God has given human beings the boon of wisdom and discretion to think upon
the signs of the universe and to draw conclusions. That is the reason why they
disclose the hidden facts of it and its structure and have made remarkable
progress in many walks of life. Children are the flowers of heaven. They are
the most beautiful and purest creation of God. They are innocent both inwardly
and outwardly. No doubt, they are the beauty of this world. Early in the
morning when children put on the different kinds of clothes and begin to go to
the schools for the sake of knowledge, we feel a specific kind of joy through
their innocence.
“Our greatest natural resource is the minds of our children.” – Walt Disney
But there are also other children, those who cannot go to schools due to financial
problems, they only watch others go to schools and can merely wish to seek
knowledge. It is due to many hindrances and difficulties: desperate conditions that
they are pressed to earn a living for themselves and for their families. It is also a fact
that there are many children who play a key role in sustaining to economically life of
their family without which, their families would not be able to make ends meet. These
are also part of our society who has forgotten the pleasures of their childhood.
When a child in addition to getting education, earns his livelihood, this act of earning
a livelihood is called child labour. the concept of child labour got much attention
during 1990s when European countries announced a ban on the goods of the less-
developed countries because of child labour.
The International Labour Organization (ILO) defines child labour as:
1. When a child is working during early age
2. He overworks or gives over time to Labour
3. He works due to the psychologically, socially and materialistic pressure
4. He becomes ready to Labour on a very low pay

Another Definition States:
“Child Labour” is generally speaking work for children that harms them or
exploits them in some way (physically, mentally, morally or blocking access to
Definition by UNICEF:
United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) defines
As anyone below the age of 18 and “child Labour” as some type of works
performed by children below age 18. (UNICEF)

Child Labour is an important and a serious global issue through which all and sundry
countries of the world are directly or indirectly affected,but it is very common in
 Latin America
 Africa
 Asia
According to some, in several Asian Countries’ 1/10 manpower consists of Child Labour
 In india the number of children between the ages 10-14 has crossed above Pakistan
 In Pakistan this Number is from 3.8 million
 In Bangladesh 8-12 million
 In Brazil 7 Million
 In Nigeria their number is 12 million
Today Pakistan is facing a lot of social problems but some are very common in
Pakistan, which are destroying our society and also economy of Pakistan. One of
them is Child Labour
In Pakistan children aged 5-14 are above 40 million. During the last year,the Federal
Bureau of Statistics Released the Results of its survey funded by ILO’s IPEC
(International Program on the Elimination of Child Labour). The Findings were that
3.8 million children age group 5-14 years are working in Pakistan out of total 40
million children in this age group; fifty percent of these economically active
children.2.7 million were claimed to be working in the agriculture sector. Two million
and four hundred thousand (73%) of them were said to be boys.
Child Labour in Pakistan got more prominence
after the murder of a bonded labour activist,
Iqbal Masih, in 1995. Iqbal was sold as a child
slave at the age of four for the equivalent of 12
USD. He was forced to work on a carpet loom in a
small town called Muridke near Lahore, and was
forced to work fourteen hours per day. He was
only paid three cents by his boss. At the age of
10,he escaped the brutal slavery and later joined
the BLLF(Bonded Labour Liberation Front of
Pakistan) to help stop child labour around the
world. Iqbal helped over 3,000 Pakistani Children
that were in bonded labour escape to freedom and made speeches about child
labour all around the world. He was murdered on Easter Sunday 1995 in Muridke in
the middle of a busy road on his back from Church. Some locals were accused of the
crime but it is assumed by many that he was assassinated by members of the
“Carpet Mafia” because of his famous fight against the child labour industry.
Ehsanullah Khan, Chief of the Bonded Labour Liberation Front exploited the
senseless killing and took sinister advantage of the sympathy generated for Iqbal
Masih in Sweden and other European countries. He bilked NGOs in these countries
out of millions of dollars, ostensibly to build schools in memory of Iqbal Masih and to
release bonded children from the captivity of brick kiln owners. This campaign hurt
Pakistan’s image very negatively, until the authorities confirmed that a deranged
villager killed him. The publication of the findings forced Ehsanullah Khan to flee the
country and live in exile in Europe. This killing affected the exports of carpets from
Pakistan and there were demands for the introduction of social labeling on carpets
produced in Pakistan. The campaign to introduce the “Rug Mark” label, denoting
Child Labour-free Carpet Manufacturing gathered momentum. Recently, this label
was officially introduced on carpets made in Pakistan, and it is hoped that there will
be a commensurate increase in carpets exports.
Child Labour is also prominently utilized
in the stitching of soccer balls in Sialkot.
There has been a concerted
propaganda in the western countries
against the soccer balls produced in
Pakistan. Vivid pictures of small children
sewing these footballs have been
telecast all over the western airwaves
and the outcome has been very dire for
the Pakistan sports goods industry.
Nike has been accused of using child
Labour in the production of its soccer
balls in Pakistan.
During the year 2001 and 2002 the government of Pakistan carried out a series of
consultation of tripartite and stakeholders (Labour Department, Trade Unions,
employers and NGOs) in all the provinces. The objective was to identify the
occupations and the categories of work, which may be considered as hazardous
under the provision of ILO convention 182. As a result of these deliberations, a
national consensus list of occupations and categories of work was identified, which is
given below:
1. Nature of occupation-category of work.
2. Work inside underground mines over ground quarries, including blasting and
assisting in blasting.
3. Work with power driven cutting machinery like saws, shears, and
guillotines,(thrashers, fodder cutting machines, also marbles).
4. Work with live electrical wires over 50V.
5. All operation related to leather tanning process e.g. soaking, dehairing, liming
chrome tanning, deliming, pickling, defleshing, and ink application
6. Mixing or application or pesticides insecticide/fumigation.
7. Sandblasting and other work involving exposure to free silica.
8. Work with exposure to all toxic , explosive and carcinogenic chemicals e.g.
asbestos, benzene, ammonia, chlorine, sulphur dioxide, hydrogen sulphide,
sulphuric acid, hydrochloric acid, nitric acid, caustic soda, phosphorus,
benzidene dyes, isocyanides, carbon tetrachloride, carbon disulphide, epoxy
,resins, formaldehyde, metal fumes, heavy metals like nickel mercury
chromium, lead, arsenic, beryllium, fiber glass.
9. Work with exposure to cement dust (cement industry).
10. Work with exposure to coal dust.
11. Manufacture and sale of fireworks explosives.
12. Work at the sites where Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) and Compressed
Natural Gas (CNG) are filled in cylinders.
13. Work on glass and metal furnaces.
14. Work in the clothe printing, dyeing and finishing sections.
15. Work inside sewer pipelines, pits, storage tanks.
16. Stone Crushing.
17. Lifting and carrying of heavy weight especially in transport work industry (15b
kg and above).
18. Work between 10pm to 8 am (hotel Industry).
19. Carpet waving.
20. Working 2 meter above the floor.
21. Tobacco process (including Niswar) and Manufacturing.
22. Deep fishing (commercial fishing/sea food and fish processing.
23. Sheep casing and wool industry.
24. Surgical instrument manufacturing especially in vendors workshop.
25. Bangles glass, furnaces
Now we can easily imagine in the light of above mentioned facts and figures how the
nation’s future namely children are deprived of pleasures of life, ignorance has
reduced their abilities of thinking right or differentiating between right and wrong, as
well as their life-chances, to their non-access to education. It is true that Child
Labour is not an isolated phenomenon.

Child Labour is a pervasive problem throughout
the world, especially in developing countries.
Child labour is especially prevalent in rural areas
where the capacity to enforce minimum age
requirements for schooling and work is lacking.
Children work for variety of reasons, the most
important being poverty and the induced pressure
upon them to escape from its plight. The children
work to ensure the survival of their family and
themselves. Though children are not well paid,
they still serve as major contributors to family
income in developing countries.
It is due to many hindrances and difficulties;
desperate conditions that they face in life. Having
been forced to kill their aspirations, dreams and
other wishes, they are pressed to earn a living for
themselves and for their families. It is also a fact that
there are many children who play a key role in sustaining
the economically life of their family without which, their
families would not be able to make ends meet. These are
also part of our society who has forgotten the pleasures of
their childhood. When a child in addition to getting
education, earns his livelihood, this act of earning a
livelihood is called as child Labour. The concept of child
labour got much attention during 1990s when European
countries announced a ban on the goods of the less-
developed countries because of child labour.
Some common causes of Child labour are:
 Poverty
 Parental illiteracy
 Social apathy
 Ignorance, lack of education and exposure,
 Exploitation of cheap and unorganized Labour
 The family practice to inculcate traditional skills in
children also pulls little one inexorably in the trap of
child Labour, as they never get the opportunity to
learn anything else

Among these POVERTY is the primary cause of child
Labour. You must have observed that poor families have
more numbers of children, so it becomes very difficult for
them to survive on the income of only one family member
which is also quite less. So they make their small children
their source of income. They make their children work in
factories, shops, even infants on the streets to earn money
from begging. Some percentage of child Labour also
comes from harassment by parents, step-parents or
In third world countries, there are many people, less space, and not enough money
and resources for everybody that is why there are many who are poor without money
or a home. When individuals have children, they are unable to support them with
food or housing, let alone schooling. Since the children are unable to go to school,
they have time to work. Families tend to discover the more children because the
children can work or be sold. It is found that children in poor countries are the main
contributors to family income. Another reason is the families think the the companies
provide a better opportunity and life than the families can, so they allow their kids to

Absence of compulsory education at the primary level,
parental ignorance regarding the bad effects of child
Labour, the infectivity of child Labour laws in terms of
implementation, non availability and non accessibility of
schools, boring and unpractical school curriculum and
cheap child Labour are some other factors which
encourages the phenomenon of child Labour. It is also
very difficult to immature mind and underdeveloped
bodies to understand and organize themselves against
exploitation in the absence of adult guidance.
When parents allow their children to go work, it affects their chances for schooling.
Since the parents cannot afford for their children to be educated, the only choice left
Is to employ their child on farms , factories, or companies. This causes the children
to delay their mental and physical development both internally and externally.
Families do not know that what companies are doing is wrong; they do not know
about any opportunities outside of their immediate homes and workplaces. They are
forced to work about ten to twelve hours for six days a week and are paid as low as
fifteen cents per hour. Sometimes when they are forced to work overtime, they are
paid 10% more or it is just considered as volunteered work. They work in unsanitary,
unsafe, injurious, and very strict places.
Poverty and Over Population have been identified as the two main causes of child
labour :
 Parents are forced to send little children into hazardous jobs for reasons of
survival, even when they know it is wrong.
 Monetary constrains and the need for food, shelter and clothing drives their
children in the trap of premature Labour.

Over population in some regions creates paucity of resources. When there are
limited means and more months to feed children are driven to commercial activities
and not provided for their development needs. This is the case in most Asian and
African countries. Illiterate and ignorant parents do not understand need for
wholesome proper physical, cognitive and emotional development of their child.
They are themselves uneducated and unexposed, so they don’t realize the
importance of education for their children.
Adult unemployment and urbanization also causes child Labour. Adults often find it
difficult to find jobs because factory owners find it more beneficial to employ children
at cheap rates. This exploitation is particularly visible in garment factories of urban
areas. Adult exploitation of children is also seen in many places. Elders relax at
home and live on the Labour of poor helpless children.
The industrial revolution has also had a negative effect by giving rise to
circumstances which encourages child Labour. Sometimes multinational prefer to
employ child workers in the developing countries. This is so because they can be
recruited for less pay, more work can be extracted from them and there is no union
problem with them. This attitude also makes it difficult for adults to find jobs in
factories, forcing them to drive their little ones to work to keep the fire burning their
Most of the Asian and African countries are over populated. Due to limited resources
and more mouths to feed, children are employed in various forms of work.

Illiterate parents do not realize the need of a proper physical, emotional and
cognitive development of a child. As they are uneducated, they do not realize the
importance of education of their children.
Many a time poverty forces parents to send their children to hazardous jobs.
Although they know it is wrong, they have no other alternative as they need the
The Industrial Revolution has its own negative side. Many a time MNC’s and export
industries in the developing world employee whiled works, particularly in the
Garment Industry.
Elders often find it difficult to get jobs. The industrialists and factory owners find it
profitable to employ children. This is so because they can pay less and extract more
work. They will also not create union problem.
Children born out of wedlock, children with on parents and relatives, often do not find
anyone to support them. Thus they are forced to work for their own living.
This is at the root of the problem. Even if a family is very poor, the incidence of child
labour will be very low unless there are people willing to exploit these children.
Child Labour is increasing at an alarming rate due to which Paksitan’s literacy rate is
badly affected. The world is struggling tremendously to eradicate child labour till
2020. However, it is stunning to see it is becoming increasingly common in a report
of the International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour (IPECL).
Mentions that 3.8 million children between the ages of five and 14 are working in the
agriculture sector, at least 2.7 are said to be children. It is surprising to see the digit
has doubled as compared to 2005; 30 per cent of the country lives under the poverty
line and is deprived of all basic amenities which is the main cause of child labour.
Parents are bound to put their children to work instead of educating them. It is
disappointing to see these children working in an unhealthy environment. The
Government should focus on this burning issue and provide the basic right of
children education.
Pakistan’s high population growth rate of 2.77 percent poses multiple challenges,
problems and threatens to constrain the limited resources and economic and social
development of the country. Thirty percent of the country’s population lives below the
poverty line. Pakistan’s per capita GNP is around US$490 per annum, but income is
not equally distributed. The overall literacy rate is estimated at 40 percent: 51
percent for men and 28 percent for women. Given the high rate of population
growth, a large workforce seeking employment is regularly being introduced into the
labour market of the country. A large young labour force has emerged and competes
with the adult workers for the limited employment opportunities.

China accounts for the third largest number where child labour is concerned. In fact,
many think it to be a phenomenon that has just begum to surface. However, the fact
is that child Labour in China has been there for years. This is so despite that there
have been strict official regulations that ban employment of minors. And according to
the laws of china, a minor is an individual below the age of sixteen-years.
Due to poverty, teenagers and younger children have been migrating to the southern
and coastal regions of China. This is because these regions have been developing
and provide a lot of opportunities to earn.
On of the major social problems in China is Child Labour. Children in China are an
abundant source of Labour. In some areas of China children make up then to twenty
percent of the work force. Many companies prefer child labour because children are
cheap, obedient and agile enough to maneuver in small machine-cramped work
The Compulsory Education Law of the Chinese constitution states that all children
under the age of 16 must go to school and are not allowed to hold full-time jobs.
However, the government does little to prevent privately owned industrial or
commercial firms from hiring children. Up to ten percent of Chinese children hold full
time jobs instead of going to school each year.
Parents allow their children to work because many Chinese feel school doesn’t
provide skills that have immediate or realistic advantages. Many poor families cannot
afford the expenses of school, and the children go to work in order to support the
family. Work is often seen as more beneficial than school.
The Chinese government sees child Labour as one way to combat poverty and does
little to enforce that laws against it. The companies are more interested in their
economic investments than the statues of their workers. So far there have not been
any convincing signs that the situation will improve or that the issue has become a
priority for the Chinese government.
There are juvenile Labourers employed in the workshops and factories. According to
a recent People’s Daily Report the use of children is maximum in the following
 Toy manufacturing
 Production
 Textiles
 Construction
The reasons for increasing child labour in this country include the following
 The number reason, as for any nation is poverty.
 The high school fees even in the rural regions.
 Less education opportunities in the rural regions.
 The income children bring helps improve to certain extent the financial
situation of the family.
 Most parents are not aware of the grueling circumstances under which their
children work.
 Most children do not tell their parents, as they realize the value of their own
income for their family.
India accounts for the second highest number where child labour in the world is
concerned. Africa account for the highest number of children employed and
exploited the fact is that across the length and breadth of the nation, children are in a
pathetic condition.
While experts blame the system, poverty, illiteracy, adult employment: yet the fact is
that the entire nation is responsible for every crime against a child. Instead of nipping
the the bud, child labour in India was allowed to increase with each
passing year. And today, young ones below the age of 14 have become an important
part of various industries; at the cost of their innocence, childhood, health and for
that matter their lives.
Recognizing the increasing problem of child labour in India, the Parliament passed,
“the Child Labour (prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986”
Here is a look at the various labour activities involving children, across the length
and breadth of India…
Bonded Child Labour:
This is also known as slave and labour and is one of the worst types of labour for
children and adults, alike. In fact, in 1976 the Indian Parliament enacted the Bonded
Labour System (Abolition) Act; herein declaring bonded illegal. However, the fact
remains is that this system of working as domestic servants in India. Beyond this
there are almost 55 million bonded child Labourers hired across various other
Child Labour in the Agriculture sector:
According to a recent ILO report about 80% child Labourers in India are employed in
the agriculture sector. The children are generally sold to the rich moneylenders to
whom borrowed money cannot be returned.
Street Children:
Children on the streets works as beggars, they sell flowers and other items, instead
of being sent to school. They go hungry for days to gather. In fact, they are starved
so that people feel sorry for them and give them alms.
Children Employed at Glass Factories:
According to recent estimates almost 60,000 children are employed in the glass and
bangle industry and are made to work under extreme conditions of excessive heat.
Child Labour in Matchbox Factories:
Of the 2,00,000 labour force in the matchbox industry, experts claim that 35% are
children below the age of 14. They are made to work over twelve hours a day,
beginning work at around 4 am, everyday.
Carpet Industry Child Labour:
According to a recent report by the ILO almost 4,20,000 children are employed in the
carpet industry of India.

The other Industries:
According to researchers there are about 50,000 children employed in the brass
industry of India and around the same in the lock industry.
The purpose of this act was to declare child labour as illegal and make it a
punishable act by any citizen of India. The act is to bring to the notice of the people
of this nation that there are child labour laws to protect the child. However, in spite of
this the situation has not improved, nor has it been brought under control. For that
matter it ha worsened.
Africa has world’s highest rate of child labour.
“The African continent has the world’s highest rate of child labour, with two in
five children in sub-Saharan Africa engaged in some form of work”
Almost 50-million children in sub-Saharan Africa between the ages of five and
fourteen – or 26.4 % of that group’s population-work, according the The End of
Child Labour: Within Reach, an ILO report released on Thursday in Addis Ababa,
the Ethiopian Capital.
“the picture in Africa is mixed. On the one hand, the proportion of children working
went down from 28.8% to 26.4% but the absolute number of children working in sub-
Saharan Africa went up from 48-million to 49.3-million,” said Yaw Ofosu, a Child-
Labour specialist with ILO. “This shows that more still needs to be done.”
A combination of high population growth, extreme poverty and the HIV/Aids
pandemic has hindered progress in the fight against child labour in Africa, Ofosu
said. According to the report, 50 000 African children are engaged in commercial sex
and pornography, and some 120 000 children under the age of 18 have been
coerced into taking up arms as child soldiers, military porters, messengers, cooks or
sex slaves.
Despite slow progress in Africa, global child labour declined in 2006, Ofosu said. The
actual number of child Labourers worldwide fell by 11% between 2000 and 2004,
from 246-million to 218-million. In addition, the number of youngsters exposed to
labour that put them in physical and mental danger fell by 26 % to 126-million.
“The decline is largely due to increased political will to tackle child labour as part of
wider poverty reduction strategies, “said Ofosu. “What is crucial is policies that help
poor families send their kids to school. Education and policy choices are key factors
reducing child labour”
The world considers the issue of child labour to be a rather serious one in Sub-
Saharan Africa. However, there are a set of experts in Africa who do no consider it to
be serious and prefer to sweep it under their carpet in order to look into more serious
issues. There are still others who prefer to wear a blindfold and believe that child
labour issues are far more serious in other nation, whereas it is as good as non-
existent in their own nation.
However, ILO statistics provide a more serious picture. It states that over 40% of the
children of Africa are working. They are mainly working as slaves in private
household, apart from other industries. And because they are working in household,
African experts would like to believe it is not really a serious issue.
While the picture, as we see s grim, yet nothing can really be done as there is no
consistent or factual empirical evidence where child labour in Africa is concerned.