Children lose childhood, education, due to child labour: Alvi


President

In a statement made earlier today on the International Day Against Child Labour, President Arif Alvi has said that “Children lose their childhood, education and health due to child labour. To eradicate child labour, its root causes have to be overcome”. 

The statement was issued in a bid to raise awareness on Pakistan’s pervasive child labour problem.

Various events and seminars are held across the globe on June 12 to mark this day. Last year, a symposium was held in Islamabad under Asia Regional Child Labour (ARC) Project.

Globally, the figure is 160 million according to the United Nations. In their most recent joint statement, UNICEF and ILO have reported a global year-on-year increase in children without access to social protection.

UNICEF reports that in Pakistan “only 34% of children under five are registered at birth nationally”. According to Pakistan’s only national child labour survey conducted in 1996, about 3.3 million Pakistani children are trapped in labour, condemned to live out their whole lives without education and health. 

To tackle this, the Pakistan government enacted the Employment of Children Act of 1991 which banned the employment of children below the age of 14 years. However, as Pakistan Today reports, “such interventions can lead to reductions in the already limited choices available to the child. For example, this legislation may mean that the child can neither work nor go to school”.

Governmental solutions for this include the Benazir Taleemi Wazaif initiative, through which PKR23.4b have been disbursed from July to March.

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