Child Labor

Child Labor

What is child labor in Pakistan?

Child labor is an economic activity opt as a survival strategy. It can be paid or even unpaid. The minimum age for admission to employment or work is 16 years. For those who have not completed compulsory schooling or who have not reached the age of 18, their work is called child labor. It is dangerous and prohibited in almost all countries.

Does Pakistan have child labor?

Every country that undergoes a financial crisis has child labor. These problems take place with the occurrence of fewer resources. Pakistan has the highest rate of poverty which is increasing rapidly in days. That will give birth to more crisis like these and will bring harm to the development of society.

Is child labor illegal in Pakistan?

Yes, child labor is illegal in Pakistan. Those who employ children under the age of 18 can have a lawful penalty.

What are the major reasons for child labor in Pakistan?

There are different factors behind child labor. It is the economy of Pakistan that encourages many families to use the entire labor force to achieve subsistence. The government has also made it difficult for the poor men to survive through such circumstances.

The forms of child labor cover almost all economic sectors. It occurs to a greater extent in agriculture and livestock. However, we can find children in industry, construction, public roads, commerce, mining, fishing, or the domestic sphere.

Effects of child labor in Pakistan:

The jobs that boys and girls do, affect their mental and physical health and impede their childhood development. It limits their play and rest time and interferes with their education. No form or modality of child labor is formative.

Worst forms of child labor:

Economic exploitation of children and adolescents, assimilable to slavery, and forced labor, which should be considered crimes.

It is defined that all forms of child labor or these practices are similar to slavery. It is by its nature or the conditions in which it is carried out, is likely to harm the health, safety, or morals of children.

Child exploitation: what is it and what consequences does it have on children?

Imagine that your sons and daughters instead of getting up every morning to go to school and play had to go to work to help support the family. Child exploitation is a reality in many countries of the world.

Around the world, 218 million children between the ages of 5 and 17 are engaged in economic production, and among them, 152 million are victims of child labor.

1 in 5 children in Pakistan is involved in child labor.

The highest concentration of child labor occurs in the agriculture sector (cotton, coffee, or sugar cane cultivation), followed by services and industry, especially mining (gold extraction).

The figures show us that child exploitation is a serious problem. However, we cannot forget that behind each number there is a boy or a girl who has lost their innocence and who lives in a situation of poverty.

What is child exploitation?

Child exploitation can be defined as the work carried out by children within the framework of a production system. In some cases, the term child exploitation is used as a synonym for child labor, but it is not the same, because exploitation involves the violation of a child’s right. Child exploitation, however, takes many forms:

  • Children are forced to work and their income is taken away.
  • Children perform work that is dangerous or puts their health at risk.
  • Minors are victims of the mafias, suffer slavery, are forced into prostitution, or are forcibly recruited to fight in the war.

To identify child labor as exploitation, a series of criteria must be given, such as the following:

  • Require exclusive dedication and not be adequately paid.
  • Prevent schooling and the full development of the child.
  • Undermine the dignity of the child (slavery or sexual exploitation).
  • Cause physical and mental stress.
  • Performed by boys and girls at a very early age.

What types of child exploitation are there?

Child exploitation not only takes the form of child labor but also other types of exploitation such as forced marriage. Most of the victims of forced marriages are girls and this type of marriage has been described as a type of modern slavery.

In some countries, although sanctions have been regulated to prevent forced marriage, it is difficult to control a custom entrenched for centuries, so awareness-raising and information work in schools is essential.

Causes of child exploitation:

Poverty in households. Many of the children who are victims of child exploitation come from very poor families that need more wages to survive.

Culture. In some rural areas, it is considered that, from the age of 10, children should engage in adult behaviors and therefore marry and work.

The gender. In some countries of the world, girls are considered inferior and are forced to do housework or work outside the home, and, at the same time, are prevented from going to school.

Consequences of child exploitation or labor:

The exploitation of children also has important consequences in many areas such as the following:

The perpetuation of poverty. Poverty is not only a cause of child exploitation, but it is also a consequence because when children have to work, they drop out of school and are not trained to access better jobs.

The health of boys and girls. The minors who are exploited through child labor have not fully developed from a physical and psychological point of view and the work they do can negatively affect their health, for example, children who work in mines in unsanitary conditions may suffer respiratory problems.

The psychological effects. A child who has been working from the age of 10 or earlier is forced to mature prematurely, unable to play and develop the characteristic skills of childhood. This means that the affected children, in the long term, may have low self-esteem, problems adapting to society, etc.

What can be done to eradicate child exploitation?

Solution of child labor:

The measures that can be taken against child exploitation depend on a common effort of both governments and citizens to achieve an end to the problem. Some of the actions that can be carried out are:

  • The signing of international agreements that regulate the prohibition of child labor and other forms of exploitation such as the forced marriage of boys and girls.
  • Establishment by the regulations of minimum age to work.
  • Promote access to free and quality education for all boys and girls.
  • Carry out awareness-raising actions both in schools for boys and girls, as well as in workshops for adults and teachers.
  • To achieve a good place in society, it is necessary to fight against child labor to eradicate it so that children can continue going to school and training to get out of the poverty in which they live and have a better future.
  • Many NGOs and other organizations help many boys and girls have an opportunity, favoring their training at school. They ensure that children have access to education and they work to protect children from exploitation and other dangers.
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