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 has 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 Labor much attention during the 1990s when European countries announced a ban on the goods of the less-developed countries because of child Labor.
Another definition states:
“Child Labor” 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 Labor” as some type of work performed by children below age 18. (UNICEF)
Child Labor 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 Labor. 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 Labor).
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 (Labor Department, trade unions, employers and NGOs) in all the provinces. 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.
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 Labor in this country. Awareness must be raised and the attention of parents ought to be diverted to the education of their children. Child Labor 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 Labor from the country, that the political, economical and social system of the country are need to be reshaped and such steps taken that make child Labor 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 Labor.
The agreement that has recently been approved by Pakistan, Norway and ILO to eradicate child Labor must be given importance and we hope that our rulers must put this agreement into practice using all means at their disposal. However, various steps have been taken to eradicate child labor from the industries; a change in the local attitude of the workers is the most significant factor to maintain a long lasting impact on the prevalence of child labor in the country.