Child labour is an unfortunate reality in Pakistan, where an estimated 12.5 million children between the ages of 5 and 14 are forced to work instead of attending school. Many of these children work in dangerous and exploitative conditions, putting their health and well-being at risk.
One of the major reasons for child labour in Pakistan is poverty. Many families simply cannot afford to send their children to school and rely on their income to survive. As a result, children are often forced to work in industries such as agriculture, manufacturing, and domestic service.
The prevalence of child labour in Pakistan has been well-documented by various human rights organizations. In recent years, the Pakistani government has made some efforts to address the problem.
In 2017, for example, the Punjab government passed the Punjab Prohibition of Child Labour at Brick Kilns Act, which prohibits the employment of children under the age of 14 in brick kilns.However, the problem of child labor in Pakistan remains widespread.
Many children continue to work in hazardous conditions, such as working in factories with no safety equipment or working in mines where they are exposed to toxic fumes. Child laborers are also vulnerable to physical and emotional abuse, with some employers subjecting them to violence or sexual exploitation.
The effects of child labor on children can be devastating. Children who are forced to work miss out on their education, which can limit their opportunities for the rest of their lives. They are also at a higher risk of injury and illness, with many child laborers suffering from respiratory problems, skin diseases, and other health issues.
Despite the challenges, there are organizations and individuals working to end child labor in Pakistan. These include non-governmental organizations such as the Society for the Protection of the Rights of the Child (SPARC) and the International Labour Organization (ILO), as well as activists and educators who are working to raise awareness about the issue and provide education and vocational training to children.
Ending child labor in Pakistan will require a concerted effort from government, civil society, and the private sector. This includes providing children with access to education and creating economic opportunities for families that allow them to support themselves without relying on their children’s labor. Only then can we hope to create a brighter future for the children of Pakistan.