parents cannot afford the fees of schools, can have anopportunity to get education. One of thebest ways to attract parents to send their children to schools is by givingmid-day lunch to the children. In this way, the parents will feel that theirburden has lessened. 4. Createthe demand for technically skilled labour:Demand should be created for skilled andtechnical labour. Increasing the demand for skilled labour, will for sure placechildren in the category of unskilled labour. In this way, greedy demanderscannot increase their own profits.
5. Reduceunemployment:Reduction in unemployment can pave way forpoor families living in better conditions. Unemployment can be reduced bysetting up the training centres to teach the illiterate and the providing themwith jobs that can sustain their families at least above the poverty line.6. Equalresponsibility:Bind the responsibility of child on bothmale and female after divorce.
State should pass a law that holds both the partiesequally responsible after divorce. Women alone should not carry the burden ofso many children. Theresearch clearly indicates that poverty alone cannot be held responsible forchild labour. In fact increase in population; number of members in each familyand lack of access to free education is the major reason why children aredeprived from their basic right to education and to a good future. Ignorantparents and people who try to exploit the weakness of poor people, also play aleading role. State cannot be considered free from their responsibility of endof child labour by simply passing some mere laws. Rather it should take stepsfor the implementation. Conclusion:Child labour is notonly an abuse to the rights of children but is also the display of society whohas lost its way to success.
Success of a country depends on its futuregeneration. And if the up-coming generation is psychologically perturb andlacks moral polishing, then a country can no pave its way to success. It isdoomed to decline. Childhood is the most memorable time of a person’s life andit should be ensured that children belong to schools and play grounds rather toindustries and roads. Poverty will take time to decrease for a developingcountry like Pakistan.
But by ensuring free education for every child below 16,the country can increase its rate of literacy but can also easily put an end tochild labour. Robbing a child from hisfuture is equivalent to robbing a country from its bright future. So sincefuture of the country is dependent on children, we should eradicate everyreason that can be a reason to exploit them.