Legal Insights by Naich Law Firm

Breaking the Cycle of Child Labour in Pakistan

An in-depth analysis of the child labour problem in Pakistan, its causes and effects on the lives of children, and the need for effective implementati

Child labour is a major issue that affects the lives of millions of children around the world. In Pakistan, this problem is no exception, as a large number of children are forced to work under hazardous conditions, depriving them of their childhood, education, and future. Despite several laws and regulations put in place to curb child labour, this practice continues to exist in many sectors, especially in agriculture, factories, small workshops, hotels, cinemas, vending on the streets, the fishing industry, mining, brick kilns, bracelet making, packing, and construction.

The Employment of Children Act 1991, The Bonded Labour System Abolition Act 1992, and The Punjab Compulsory Education Act 1994 are some of the laws that prohibit child labour in Pakistan. However, these laws are not effectively implemented, leading to a large number of children still constituting a significant part of the labour force in the country. Article 5-A of the Constitution of Pakistan clearly states that the state shall provide free and compulsory education to all children of the age of five to sixteen years. However, this has not been effectively implemented, leading to the widespread exploitation of children in the country.

Child labourers are usually unaware of the dangers and risks involved in their work, leading to serious health problems. They are often subjected to long working hours with little or no breaks, leading to physical and emotional exhaustion. In many cases, child labourers face serious mental health issues and trauma that persist into adulthood. This can lead to a lifetime of physical and emotional hurt, resulting in decreased productivity, and lower economic growth.

The impact of child labour on the children is not limited to just their physical and mental well-being. Many children who are unable to find work are forced to beg on the streets, leading to a life of poverty, hunger, and in some cases, child prostitution. In extreme cases, children are forced to turn to theft as a means of survival, leading to a life of crime.

In conclusion, child labour is a major issue in Pakistan that affects the well-being, education, and future of children. Despite laws and regulations put in place to curb this practice, it continues to exist, leading to serious physical, mental, and emotional health problems for children. The government must take effective steps to enforce these laws, to ensure that children are protected from exploitation and abuse, and given the opportunity for a brighter future. The only way to stop child labour and promote human development is through a concerted effort from all sectors of society, including the government, civil society, and the business community. Together, we can work towards a better future for the children of Pakistan.

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About the Author

A Professional Lawyer Specialised in Civil and Criminal Litigation, and member of Karachi Bar Assosiation.

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