Child Labour in Pakistan Summary

God has given human beings the boon of wisdom and discretion to think upon the signs of the universe and to draw conclusions. That is the reason why they disclose the hidden facts of it and its structure and have made remarkable progress in many walks of life. Children are the flowers of heaven. They are the most beautiful and purest creation of God. They are innocent both inwardly and outwardly. No doubt, they are the beauty of this world. Early in the morning when the children put on different kinds of clothes and begin to go to schools for the sake of knowledge, we feel a specific kind of joy through their innocence.

But there are also other children, those who cannot go to schools due to financial problems, they only watch others go to schools and can merely wish to seek knowledge.It is due to many hindrances and difficulties; desperate conditions that they face in life. Having been forced to kill their aspirations, dreams and other wishes, they are pressed to earn a living for themselves and for their families. It is also a fact that there are many children who play a key role in sustaining the economically life of their family without which, their families would not be able to make ends meet.

These are also part of our society who have forgotten the pleasures of their childhood. When a child in addition to getting education, earns his livelihood, this act of earning a livelihood is called as child Labour. The concept of child Labour got much attention during the 1990s when European countries announced a ban on the goods of the less-developed countries because of child Labour.

The International Labour Organization (ILO) defines child Labour as:

1- when a child is working during early age2- he overworks or gives over time to Labour3- he works due to the psychologically, socially, and materialistic pressure 4- he becomes ready to Labour on a very low pay

Another definition states:

“Child Labour” is generally speaking work for children that harms them or exploits them in some way (physically, mentally, morally or blocking access to education), United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund(UNICEF) defines “child” as anyone below the age of 18, and “child Labour” as some type of work performed by children below age 18.

(UNICEF) Child Labour is an important and a serious global issue through which all and sundry countries of the world are directly or indirectly affected, but, it is very common in Latin America, Africa and Asia. According to some, in several Asian countries’ 1/10 manpower consists of child Labour. In India the number of children between the ages of 10-14 has crossed above 44 million, in Pakistan this number is from 8 to 10 million, in Bangladesh 8-12 million, in Brazil 7 million, whereas their number is 12 million in Nigeria.

In Pakistan children aged 5-14 are above 40 million.During the last year, the Federal Bureau of Statistics released the results of its survey funded by ILO’s IPEC (International Program on the Elimination of Child Labour). The findings were that 3.8 million children age group of 5-14 years are working in Pakistan out of total 40 million children in this age group; fifty percent of these economically active children are in age group of 5 to 9 years. Even out of these 3.8 million economically active children, 2.7 million were claimed to be working in the agriculture sector. Two million and four hundred thousand (73%) of them were said to be boys.

During the year 2001 and 2002 the government of Pakistan carried out a series of consultation of tripartite partners and stakeholders (Labour Department, trade unions, employers and NGOs) in all the provinces. The objective was to identify the occupations and the categories of work, which may be considered as hazardous under the provisions of ILO Convention 182. As a result of these deliberations, a national consensus list of occupations and categories of work was identified, which is given below:

DIFFERENT CATOGORIES OF THE WORK OF CHILD LABOUR:1. Nature of occupation-category of work2. Work inside under ground mines over ground quarries, including blasting and assisting in blasting 3. Work with power driven cutting machinery like saws, shears, and guillotines, ( Thrashers, fodder cutting machines, also marbles) 4. Work with live electrical wires over 50V.

5. All operation related to leather tanning process e.g. soaking, dehairing, liming chrome tanning, deliming, pickling defleshing, and ink application. 6. Mixing or application or pesticides insecticide/fumigation. 7. Sandblasting and other work involving exposure to free silica.

8. Work with exposure to ALL toxic, explosive and carcinogenic chemicals e.g. asbestos, benzene, ammonia, chlorine, sulphur dioxide, hydrogen sulphide, sulphuric acid, hydrochloric acid, nitric acid, caustic soda, phosphorus, benzidene dyes, isocyanides, carbon tetrachloride, carbon disulphide, epoxy, resins, formaldehyde, metal fumes, heavy metals like nickel, mercury chromium, lead, arsenic, beryllium, fiber glass, and 9. Work with exposure to cement dust (cement industry)

10. Work with exposure to coal dust11. Manufacture and sale of fireworks explosives

12. Work at the sites where Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) and Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) are filled in cylinders. 13. Work on glass and metal furnaces14. Work in the clothe printing, dyeing and finishing sections 15. Work inside sewer pipelines, pits, storage tanks16. Stone crushing17. Lifting and carrying of heavy weight specially in transport industry (15b kg and above) 18. Work between 10 pm to 8 am ( Hotel Industry)19. Carpet waving20. Working 2 meter above the floor21. All scavenging including hospital waste22. tobacco process ( including Niswar) and Manufacturing23. Deep fishing ( commercial fishing/ sea food and fish processing 24. Sheep casing and wool industry25. Ship breaking26. Surgical instrument manufacturing specially in vendors workshop 27. Bangles glass, furnacesNow we can easily imagine in the light of above mentioned facts and figures how the nation’s future namely children are deprived of pleasures of life, ignorance has reduced their abilities of thinking right or differentiating between right and wrong, as well as their life-chances, to their non-access to education. It is true that child Labour is not an isolated phenomenon.

It is an outcome of a multitude of socio-economic factors and has its roots in poverty, lack of opportunities, high rate of population growth, unemployment, uneven distribution of wealth and resources, outdated social customs and norms and plethora of other factors. According to the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) the daily income of 65.5% people of Pakistan is below 2 U.S. dollars a day.

According to the Asian Development Bank (ADB) Report, 47 million people in Pakistan are leading lines below the line of poverty, whereas the Social Policy Development Centre (SDPC) Karachi has stated in one of its reports that the ratio of poverty in Pakistan was 33% during 1999 that increased in 2001 and reached 38%. The ratio of poverty in the current year is around 30%.

Consider the point that if 30% of our country’s total population is leading life below the poverty-line wherein the people are deprived of basic necessities of life like clothing, shelter, food, education and medication, the children of these people will be forced to become Labourers or workers in order to survive. Another reason of child Labour in Pakistan is that our people don’t have the security of social life.

There is no aid plan or allowance for children in our country. Class-based education system is another reason for increasing child Labour; villages lack standardized education systems and as a result, child Labour is on increase in rural areas. The government has not put its laws into practice to stop child Labour in our country. Employers after exploiting child Labour, extract a large surplus, whereas child Labour, despite increasing poverty, unemployment and other problems, are pressed to do anything and everything for their livelihood and the survival of their families.

CHILD LABOUR A COMPLEX PROBLEM:Child Labour is a complex problem which demands a range of solutions. There is no better way to prevent child Labour than to make education compulsory. The West understood this a long time ago. Laws were enacted very early to secure continued education for working children; and now they have gone a step forward, and required completion of at least the preliminary education of the child before he or she starts work.

Martin Luther as back far 1524 sent a letter to German Municipalities insisting it was their duty to provide schools, and the duty of parents to educate their children. In Sweden, a royal decree in 1723 instructed parents and guardians to diligently see to it that their children applied themselves to book reading. In Europe, one country after another; Scotland, Prussia (1817), Austria (1869), France, United Kingdom (1880) and Italy made education compulsory. In 1872, Japan became the first non-Western country to make elementary school education compulsory with the declaration by the Meiji Govt.

The present government in Pakistan has made elementary education compulsory. Along with this, the government has distributed free books in primary schools so that parents, who cannot afford their children’s school expenses, send their children to schools. The major point is that this decision must be acted upon at all levels. There is strict need to stop child Labour in this country. Awareness must be raised and the attention of parents ought to be diverted to the education of their children.

Child Labour Laws should be put into practice strictly. In addition, the educational system of the country-must be reshaped and restructured according to national development goals. The orphans and other deserving children must be helped financially on a prolonged basis. It is also essential to eliminate child Labour fromthe country, that the political, economical and social system of the country are need to be reshaped and such steps taken that make child Labour in this country a crime.

They should bring on the well-being of a lay man, good governance and end to exploitative thinking. If we succeed to act upon these principles, our country can easily get rid of this problem i.e. child Labour. The agreement that has recently been approved by Pakistan, Norway and ILO to eradicate child Labour must be given importance and we hope that our rulers must put this agreement into practice using all means at their disposal.

IN LAST:Child labor is a byproduct of the industrial revolution and was used mainly because Child Labor is a cheap labor force, and because of the child size they could get into places where adults could not. During the late 18th, through the 19th century there has been a visible effort to eliminate child labor. Unfortunately most of the developing countries do not follow the child labor laws because they need the labor force, and the economy, that the global conglomerates like Disney, Nike, and Wal-mart give them.

Pakistan is a rather poor country. Many families go through a constant struggle everyday just to get enough food for them and their family. It is estimated that 500,000 to one million children ages four to fourteen are being forced, just to make carpets. Many of the men work long hours for little pay, and whenever there is an error, even due to natural disasters, they are blamed and their salary is cut or taken away.

This is extremely difficult to support a family. Many fathers sell their children to carpet masters for a sum of money paid over five years. Even though the father is happy with ¼ of the sum because a deal is not worth much in Pakistan especially between rich men and poor men. When the Father receives this money he is in the masters dept and his sun must work until it is paid off. Child labor is prevalent throughout all of Pakistan, but its worst occurrences happen in the carpet industry and the soccer ball industry. These two industries have the highest percent of working children and also maintain the worst conditions. Some of the conditions children in these industries must endure are:

1.) Low wages- children are commonly paid less than one-third of what anadult would get for the same job. 2.) Little light to work by- overseers keep lights low to limit activist’s ability to take photos. 3.) Forced labor- once the child’s parents agree to let them work the master can extend the child’s debt, which puts them in a state of perpetual servitude to the master. 4.) Separation from family- the masters often sell the children like they would a slave, commonly without the parent’s knowledge

5.) Beatings- children are often beaten to “encourage” them or when they make a mistake in their duties The factory owners who recruit these children can also continue their bondage through generations. When the debtor’s children become old enough they inherit the debt and must go work for the master. In this way entire families are kept in virtual slavery for generations.

The factory owners also sell off debts to other owners, which put the children in possession of the other owner and have split up many families. The factory owners are inherently implementing a system of slavery using children as the slaves. The situation in Pakistan is in violation of several human rights listed in The Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It violates 4 rights listed in the article section of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

They are that “No one shall be held in slavery or servitude;” This means that the children in the factories are not to be held there-by-there carpet masters, and the second part that “Everyone without and discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work.” The children should be paid the equal amount that anyone else gets. Article 24 that states “Everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay.” This violates the rights of these children in two ways. The children are having 1) Very long hours that is exhausting to them and

2) Very little rest and leisure without holidays. “Everyone has the right to an education.” The children in the factories are clearly not getting an education and this should be stopped!

CONCLUSIONThe aim of the present study was to identify the supply side determinants of child labour. Multiple indicator cluster survey 2007-08 for Punjab was used. According to this study children are pushed into work that is often damagingto their development due to these factors: absence of mother’s education, household head’s education, large family size, low level of family income, less education of child etc. On the basis of our results the study gives certain policy options. Low level of family income drives children into hazardous labour.

The parents of child labourers are often unemployed or underemployed, desperate for secure employment and income. Yet it is their children more powerless and paid less that is offered the jobs. Immediate effort is required to eliminate hazardous and exploitative child labour and in this regard government should provide employment opportunities for the adult member of those families whose survival depends upon the earnings of the children. Hazardous and exploitative forms of child labour, including bonded labour and work that hampers the child’s physical, social, emotional or moral development, must not be tolerated, and governments should take necessary action to stop them.

Governments must ensure primary education free and compulsory for all children. Data on child labour are scarce and inaccurate. Government should take special attention to the forgotten areas of child labour like child labour within the home, or in the family form. Monitoring by communities themselves is important, and working children should actively participate in assessing their situations and in proposing ways to improve their conditions.