June 12, 2021, is being marked as World Day Against Child Labor. 2021 is the International Year for the Elimination of Child Labor’s miseries across the globe. Child labor is one of the mounting social issues rampant across the board, particularly in Asian countries and so in Pakistan too. Child labor leaves a drastic impact on the mental, physical, moral, and social life of children that is considerable to think over the waning issue. Where Does Pakistan Stand on World Child Labour Day?
Conferring to the reports,
“During the 1990s, 11 million children were working in Pakistan – half of whom were under the age of 10. In 1994, the minimum age for child workers was 8 years, which was later brought down to 7 years in 1996. And the situation is worse as the country steps in the twentieth century.”
Where Does Pakistan Stand on World Child Labour Day?
According the UN Sustainable Development Goals (by 2025) calls for to end to child labor
“Children are routinely engaged in paid/unpaid forms of work that are not harmful to them. However, they are classified as child laborers when they are either too young to work, or are involved in hazardous activities that may compromise their physical, mental, social or educational development.”
UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore states,
“Global estimates 2020 report, about 160 million children are trapped in child labor worldwide – an increase of 8.4 million children in the last four years. International Labor Organization (ILO) and UNICEF warn that an additional 9 million children are at risk as a result of the pandemic. This is a reversal of the previous downward trend. We are losing ground in the fight against child labor, and the last year has not made that fight any easier,”
The agriculture sector accounts for 70 percent of children in child labor (112 million) followed by 20 percent in services (31.4 million) and 10 percent in industry (16.5 million).
According to a 2018 report by the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP),
“There are 12 million children trapped in child labor in Pakistan. While a 2020 constitutional amendment banned child labor under the Employment of Children Act 1991 implementing the new legislation still faces difficulties. The ILO and UNICEF are calling for urgent access to social protections including universal child benefits. They also recommend increasing spending on free and good-quality education and getting all children back into school. These steps must be taken if Pakistan wishes to make any progress in its fight against child labor.”
Though there is a profusion of laws and acts to confront the menace of child labor the laws that protect the children are, regrettably, unheeded not only in Pakistan but globally as well. Government policies and laws are appreciative but there is a need for proper enactment if we are to achieve the looked-for goalmouths.