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Child labour in Pakistan

July 03, 2012

THIS is apropos of Fida Hussain’s letter ‘12 million labourers in Pakistan’ (June 26). Children are the future of any nation and, therefore, they should be so groomed that they can become better citizens.

Child labour is a serious crime all over the world. The Unicef defines child labour as some type of work performed by children below the age of 18. There is something seriously wrong with our country which not only fails to educate all its children but also depends on them to keep its economy afloat.The country is heading back into the dark ages with only a few lucky one receiving education. The number of child labourers in our country is about 12 million.

According to statistics released by the Federal Bureau of Statistics last year, 3.8 million children in the age group of five to 14 years are working in our country out of a total of 40 million children. Fifty per cent of these economically active children are in the age group of five to nine years. Even out of these 3.8 million children, 2.7 million were claimed to be working in the agricultural sector. About 2,400,000 (73 per cent) of them were said to be boys.

The law says that primary education is compulsory for everyone, but we all know that actions speak louder than words. The government should supply free books to government schools and should make the level of government schools at par with that of private schools so that condition of equality exists.

The government should take notice of child labour as well and take strict action against those responsible so that the future of Pakistan becomes safe.

JAVED JAGIRANI Larkana