Child labour in Pakistan

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Child labour is a sad truth of Pakistan and unfortunately it prevails in many forms in the country. According to a survey conducted by the Federal Bureau of Statistics, out of the estimated 40 million children in Pakistan, approximately 19 million are working as child labourers.
This is unacceptable given that a principle of policy in Pakistan is to provide free education and rid the country of illiteracy. In many cases, the parents of child labourers cannot afford education or they believe that education does not lead to marketable skills. Unfortunately the rate of child labour is increasing in Pakistan. It is primarily due to the reason that 25% percent of people are living below poverty-line in Pakistan and they are unable to fulfil their basic needs, hence they have to force their children to struggle in such a young age.
It is very sad to see these young children who should be going to schools at this age are going to kilns and factories and the hands that should be holding pens and books are being used to lift heavy weights of bricks or changing heavy tyres of cars at auto repair shops. Every child in Pakistan, in fact all over the country has a right to be educated, he has the right to enjoy his childhood and play freely! The government and even the local citizens of Pakistan should play their part in eradicating child labour and provide these children with better opportunities.
Instead of making these children go to workshops and kilns, it should be the government’s responsibility to ensure that all children go to school. For this, education should either be made free of cost or at least the fee should be made minimal so that even the poorest can send their children to school and provide them with an opportunity for a brighter future.
M Taimur Shahzad
Islamabad