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WHAT IS "CHILD LABOR"? "Child labor" is work for children who are under the legal age required for labor (i.e. 18) & such work harms or exploits them physically, mentally, morally & by blocking their access to education and their legal rights.
On the other hand the rather optimistic current International perspective states that if the child after the age of 13 is willing and physically & mentally healthy enough; not all work is bad for his/her growth in the present competitive markets until and unless they are given this opportunity by his/her own personal choice. Some social scientists point out such work as completely unobjectionable — except for some thing about the work that makes the child deprive of his/her rights. Example: For instance, a child who works after school with the choice of his interest might actually benefit from learning how to work, gaining responsibility, and earn a bit of money. But what if the child is not paid or is under paid? What if the child is made to work with force under conditions that are hazardous to his health & so on? Then he or she is getting exploited through child labor...
Reasons for Exploitation:
We would start off by pointing out the reasons for the lack of a stable environment in our country relative to child labor and describe how each sector is responsible for exploiting children’s rights. Policies Implemented by Pakistan’s Legislative Bodies. Government’s Role. Manufacturers/ Industrialists Role. Consumer’s Role.
Claiming that our Government training institutes are undoubtedly secure for a child under the age of 14 and such a place does not require the regulation of this Act. 1991” and show how even after its implementation it still suffers the dilemma of rational justification. • • The Employment of Children Act (ECA). The point to be noted here is that the Employment of Children Act. . And of these we would emphasize on “The Employment of Children Act (ECA). and school ( training institutes) established. When at the same time our Government organized professionals are known for their corruption. 1991 (Part I) states that a 'child' means any person who is under the age of 14. The Act bans employment of children under this age in occupations that might deprive them of their rights at work. This shows how our current policies are maintained for securing the favoritism of our senior officials. unfortunately none are exercised towards its practical implementation. Policies Implemented by legislative bodies: Although many articles and policies are written by the legal authorities in Pakistan. 1991 although prohibits the employment of children in a variety of occupations but allows you an exception for family-run enterprises or in schools and training institutes organized by the Government.Economic Factors. assisted or organized by the Government. 1991: The Employment of Children Act. • Part II of this acts states that: The prohibition against employing children in hazardous labor & the regulations governing the working conditions of children under 14 do not apply to family run establishments.
000 rupees and get it over with. polluted environment. A working child must be given at least one day off per week. insufficient water supply. trade etc.Government’s ROLE: It is interesting to note that the laws implemented by the Government limits the workday of a child to seven hours. . Violations of these provisions can result in a maximum of one-year prison term and/or a you can just pay a fine of 20. And to our interest is the fact that how our foreign exchange reserves get so overwhelmingly nutritious by the export of these carpets acclaimed and greeted with the best branded labels sold in the leading western markets of the world. which is no where to be seen.065 children between the ages of 5 to 14 were weaving carpets in the province of the Punjab alone. According to the UNICEF. including a one-hour break after three hours of labor. estimated that 107. It is illegal to require or allow a child to work overtime. The reason is as obvious as our ignorance in enjoying these luxurious goods where our government cares the least for a lack of implementation of policies although written in the finest inks by the marching quills of our Legislative bodies. A baseline survey of the carpet-weaving industry. lower education. published in 2001. Subsequently we proudly force the poor class of people to live under bad health conditions. prevailing diseases etc which eventually leaves them with no other choice but to have their children exploited through child labor a step further. which of course is no where close to the amount of revenue these employers generate by paying low wages to the children they illegally employ and in some cases still benefit the government through paying taxes. over one million children work in the carpet industry (which generate over 250 million dollars in exports). In Pakistan the Majority of the working children are exploited in the agricultural sector whereas others also found working in manufacturing. approximately 60 percent were girls. Of those. For now we would specifically focus on children engaged in the manufacturing of carpets.
Where 34 percent of the people living below the poverty line. exploited by employers who hire children often paying them a fraction of what they do to their adult counter parts. the monetary requirement of these families are in turn. As these industrialists require low skilled and intensive labor. When European anti-child labor activists first objected to rugs made by children working in horrific conditions.MANUFACTURERS/INDUSTRIALISTS ROLE: The employers’ perception in Pakistan’s carpet industry claims that children have quick minds & learn fast. They can easily tie the tight knots of the higher-priced carpet. How unfortunate it is to see how our traditions & culture is getting discriminated by these leading industrialists so open heartedly claiming that our people consider it a tradition to stay backwards. People cannot run away as there is no where to go and in any case the rest of the debtors family would then become liable for the debt and are forced to sell their children into what is nothing short of forced slavery. Where as the owners keep gaining market power in that industry leading to monopoly. according to loom owners & well established exporters in Pakistan that gracefully live off of these children’s exploitation. Economically this eventually leads to the irregular distribution of wealth in our society. and in bonded labor. making the owners of these industries wealthier by suppressing & depriving the working class of their rights leading their children to suffer. . they use every means to exploit these children. the Europeans were opposed by rug merchants and manufacturers in Pakistan who said that the children were simply learning traditional skills passed down through their families. Furthermore these bonded child laborers are forced to take loans from these industrialists at high interest rates which in order to attempt to repay means they have to accept low wages. The owners of these industries claim that they are teaching children a trade where youngsters weave the carpets for some of the most expensive home-decorating stores in the United States.
. Top selling brands of the world (like Nike and Calvin Klein) are the ones that have been exploiting children in Pakistan for decades. destroying their health or hampering their education? Unfortunately Consumers’ perception in Pakistan even today. Over that 20-year period. This provides for the backbone of developing such goods which eventually develop into luxurious goods making up for the major portion of exports in Pakistan. consider what today Pakistan’s child will become in the future. And the domestic consumers using most of these products directly influence and support these activities.CONSUMER’S ROLE: Many children in hazardous and dangerous jobs are in danger of injury. immensely suffers from the lack of exposure that provides them with the vision to understand how a major force of their markets would get isolated due to their consumption of products that are produced by these industrialists that use child labor. And the lack of abolition of Child Labor in Pakistan would make our labor force less than 10 percent of the part of those new workers which would come from developing nation. Beyond compassion. the vast majority of new workers. How many will have had to work at an early age. some 730 million people will join the world’s workforce. Between today and the year 2020. citizens and new consumers — whose skills and needs will build the world’s economy and society — will come from developing countries. even death.
small scale manufacturing. One of the primary factors affecting living standards of the working class in Pakistan is the lack of implementation of minimum wage policies. This leads to exploitation of child laborers as there exists no formal record of their employment and eventually they are subject to no rights that justify their earnings. where children take part in performing service. These include traditional patterns of employment and payment. agricultural occupations etc. Although Pakistan’s 2008 budget has formally declared such policies but their implementation never seems to take affect in informal enterprises or private ownerships. inadequacy and expense of schools and child care. Eventually several factors still discourage parents from sending their children to school. lenient enforcement of labor laws which allows the hiring of children. directly. INDIRECT: Goods and services produced by children are purchased from other firms: . Direct: A firm or enterprise that employs firms. over 72 percent of child workers who did not attend school did so because they could not afford school fees.5 per cent of its GDP on the education sector. The economic factors that further give rise to child labor in Pakistan can be divided into three categories: 1. Minimum Wage is an example of Government Intervention. 2. Many of these children are “hidden” workers. because they do not show up in formal labor force statistics. The majority of the direct employment of child labor is in the informal sector. where Pakistan’s Government spends less than 2. and the lack.Economic Factors: In a survey of Pakistan's sports goods industry.
image or other motivations. Even if international firms do not themselves employ children. . they operate within a global system of commerce. procurement and trade that –in part does. For reasons of altruism. Furthermore this dimension is getting increasingly complex as formal sector firms purchase goods & services made by informal sector firms or enterprises in which these goods are produced through child labor. Examples of companies that have discovered inter-firm connections to child labor include importers (IKEA) who sell hand made rugs from Pakistan. This third dimension has increased in prominence as global economic integration has led international business to play a larger role in shaping the public policies of governments around the world.Globally it should be noted that some international firms hire children indirectly. and the products of these children’s work produced domestically are used by other companies in developed countries. 3. EXTERNAL: A firm or enterprise plays a part beyond its direct business interests – in shaping opinions and policies concerning child labor in the local economy. some firms play active roles to shape local-economy attitudes toward child labor and the educational institutions and social services that affect children. manufacturing.
Exports of such products should be eliminated by the government and strict measure should be taken towards developing skilled labors. The government should make all schooling cost-effective and more important. This campaign should ban from international trade.SUGGESTIONS: The policies maintained by the legislative bodies of Pakistan should be revised in order to implement eradication of child labor at all levels regardless of it being a Government enterprise or an informal firm. Child Labor had declined in developed countries in any case. This linkage between child labor and trade presently makes globalization responsible for child labor to re-emerge. As mentioned earlier one of the primary factors affecting living standards of the working class in Pakistan is the lack of implementation of minimum wage policies. Having minimum wage policies affective according to number of households. This would eventually avoid irregular distribution of wealth towards employers that own these industries. . Minimum Wage an example of Government Intervention would allow the working class to maintain an affective living standard required for survival in Pakistan. goods made by children. attractive and relevant to the needs and aspirations of working children and their families. These include the increasing sophistication of technology in the workplace (reducing the demand for low-skilled workers). would not force families to send their children to work. Our Government benefits most from child labor through International trade where cheap labor costs give rise to healthy foreign reserves. A global campaign should be developed in Pakistan to eradicate child labor. poorer families. greater productivity and consequently higher wages (reducing the need to send children to work instead of school) and higher school attendance (reducing the supply of child labor). due to a combination of several factors.
. one of the ways to understand Child Labor is in the contents of supply and demand relationships. Three consequences would follow: (1)The families (and the economy) would lose the income generated by children. Supply and demand of labor at the level of the enterprise or the firm. making staying in school (assuming schools are available) much more attractive. and (3)The opportunity cost of a child’s working would shrink. That poses a new question: What kind of “child labor” should be of concern to international business? Or Globalization? Such Awareness programs should be launches all over Pakistan using all forms of media. (2)The supply of labor would fall.“Child Labor” is now understood to mean children working in both the formal and informal economic sectors. in the legal work and illegal occupations. This relationship can be Supply and demand of labor on the national and international level. And so on… Long-term Economic Suggestion: Keeping the Supply-Demand perception we can suggest that if Pakistan could effectively outlaw child labor. The Economics of Child Work: Economically. driving up wages for adult workers.
the increase in wages implies that the total number of jobs would fall. flexible). may be too expensive to replicate on a large term basis. initially. To the extent that the demand for labor is elastic (adaptable.In principle. Some social workers and nongovernmental organizations think some aspects such as incomereplacement subsidies for children taken out of work and put into schools. however. part time school . for example in Sialkot. The reason for this model’s short term failure is that child work results from complex interweaving of need. suffered a twenty percent fall in income. tradition. and the children would get more skills and become more productive adults. Therefore the most appropriate strategy becomes by sending children for a part time work. The schools should be supported with money contributed not only by Government and other organizations but also by the associated manufacturers that had previously exploited these children through child labor. culture. although for a temporary period of time. family dynamics and the availability of alternative activities for children. currently under age workers getting removed from their jobs should be put into industry-supported schools and paid stipends amounting to part of the money they had been earning in their jobs. families whose mother and children left work. a virtuous circle would follow with more schooling. raising wages and family welfare. Although these programs have encountered some success but also several problems in their implementation. Short-term Economic Suggestions: Under agreements with the ILO and UNICEF.
.arrangement rather than from a plan that involves complete substitution of school for work.
CHILD LABOR IN PAKISTAN Submitted by: Beenish Jabbar Anum Shahid Mariam Sikander Sibgha Iqbal .