Eyes Wide Shut Child Labor: The Ignored Truth on the Pakistani Labor Market

by Yousuf Zahid yousuf.zahid@live.com


Executive Summary

Skilled or unskilled, an all-adult labor force in Pakistan does exist in the sectors of agriculture, industries and services. Regardless of how implementation and enforcement is carried out in Pakistan, the labor force functions under the rules of the labor policy and all aspects are governed through various legislation that came into being from time to time. Then why do we continue to use children as part of this labor force and despite knowing the fact that it is the ethically and morally wrong thing to do, why do we close our eyes and not give it the priority it silently screams for? It is acknowledged that life in Pakistan is very different for the masses. Unemployment and price instability wreck havoc in the life of the common man. But why should the children suffer and be deprived of the time they deserve to spend in school and to learn about life and not get shoved into main stream practical life with forcefulness? Despite nodding to the demands of ILO, UNICEF and other world bodies which aggressively insist Pakistan to eliminate child labor, the misery continues to exist and flourish. Is it just poverty and lack of education that serves as the barrier or does the psyche of the Pakistani nation needs to be re-engineered? Is there something wrong with the culture of Pakistan that has altered beyond recognition or have the traditions evolved to the extent of fueling selfish mindsets? There are stories however, which motivate and rejuvenate the spirit, such as the Sialkot success story but approximately 10 million child laborers are still out there in Pakistan. This paper attempts to connect the dots. They do connect but it appears that the system is going in round circles basically due to lack of sheer will. The problem has been identified. The knowledge to solve it is there. Why the waiting game then?



Part 1 Problem Statement Background Purpose Significance …………………………………………………….5

…………………………………………………………….6 …………………………………………………………...12 …………………………………………………………...13 …………………………………………………...14

End of Part 1 Note

Part 2 Labor Market of Pakistan A. Labor Market - A Simple Definition? …………………...16 …………...17

B. Labor Rights in the Constitution of Pakistan C. Economic Structure of Pakistan


D. Employment Trends in Pakistan …………………………...20 E. Labor Force Survey of Pakistan 2010-2011 F. Labor Policy of Pakistan 2010 G. Labor Unions …………...21


…………………………………………...23 …...25

H. Curbing Unemployment – Efforts by the Government I. Facing the Truth

…………………………………………...27 …………………………...28

J. The Message from World Bank End of Part 2 Note



Part 3 Eyes Wide Shut K. Enter the World of Child Labor …………………………...31

L. ILO Convention No. 182 …………………………………...32 M. The State-of-Affairs …………………………………...33

N. The Child Labor Survey of Pakistan 1996 …………………...34 O. The Policy Sayeth …………………………………………...35 P. But Action, There Is …………………………………...37 …………...39 …………...43

Q. Just Do It – The Case of Sialkot and Nike R. Win-Win Situation; will there ever be one? End of Part 3 Note


Even the Root Cause has Roots


Recommendation & Conclusion


Bibliography …………………………………………………………………...49


Part 1


Problem Statement

Is it absolutely imperative for a child to engage in (any kind of) labor and become a bread earner at a tender age, while intentionally or unintentionally missing the typical joys of childhood including innocence and in doing so bypasses the social, moral and birth right to acquire education? Fact More than 5,000 children from the age groups of 5-9, 10-14 and 15-17 years are working in the tanneries of Kasur1.

ILO-IPEC TBP Project 2004, BLS Child Labor in Tanneries by Akida Management Consultants in collaboration with FBS, http://www.ilo.org/ipecinfo/product/viewResult.do?page=1




An impulsive answer will ‘no’, ‘never’ if it is asked of an educated, middle class city dweller to send a child to work in a factory. But if one thinks deep and understand both sides of the mindsets, priorities and systems of our society and government then surprising answers will be heard. The problem of child labor is not restricted to Pakistan but is in fact a global dilemma that is even prevalent in Brazil, China, India and Indonesia.

Maplecroft Child Labor Index- Global Map of Risk 20102

In order to comprehend the intensity and significance of this predicament, multiple perspectives from within our nation and that of the world have to be understood to the core and without bias.




A dramatized (but true) brief first-contact with these perspectives is presented hereunder:

I, the father:

What goes around is not of importance. We have to work because we have to eat. Please leave.

I, the employer:

I don’t know. Maybe it’s right. Maybe it’s not. I require labor. I need to cut costs. They need work. So be it. It’s not a sin. What do you expect me to do? Shut down?

I, the legislator:

Yes. I know. It’s a serious issue. The situation has improved but it will take time. We have effective laws and we will implement them in totality.

I, the judiciary: I, the media: I, the civil society:

We have laws and they will be enforced irrespective of everything. Our responsibility is to highlight the issue, only. Absolutely. We must act now to save the children. They are the future of Pakistan. The government must perform its role in true spirit.

I, the by-stander: I, the oblivious: I, the world:

I am not affected but if everybody is backing it then I will too. Please leave. Pakistan must act immediately to curb and then eradicate child labor. Pakistan repeatedly ratifies agreements of UNICEF and the ILO but the country has to do more. We will aid Pakistan in order to put its economy on the track towards prosperity. Half hearted efforts and inconsistency will force us to discourage and ban Pakistani goods.

I, the child:

My hands? Here, look.


At first glance, emotionally charged as it may seem but this is the picture that we get to see through media, hearsay and initial research. On one hand, this depiction is quite accurate for it summarizes the state-of-affairs in Pakistan and on the other there’s a flip side to it with a twist of irony, which simply and silently declares that ‘the government could have done it all if it wanted to’. It does not imply that a finger is being pointed. These perspectives and ones similar to these definitely exist and they merely translate into an equation which has the power of a slap-on-the-face:
Legislation+Curriculum/Education+Implementation+Monitoring = Parents of tomorrow+True upbringing

The skeptic may discard the idea as it appears to be utopian but in reality these precise steps had been followed in many western nations including the eastern economic powerhouses of China, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia and South Korea. In retrospect, these eastern countries had been buried in dire economic situations due to war and inherent illiteracy but over a period of approximately 50 years, these nations or rather their governments turned themselves around towards an unbelievable all-round success. Agreed that the individual also has to make an effort but then that only happens when you have an effective, efficient, sincere and dedicated leadership. The Atlantic3 in its article on child labor in Pakistan had analyzed the issue through multiple perspectives. Some (abridged) stories from the article are presented here. Sadique the Employer Wasan Pura is a village in Punjab where Sadique, owner of a carpet weaving unit, woos the thirty-year-old father (a brick worker) of young under-ten boy. Sadique plays his hand with utmost mastery and more than convinces the father of the many advantages his son will have as a weaver.


Atlantic Magazine, Child Labor in Pakistan by Jonathan Silvers, February 1996, USA, http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/1996/02/child-labor-in-pakistan/4660/?single_page=true


The boy’s name is Nadeem who is praised by Sadique for his bright mind and ambition. The carpet master tells the father that his son will learn far more practical skills in six months at the loom than he would in six years of school and that as his skills improve so will the pay. Sadique is an expert with these words. Like scores of other manufacturers, he recruits children regularly and prefer boys of ages seven to ten. According to him boys of this age are ideal because they have energy; are quick and don’t tire easily; above all these boys are obedient and will work for long hours. Asma the Mother In rural Pakistan, children are generally deprived of health care, sanitation or education. Disbelieving as it may be but these children are also as starved for affection as for food. Once they reach an age when they can begin to grasp the basic understanding of their lives, their parents begin the teaching process. These children are taught to make their path by giving sacrifices and to travel if necessary, to work and live a life that’s their destiny. Asma is a villager from Sheikhpura who bonder her children, five in all, to masters in other villages. She says that she prepared her children at the age of three to work for their family. She constantly would remind them that they would be bonded once they reach the age of five. Eventually, when it was time, her children were ready and left happily, she informed. Faiz the Hauler Nine years old, spirited and working as a hauler for three years. Faiz has two years of schooling but opted for the donkey-cart on attractive lease terms. He works alone and spends a typical day hunting for jobs that leads him to shuttle between six villages with and without the haul. The work is hard and the days are long with an average of sixty miles a week but enough is earned for him and the donkey.


Faiz has the mind of an entrepreneur and that’s the key to his success. Intentionally, he charges a tenth of what the adult competition does. According to him, in time, the more goods he hauls, the stronger he will get and the more he will be able to charge. This is not even the tip-of-the-iceberg but it clearly defines the swept-under-the-rug crisis that receives hard-core procrastination from the ones who have the authority and resources to do something serious about it. Today, the mechanisms which govern lives in Pakistan and the basic human nature are two separate things. Subsequently, at day’s end, the child continues to suffer. It is a molestation of the ultimate kind. Fact An estimated 8,584 children are working in the glass bangle industry of Hyderabad4, most of them in 10-14 years age group.


ILO-IPEC TBP Project 2004, BLS on Child Labor in Glass Bangles Industry by Akida Management Consultants in collaboration with FBS, http://www.ilo.org/ipecinfo/product/viewResult.do?page=1



The purpose of this paper is not to change overnight, the deeply-rooted, misused and incorrect systems in Pakistan towards something that is ‘good and right’. The purpose is not to come up with a radical game plan that would begin a chain-reaction in the right direction, regardless of everything. The purpose is also not to criticize or even reemphasize on something which we are already well aware of. The idea is to interpret the inner thoughts of the person on both sides of the coin – the labor and the employer. To understand what constitutes the system and to understand its mechanics in order to neutrally evaluate the issue of child labor in Pakistan and as to why it continues to exist. The intention is to accept the bitter pill of truth by looking through the eyes of each person standing at each direction; to accept the emotions and the logic and acknowledging that both are correct. This paper will attempt to touch the roots, and which could be grasped, and pulled out but that’s easier said than done. Like it or not, child labor in Pakistan, is here to stay, at least in our lifetime. No doubt that it’s a social evil but then sometimes even evil justifies itself to make its room in the world. Fact The coal mines of Chakwal5, besides adult labor force also has strength of more than 350 under 18 children.


ILO-IPEC TBP Project 2004, BLS on Child Labor in Coal Mines Industry by Akida Management Consultants in collaboration with FBS, http://www.ilo.org/ipecinfo/product/viewResult.do?page=1



One may ask ‘so what?’ because enough has been said and written on this subject and with no conclusive solution in sight. Right, because the divine gift of ‘free-will’ is simply not being used to make that one simple effort. For most, this is a subject that is intertwined with human needs and emotions; with bureaucracy and red tape; with all imaginable motives; with disregard for all kinds of values; with a complete lack of the essence of the human mind; with the mandatory revolutions of the economic wheel; with politics; with the aspiration for wealth and fame and with I-the-writer and you-the-reader forgetting all about in a month from now. But then again, is it? This study has a few but very powerful benefits; benefits that will get the gears churning inside the minds of two types of people; benefits that will not only help in identifying and re-arranging the various dimensions of the Pakistani labor market and the larger socioeconomic set up but will also excavate deep enough which then will be the first step towards achieving a sense of satisfaction in our one single life. That first step will be taken by the teachers and students in our educational institutes; all it’s going to take is some paper and a pen; an effort to write and speak for those who do not have a voice and to set the momentum to get things done for a change. It is the right thing to do but what’s of critical importance is what has to be written. Fact According to a recent report, 10 million children serve as child labor in Pakistan. 300,000 of them being in Sindh6.

The Express Tribune, November 10, 2010, http://tribune.com.pk/story/75061/ten-million-engaged-inchild-labour-in-pakistan/



End of Part 1

Note So far this paper has established the grounds to analyze the subject of child labor in Pakistan. Before arriving on the issue under focus, the labor market of Pakistan and its dynamics will be reviewed together with the overall economic picture of the country in order to establish the link with child labor which the reader will be able to grasp and connect. In Part 2, employment trends, labor surveys, government policies, role of labor unions and government efforts will be discussed briefly together with the author’s perceptive opinion. The link will be formed between each aspect and that will eventually lead to the root cause.


Part 2


Labor Market of Pakistan

A. Labor Market - A Simple Definition? Before entering the domain of labor market, a refresher on what it’s all about is presented. A straightforward description is that of a market where two parties, namely workers and employers interact to determine wages based upon conditions of employment and competition scales. Labor markets have a vast scope and in contemporary times have become highly segmented. Qualifications, skills and geographical locations all influence labor markets on a national or international level.


B. Labor Rights in the Constitution of Pakistan Pakistan’s constitution protects the rights of labor in its true essence. a. Article 11 of the Constitution prohibits all forms of slavery, forced labor and child labor. b. Article 17 provides for a fundamental right to exercise the freedom of association and the right to form unions; c. Article 18 proscribes the right of its citizens to enter upon any lawful profession or occupation and to conduct any lawful trade or business; d. Article 25 lays down the right to equality before the law and prohibition of discrimination on the grounds of sex alone; e. Article 37(e) makes provision for securing just and humane conditions of work, ensuring that children and women are not employed in vocations unsuited to their age or sex, and for maternity benefits for women in employment. Enforcement of these articles7 is another ball game altogether. Not intending to sound political; its free human-will and not political that ensures implementation.


Understanding Labor Issues in Pakistan, Briefing Paper 20, Page 7, PILDAT


C. Economic Structure of Pakistan Protection through the constitution is one thing, where Pakistan stands today and how does it all affect the labor market is another. Economic highlights8 are presented here under:

Population: Age structure:

187,342,721 (July 2011 est.) 0-14 years: 35.4% 15-64 years: 60.4% 65 years and over: 4.2% (2011 est.)

Education expenditures: GDP (purchasing power parity): Labor force - by occupation: Unemployment rate: Population below poverty line: Revenues: Taxes and other revenues: Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-): Inflation rate (consumer prices): Industrial production growth rate: Exports: Imports: Debt - external:

2.7% of GDP (2009) $464.9 billion (2010 est.) Agr: 43% Ind: 20.3% Ser: 36.6% (2005 est.) 15.4% (2010 est.) 24% (FY05/06 est.) $24.72 billion 14.1% of GDP (2010 est.) -6.3% of GDP (2010 est.) 13.9% (2010 est.) 4.6% (2010 est.) $21.39 billion (2010 est.) $32.21 billion (2010 est.) $56.13 billion (31 December 2010 est.)


CIA World Fact Book, https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-worldfactbook/geos/countrytemplate_pk.html


In a nut-shell, Pakistan’s economy is anything but right. In the grip of stagflation, with rising inflation, growing unemployment, decreasing FDI, increasing debts, stagnant tax to GDP ratio, low public sector development expenditures, increasing poverty and decreasing industrialization; the days of early 21st century economic boom are fiercely missed. Exports and reserves are however rising as compared to the negative trends observed since 2008 onwards. Moreover, the long term economic strategy that steers a nation towards prosperity still seems to exist on paper and its implementation is either mismanaged or is simply not there e.g. investment in capital goods is neglected, national savings are not given priority, education sector remains ignored and technology is still a far cry in some important private and public entities. At the end of the day, unpredictable political instability and especially the rising internal strife with terrorists has cornered the economy in a no-way-out scenario. However, a way-out always there but that’s a debate that’s better left for another day. The repercussions of Pakistan’s economic fix are felt directly by the labor market. The people are willing to work but the employers are not willing to hire them. The employers are also in favor of letting go of the ones they already have. Call it down-sizing or the more polite right-sizing, more and more people of all age groups and gender are now becoming idle. Purchasing power of all and sundry has been badly affected. Speaking of purchasing power, the much publicized and criticized Benazir Income Support Program9 (BISP) is now raising major questions that remain unanswered. BISP in the last fiscal year had increased allocation to Rs. 70 billion for 5 million families; aiming to cover 40% of the population below the poverty line and that has a monthly income of Rs. 5,000 or less. The Rs. 1,000 transfer payment through BISP may enhance the monthly income by 20% but considering all common sense, would it make even a notable difference to a family of six members lest a significant one?




D. Employment Trends in Pakistan But some good work is being carried out that at least provides a clear picture of the stateof-affairs unlike the no-hope outlook from Pakistan’s economic figures. In 2008, exclusive reports10 had been developed on the employment trends in Pakistan by the Lab our Market Information and Analysis Unit at the Ministry of Labor in collaboration with UNDP and ILO. Separate reports had been compiled for youth and women and for full and productive employment and decent work. These reports had focused on eleven key indicators and the important findings are as under: 1. The unemployment rate of youth has nearly halved over a period of seven years. 2. It takes the youth a long time to search for a job; more than six months to be precise. 3. More than half of the youth labor force has either one year of education. 4. Employment to population ratio has steadily increased, especially for women. 5. A likely abundance of low quality jobs exist in the country. 6. Six out of ten persons are vulnerable i.e. “at risk of lacking decent work”. 7. The labor productivity growth is very low. 8. Newly employed persons have limited options and are forced to take less productive and less paying work. Approximately three years after 2008 and considering all common knowledge (pertaining to e.g. inflation and unemployment), its quite safe to assume that the situation has been deteriorated further specifically viz-a-viz point 1, 2, 5 and 8; all of which are witnessing a consistent negative increase. In economics, each and every parameter and variable has a direct or indirect affect on each other. The macro-economic tools to control the economy then appear to be an effort in futility.

Pakistan Employment Trends 2008 Youth, Pakistan Employment Trends 2008 MDG Target 1B, http://www.lmis.gov.pk/publications/



E. Labor Force Survey of Pakistan 2010-2011 A key objective of macro-economics is to attain a high level of employment. The government facilitates in providing job opportunities but the sole responsibility lies with the private sector. The synergistic relation with the government and private sector is not evident when it comes to creating employment. The new Labor Survey of Pakistan11 indicated unemployment at 6% compared to 5.6% of the last fiscal year. Economists as a matter of fact know that the unemployment figures are inaccurate. Even the government acknowledges this reality that actual unemployment figures are way too high. A recent interview of a seasoned statistician and teacher at a leading university disclosed the age-old truth that most of the important indicators compiled by Federal Bureau of Statistics are fabricated. Still, unemployment highlights of the survey are presented here under: Total workforce: Total unemployed: Rural areas: Urban areas: Manufacturing sector: 57.3 million 3.4 million Decline by a fraction over previous year Increase by 1.6% Increase in share of labor force by 0.5%

A paradox has been observed in the survey results. At one end unemployment in urban areas has increased by 1.6% and on the other the manufacturing sector has witnessed a rise in share of labor force by 0.5%. The unemployment rise could safely be linked to e.g. the energy crisis in most of the cities which has forced the businesses to either lay-off people or to go slow on recruitment due to rising costs but if the industries in the same cities are increasing their share of labor and are hiring again then the only hypothesis could be that the industries have found a way to avoid or lessen the effect of the power shortage.

http://www.statpak.gov.pk/fbs/content/labour-force-survey-2010-11, The Express Tribune, August 2, 2011, http://tribune.com.pk/story/222455/labour-force-survey-2011-official-unemployment-rate-at-6/



F. Labor Policy of Pakistan 2010 The labor survey sets the ground for the government to develop the labor policy. The 6th labor policy was released in 2010 and had included all the dimensions of a well-rounded thoughtful national policy. It covers all aspects including sensitive issues such as wages (increased to Rs. 7,000 for unskilled workers), women empowerment and gender equality, contractual workers, bonded labor and child labor. Workers’ rights in reality, however, remain intentionally neglected because companies do not implement labor laws in totality and in spirit. So how can there by implementation of the labor policy and its laws if there is no recognition of workers’ rights? The minimum wage of Rs. 7,000 per month is not enough to sustain a family of four persons which in present times require a monthly income of not less than Rs. 12,000/-12. All over the country, most of the workers are remitted less than Rs. 5,000. This happens because the rights of a worker are simply not recognized. Subsequently, implementation of laws even by the bureaucracy will remain at a standstill. An intangible and immeasurable cause for lack of implementation of labor laws lies in the bitter fact that nearly all the business community and bureaucracy in particular harbors a feudal mindset that declares workers should not be empowered with real rights. It is no hidden fact that Pakistan has a political environment of corruption and nepotism which therefore makes it convenient for the big boys of industry to influence labor laws. An example13 of which is the legislation in 2002 that had permitted companies to hire unlimited temporary/contractual workers. 90% of the workers at the Lipton Tea division of Unilever Pakistan are temporary employees who are not entitled job benefits e.g. related to health and have no job security and since most of them are not registered workers therefore social security remains inaccessible as well. Bonded and child labor? They exist significantly.


Interview, Khalid Mahmood, Labor Education Foundation in Pakistan by Evelyn Holt of International Labor Rights Forum, October 14, 2009 http://laborrightsblog.typepad.com/international_labor_right/ 13 -do-


G. Labor Unions It is the right of workers to create a labor union. Unionization gives the workers the power to safeguard their interests and rights through collective bargaining agreements. Unions obtain market power through a legal monopoly of providing labor services to various companies and industries14. But in Pakistan, despite the fact that there are approximately 8,000 registered unions15, only three possess an all national representation. The rest are limited in their scope of services at factories, localized and not but the least divided over vested interests. Wikipedia16 has mentions 10 major labor unions in Pakistan but the most proactive and largest is perhaps is Pakistan Workers’ Federation17 with a member ship of nearly one million workers and with more than 400 affiliate unions. A wide range of restrictions hinder the activities and effectiveness of union organizers. This is one the reasons why the unionization rate in Pakistan is low; 10% in the industrial and 5% in the total labor force. Gone are the days when unions ruled supreme. Legislation has sprung up barriers such as the Essential Services Maintenance Act for the petroleum sector in Pakistan which prohibits strikes, reduces a worker’s right to switch jobs and severely limits options of a fired worker. It does however allow collective bargaining. Although the government has ratified 34 ILO conventions relating to human rights, workers' rights and working conditions but the story does not end at these endorsements. The key word again is the subsequent enforcement and implementation of policies and laws.

14 15

Economics 18e, Samuelson & Nordhaus, Page 254, Chapter 13 Interview, Khalid Mahmood of LEF Pakistan by Evelyn Holt of ILRF, October 14, 2009 16 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_trade_unions 17 http://www.pwf.org.pk/about_pwf.htm


A declining trend has been observed when it comes to unionization and workers obtaining membership. The inability to twist a company’s arm through strikes has significantly weakened the unions’ muscle power. But this doesn’t mean that unions in Pakistan are becoming redundant. Besides the generally accepted and true notions that unions manage to increase employment and raise wages, there are other areas in which unions like e.g. Pakistan Workers’ Federation strive to achieve multiple objectives such as sustaining worker welfare, improving of skills and working conditions. The truth18 however remains that of entire work force in Pakistan, a mere 2.8 percent are unionized and less than 1 percent work under the collective-bargaining agreements. It all boils down to the all-powerful feudalistic mindset of the society and with no land reforms enforced till to-date, workers’ rights continue to be pushed aside through weak laws, little or no implementation of laws and the privatization trends.


Interview, Khalid Mahmood of LEF Pakistan by Evelyn Holt of ILRF, October 14, 2009


H. Curbing Unemployment – Efforts by the Government Regardless of hearsay and what the media says, the government of Pakistan functions for the betterment of all citizens. After coming into power, the previous and present governments had initiated a number of steps that play a role in their respective domains to compliment the larger macroeconomic progress of the country. Foremost among the priorities of the government is to control and reduce unemployment. In this regard, major efforts made by the government both in the recent past and that have been planned out and being implemented include19: 1. Creation of approximately 3 million jobs from 2007-08 to 2009-2010. 2. Extending pursuit of the Medium Term Development Framework for the period 2005-2010 that oversaw an investment of approximately Rs. 8,000 billion for the said period thereby speeding up GDP growth and decrease unemployment. 3. Establishment of SME Bank to facilitate budding small and medium enterprises and entrepreneurs through soft term loans. 4. Offering micro credit facilities e.g. through the Khushali Bank to individuals all across Pakistan to set up grounds for them to initiate a prosperous livelihood. 5. Re-introducing President’s Rozgar Scheme to encourage the youth to shift from makeshift and involuntary unemployment to a sustained employment. 6. Creation of Pakistan Skilling Program to tackle Pakistan’s unskilled labor dilemma through carefully through programs that will impart high standard vocational and technical education to people so that they may evolve into competitive labor both for the present and future needs of the country. 7. Setting up of Skill Development Councils at all major cities of Pakistan to assess, design and re-design special labor skill programs. 8. Opening of new venues for overseas employment especially in South Korea, Malaysia and Middle-East states.


Ministry of Labor and Manpower, http://www.molm.gov.pk/


9. Pushing ahead with enhancement and diversification of the information technology sector specifically in the telecommunication, call-center and software engineering sectors to tap and polish the IT based human resource of Pakistan. 10. Formation of the Labor Market Information System and Analysis at the Ministry of Labor that will operate as high quality analytical system for the various branches of the government and the private sector. 11. Creation of the exclusive think tank of Policy Planning Cell which will function on the lines of e.g. PILDAT but on a much larger perspective. 12. Acceleration of distribution of agriculture land to landless farmers all over the country and providing them the opportunity to kick-start their agro endeavors. 13. Implementation of the Benazir Income Support Program which has been hailed as one of the finest transfer-payment programs the country has ever seen. BISP is exclusively for the population that lives below the poverty line. 14. Record increase in Public Sector Development Programs because this is one area that directly translates into creation of employment opportunities. The devastating floods had thrown a spanner in the works but surprisingly Pakistan had sustained the shock and the worse-case scenario as predicted by the world and the economy is slowly coming back on track. Serious variables like political instability and war against terror, which have and have been hampering the efforts made by the government, do exist but the laid out plans are for the long run and consistently implemented by the bureaucracy. The private sector must come forth and take charge in creating employment opportunities and it is also ready to so especially in light of the vastly accepted prediction that 2012-13 will be the year for Pakistan to take the leap.


I. Facing the Truth In 2003, a human development report20 on Pakistan had presented an analysis that sums it all up: 1. One-half of the Pakistanis suffer from deprivation of opportunities in life. 2. Two-third of the adult population cannot read or write. 3. Half the population does not have access to primary health care and safe drinking water. 4. Poverty shot up to 35% in 1998-99 from 21% in 1990-91. 5. The population of poor is increasing at the rate of 6 million per year according to the government’s assessment criteria. 6. Pakistani expatriates in the Gulf countries have significantly reduced due to lack of labor skills with home remittances dropping from $2.5 billion in the early 80s to approximately $800 million in late 90s. 7. A major disparity exists between supply and demand for skills due to low levels of education. Literacy ratio of Pakistan is even worse than countries which have a GNP similar to that of Pakistan. The report findings are more than 7 years old and over this period the economics of Pakistan may have advanced, employment trends may have diversified and improved, new insights may have been discovered through surveys, an all-time comprehensive labor policy may have been introduced and efforts doubled by the government to tame inflation and curtail unemployment but at equal pace the truth bared in the said report continues to exist with improvement if any, hovering near negligibility. What is then the one solution to it all? The answer is simpler than one could possibly envisage.

The Indian Express, July 19, 2002, Jobs or Jihad - That’s the Question by Shalini Chawla, http://www.indian-express.com/full_story.php?content_id=6224



J. The Message from World Bank Rachid Benmessaoud, the World Bank Country Director for Pakistan says21:

“With 29% of Pakistan’s 169 million people in the 15-24 age range, this amounts to a tremendous education and training challenge…”

According to the World Bank, the lack of skilled labor force presents a significant constraint to the country’s growth and competitiveness. But the bottom line according to the bank is education. It is yet another truth which must be faced because it in itself is the solution. Pakistan needs to do the opposite of what’s presented here under: 1. Education accessibility continues to be a daunting challenge in Pakistan. 2. One-fourth of the youth manage to graduate from secondary education 3. Only 4% of the youth seek and acquire higher system. 4. As compared to world standards, the quality of education remains weak at all levels of education with high a high drop-out ratio. 5. Learning achievements are low and varied in terms of how the students implement the knowledge in their practical life and govern it. The status quo will continue if action is not taken because more than three-quarters of youth leaving the education system with some primary skills and lacking marketable skills will eventually face extreme difficulties in finding employment.


http://web.worldbank.org/WBSITE/EXTERNAL/PROJECTS/0,,contentMDK:22928038~menuPK:64282 138~pagePK:41367~piPK:279616~theSitePK:40941,00.html


End of Part 2

Note To this point, the hard facts that jump-up are poverty and education; the two key ingredients in the creation of child labor. The last and forth coming Part 3 will shed light on our main subject together the world laws, present child labor situation, Pakistan’s official policies, steps taken to eradicate child labor s eradication and why it continues to exist notably. The renowned case of Sialkot and Nike will also be presented. The author has made an effort for the readers to draw conclusion and contemplate on the subject with neutrality before arriving at the paper’s final recommendations.


Part 3


Eyes Wide Shut

K. Enter the World of Child Labor Depending upon the age of a child and nature of labor, which goes beyond a minimum number of hours and which may prove to be harmful to a child should be abolished22. This is how UNICEF defines the dilemma and has bifurcated the weekly minimum work hours versus age groups as below: a. 5-11 year olds: 1 hour of economic or 28 hours of domestic work. b. 12-14 year olds: 14 hours of economic or 28 hours of domestic work. c. 15-17 year olds: 43 hours of economic or domestic work. ILO presents a similar description by calling child labor abusive; work that threatens the security and welfare of a child and obstructs the education and natural development of a child23. ‘Child labor’ should not be confused with ‘youth employment’. Child labor falls under human rights violation whereas youth employment welcomes young adults in to practical life and is legitimate the world over. In short, any work that does not involve hard-toil and that does not hamper the upbringing of a child viz-a-viz education and right-to-enjoy-childhood is ‘not’ child labor. The story does not end here. Such clear definitions and the most comprehensive laws that UNICEF and ILO – especially exclusive ILO conventions – have spread all over the world, and rightly so, are miles away from absolute implementation. This is an imperfect world where we still debate as to why a CEO earns Rs. 500,000 plus perks a month and a construction worker who toils far more than he could physically sustain makes not more than Rs. 5,000 a month.

22 23

http://www.unicef.org/protection/index_childlabour.html http://human-rights.unglobalcompact.org/dilemmas/child-labour/


L. ILO Convention No. 182 No. 182 has been ratified by 171 countries. India is not a signatory, however. According to this convention, persons under 18 years of age are forbidden to engage in certain work labeled as hazardous i.e. any work that can bring potential harm to the physical and mental well being of a child. The list of harmful work24 includes:

1. Working underground, at dangerous heights or in confined spaces. 2. Working with dangerous equipment, machinery and tools. 3. Work that involves manual handling or transport of heavy burdens. 4. Working under particularly hard conditions including long working hours, night work and working in isolation. 5. Working in an unhealthy environment. For example children being exposed to chemical hazards, excessive temperatures or work that involves heavy vibrations. And the child labor categories25 that demand urgent and immediate action, namely: 1. All forms of slavery, including the trafficking of children, debt bondage, forced and compulsory labor, and the use of children in armed conflict. 2. The use, procuring or offering of a child for prostitution, for the production of pornography or for pornographic purposes. 3. The use, procuring or offering of a child for illicit activities, in particular the production and trafficking of drugs. 4. Work which is likely to harm the health, safety or morals of the child as a consequence under which is it carried out.

Ironically, in this age, in Pakistan, if not all then most of these categories and work exist.

24 25

http://human-rights.unglobalcompact.org/dilemmas/child-labour/ -do-


M. The State-of-Affairs Hazardous work? Urgent and immediate action? Consider Karachi as an example26 and on any given day visit the narrow lanes of Denso Hall, Saddar and notice the countless young boys between the ages of 10-15 engaged in sheer cumbersome labor involving manual handling and transport of heavy burdens. On any main road, have a look at the scores of boys selling newspapers, flowers and tidbits; all of them in the same 10-15 years age group. The author had the opportunity to conduct two interviews to acquire in-depth information. According to the Karachi based NGO, Initiator Human Development Foundation that strives to rehabilitate street children, there are hundreds of under 18 children searching daily through hazardous waste material in the industrial zones; hoping to find something of value that may fetch a few rupees. The second feedback was received from an agriculturist based near Hyderabad. According to the source, handicrafts such as the ajrak and traditional caps are made by countless young boys and girls – as young as 7 – at confined spaces and at meager wages. There are under 15 young boys working in the specialized workshops of Plaza, Saddar. A violation of No. 182 ‘working with dangerous equipment, machinery and tools’. A boy as young 12-14 years old is bound to be seen at literally every tire-shop. This time it’s a breach of ‘working for long hours, night work and working in isolation’. To get a taste of slavery, visit the interior of Punjab especially the areas which are inaccessible to media and view ‘debt bondage, forced and compulsory labor’. ILO has put the estimate at 171 million children27 the world over or two-thirds of all working minors – exposed absolutely to the very wrong kind of work.

26 27

Personal observation Study from a 2002 survey, http://human-rights.unglobalcompact.org/dilemmas/child-labour/


N. The Child Labor Survey of Pakistan 1996 In collaboration with International Labor Organization and International Program on the Elimination of Child Labor, a child labor survey28 was conducted in 1996 which was later used as the bench mark to plan and develop multi-dimensional rehabilitation programs especially the US and German funded IPEC programs. Select excerpts from the survey are presented here under:

1. In Pakistan, child labor is about 3.3 million and about 71% of these children were engaged in elementary (unskilled) occupations. 2. About 67% of employed children were engaged in the agricultural sector. 3. The data reveal that out of the total 3.3 million employed children, one-third (33.2%) are literate from the formal system of education.
4. About 39% of working children are members of households with an income range

of Rs.2,501-Rs.4,000; 31% belonging to the Rs.1,501- Rs.2,500 income group; 21% in the Rs.4,001 and above group; and the remaining 9% hailing from the less than Rs.1,500 income group.

Clearly, all of the above income groups, even by 1996 standards fall at or below the poverty line. It is common knowledge that the standard-of-living of the families to which these children belong has further deteriorated today. The wages may have increased but now to-make-ends-meet is more than a Herculean task. These figures are staggering and shocking and the actual picture could safely be assumed as far worse despite than what the government claims it to be. According to the global report29 under the follow-up to the ILO declaration on fundamental principles and rights at work of 2010, India and Pakistan have the largest non-school going child population in the world.

http://www.ilo.org/legacy/english/regions/asro/newdelhi/ipec /responses/pakistan/index.htm, (Link to survey summary at bottom of the web page) 29 www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/---dgreports/---comm/documents/publication/wcms_126752.pdf



O. The Policy Sayeth… The Labor Policy of Pakistan 2010 specifically talks about Young Persons and Child Labor in clause 20, 21 and 27.

1. Workers between the ages of 14 and less than 18 years will not be engaged in hazardous working conditions and other working environments that adversely affect their physical and moral development. They will also be provided greater access to education and training, particularly training, tailored to identify labor market needs. 2. Children and young persons will be withdrawn and prevented from hazardous nature as, for example, mining, tanneries, brick kilns, construction, and glass bangles etc. Special programs will be designed to focus young domestic workers employed in private households. Payment of minimum wage will also be ensured to the young persons. 3. The Government shall take legal as well as other measures to regulate and control the employment of children in certain occupations and processes considered hazardous and injurious to their health.

Pakistan in the recent past had passed legislation30 that also protects children’s rights. These bills were: 1. The Employment of Children Act (ECA), 1991 2. The Bonded Labor System (Abolition) Act, 1992 3. The Prevention and Control of Human Trafficking Ordinance (2002) The constitution of Pakistan in its article31 11(3) ‘prohibits employment of children below the age of 14 years in any factory or mine or any other hazardous employment’.

30 31

http://www.ilo.org/legacy/english/regions/asro/newdelhi/ipec/responses/pakistan/national.htm -do-


Above all, Pakistan is a signatory32 to: 1. ILO Convention on the Worst Forms of Child Labor (No. 182); 2. ILO Forced Labor Convention (No. 29); 3. ILO Abolition of Forced Labor Convention (No. 105); 4. UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). According to the US State Department33, Pakistan with its weak law and policy enforcement suffers harbors 10-11.5 million child laborers in numerous sectors such as leather tanning, mining, seafood processing, brick-making and carpet weaving. The primary question then is; has anyone asked the following questions: 1. Why is Pakistan seriously lagging behind in implementation of laws? 2. What precise steps need to be taken to achieve United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals which also include eradication of child labor and for which Pakistan keeps extending the deadline? 3. Is there any political or social hindrance? 4. What needs to be done immediately and urgently? 5. Why the issue of child labor is not given the importance it deserves in the media and by NGOs? 6. Who is responsible for the delays and who has been assigned the task with each new government? 7. Has a realistic road map been prepared? 8. When will true and concrete steps be taken? 9. Where should it be started from? 10. Is it a lost cause; fighting a loosing battle? By living in Pakistan and experiencing life in general, instinct says that answers to these questions may not come easy.

32 33

http://www.ilo.org/legacy/english/regions/asro/newdelhi/ipec/responses/pakistan/national.htm http://human-rights.unglobalcompact.org/dilemmas/child-labour/


P. But Action, There Is… IPEC, the International Program on the Elimination of Child Labor, operating under ILO had taken charge after the child labor survey and over the years and painstakingly started the long journey together with the government of Pakistan to identify, control and then eliminate child labor. The government and IPEC know that this task is extremely difficult to achieve especially in light of Pakistan’s complex socio-economic problems and cultural barriers. Jim Collins, author of Good to Great had identified a number of steps for an organization to shift from ordinary to extraordinary. One such step was the ‘crawl, walk, run’ approach. A consistent and focused method of achieving a target34. Pakistan is also an organization but the Collins’ method will work only if the leadership vows to go for it; putting it simply. But at least the first step which often enters into procrastination has been taken. IPEC is in action in Pakistan. The ongoing projects35 include: 1. Project to Combat the Worst Forms of Child Labor 2. Combating Child Labor through Education and Training in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (Phase III in progress) 3. Pakistan Earthquake Child Labor Response Project 4. Football for Hope Project 5. Activating Media in Combating Child Labor (Phase II in progress) 6. Combating Child Labor in the Carpet Industry (Phase III in progress)

34 35

Good to Great by Jim Collins, Page 163, Chapter 7, 2001, Harper Collins http://www.ilo.org/legacy/english/regions/asro/newdelhi/ipec/responses/pakistan/action.htm


The projects concluded by IPEC include: 1. Activating Media in Combating Child Labor 2. Combating Child Labor through Education and Training in the North West Frontier Province 3. Elimination of Child Labor in the Soccer Ball Industry in Sialkot 4. Combating Hazardous and Exploitative Child Labor in Surgical Instruments Manufacturing 5. Combating Child Labor in the Carpet Industry 6. Project of Support for the National Time-Bound Program (TBP) to Help Eliminate the Worst Forms of Child Labor from Pakistan 7. Combating Child Trafficking for Labor and Sexual Exploitation 8. Preventing and Eliminating Exploitative Child Domestic Work in South Asia So what does the government of Pakistan really need to do? Will it continue to depend on these foreign aided projects? Won’t somebody from our ranks come forth? In the author’s opinion, what’s really required is a ‘don’t-do list’. For example, if one reads the labor policy then it appears to be as good as the one that’s perhaps enforced in any advanced economy nation. It’s a great list of things that need to be done but if the labor ministry secretary, for sheer spirit of bringing change, reads Atul Gawande’s The Checklist Manifesto36 then in the spirit of reverse-engineering a ‘don’t-do list’ could be very conveniently prepared that may include something as ‘don’t spend a lot on defense and dedicate a little bit more for education’.


The Checklist Manifesto: How to get things right by Atul Gawande, 2009, Metropolitan Books


Q. Just Do It – The Case of Sialkot and Nike Controversies from the 1970s and 80s resurfaced during the FIFA 2010 World Cup finals. Young children sewing soccer balls and kicked by players like Beckham was a picture that world refused to digest. But Sialkot has a come a long way from the days of absolute glory to the threat of extinction of this multi-billion dollar industry of Pakistan. Eyebrows are still raised but the partnership between ILO, FIFA and manufacturers of Sialkot is now generally regarded as a success story37. However, the struggle is not over yet because the label of ‘child labor free’ certification is yet to assert 100% credibility. Even though leading manufacturers in Sialkot have literally abolished child labor at their stitching centers and at those which serve as outsourced units, the world is yet to believe in Pakistan. Reason? The kinds of credibility Pakistan’s leaders have, courtesy of Wikileaks, then what could be expected of its citizens? Pakistanis are themselves to be blamed. Google ‘Sialkot Child Labor’ and interesting results will be displayed including a hardhitting report by China Labor Watch38 which perhaps served another agenda against Nike. But a neutral discussion is considered in this paper that involves the evolution of the Sialkot soccer industry and Nike’s initiatives. Sialkot At present there are 60-70 soccer ball manufacturers in Sialkot that represent at least 95% of the total producers. During the 1970 and 80s, an estimated 7,000 children of under 15 age group were employed by the soccer ball manufactures in Sialkot. These children used to work both from home, outsourced stitching centers and at the manufacturer’s own stitching units.

37 38

http://uk.oneworld.net/guides/childlabour http://www.chinalaborwatch.org/news/new-269.html


This eventually turned out to be a thorny dilemma39 when it came into lime light during the 1994 FIFA World Cup and the 1996 UEFA Championships; Life magazine published a lead story in June 1996 about a 12 year old boy stitching footballs. Inter-continental damage was done. But soon in February 1997, a solution came up that oversaw the removal of children from production centers and established an independent supervision system. Funded by UNICEF, US Labor Department, FIFA and the Soccer Industry Council of America, the Atlanta Agreement between the Sialkot Chamber of Commerce, UNICEF, ILO and the World Federation of the Sporting Goods Industry. The Atlanta Agreement40 was short and simple: 1. Registration of all contractors, stitchers and stitching facilities 2. Establishment of a monitoring system 3. Agreement to independent monitoring 4. Increase awareness and change attitudes, including income generation 5. Implementation of social protection programs: a. Education b. Rehabilitation c. In-kind assistance The agreement created an independent monitoring facility which literally operated like any intelligence agency – and it worked. With the gradual elimination of child labor, families’ income shrunk and in order to avoid a fall-out, saving and micro financing schemes were launched. More than 8,000 persons borrowed more than £1 million to initiate sustenance of small businesses. UNICEF and Save the Children began program for skill development enhance Sialkot’s education structure. UK assisted with £1.225 million for alleviation of poverty.

http://human-rights.unglobalcompact.org/case_studies/childlabour/child_labour/combating_child_labour_in_football_production.html 40 http://www.imacpak.org/atlanta.htm



And when the results came in, for a minute it was hard to believe: 1. More than 6,000 children were removed from the workplace and provided with access to educational facilities. 2. Over 10,500 children received an education. 3. Health care was provided to 5,400 children. 4. The program reached 1,582 villages, two small towns and the city of Sialkot. The Sialkot success-story is without doubt a breakthrough in tackling the issue of child labor and it would not have been possible if all the stakeholders had not taken the joint initiative. Nike But the Sialkot initiative saw 20,000 women loose their jobs; women who had been employed by Saga Sports, one of the principle suppliers to Nike41. Saga Sports established a dozen stitching centers to merge scattered production units. This step ushered in social changes as previously the women employees operated from their homes; now they could not visit the centers due to social barriers. This was one unintended consequence of the Atlanta Agreement. Nike went a step further. It agreed to pay a premium for the footballs in order to support its investment of setting up eight stitching centers around Sialkot; thereby ensuring that workers would not have to travel far. However, in 2006, Nike decided to terminate its contract with Saga Sports. The reason being that Saga was outsourcing production to facilities not authorized by Nike. This raised the doubt that it would lead to home operations or child labor. The Atlanta Agreement was turning out to be the ultimate watch-dog. It was later reported that around 3,000 Saga workers lost their jobs. Carrot and stick it may seem but was it all worth it?




In the words of Nike's CEO Mark Parker:

“Our decision to resume soccer ball production in Pakistan is the result of extensive work with stakeholders, based on a collective desire to help move the industry in a more competitive direction that strongly supports workers’ rights.”

As mentioned earlier, it’s a matter of credibility of the nation in general. On June 7, 2010 the International Labor Rights Forum42 had reported that child labor is still continuing in Sialkot’s football industry.




R. Win-Win Situation; will there ever be one? Child labor is not going anywhere from Pakistan. It is an integral part of the larger Pakistani labor market. The parents of the children, who work in agriculture, industrial and services sectors, are fighting a daily war to ‘eat’. They are struggling and often failing in satisfying the very basic physiological needs as defined by Maslow. So what does one do? Should the highly advanced economies of the world be listened to which are oblivious to the living conditions of the poor in Pakistan and merely emphasizing on the moral ethic that a product should not be produced by a minor? The moral ethic that is being implemented with extreme difficulty by the government and accepted with stressful pain by the people? Almost half the population of Pakistan will never discover the wonders of the path that Google offers; the population who’s literacy is defined as a person who is able to write his or her name and be able to read the headlines of a newspaper. What moral ethics? Which conventions of ILO? What vision of UNICEF? It’s perhaps the most classic example of a Catch-22 situation. Jack Welch former CEO of GE had been asked countless times the question ‘what does it take to win?’43 People had asked him this question with a perspective that they all had more or less shared. The perspective in Pakistan however, is in complete contradiction. What does it take to win?


Winning by Jack Welch, Page 3, 2005, Harper Collins


End of Part 3

Note Poverty and education continue to create a seal and all efforts with all good intentions continue to go in vain with perhaps a few moments of achievement. The two tools of macro economics, fiscal and monetary policies have the power which our leadership has yet not realized. Unskilled, illiterate, poor; it’s not an ugly picture. It’s not even a picture in the first place. Heading towards the end of this paper, the author will highlight the causes of child labor in conjunction with recommendations and the subsequent conclusion.


Even the Root Cause has Roots
In keeping up with the Joneses, Pakistan spends 20% of its expenditure on defense as compared to 13% by India. Education gets 1% in contrast with India’s 2%. This analysis was represented the period 1995-2005 according to UNICEF44. India’s population is more than four-times than that of Pakistan. It has a better infrastructure and the people are more patriotic. It has a far superior educational system in terms of all-round standard. India is a member of the BRIC nations, the 3rd largest economy after China and Japan in Asia; its GDP is far greater than Pakistan’s. It spends more on PSDPs and less on government expenditure. It has a stable political system; it had made land reforms during Nehru’s time. India is less corrupt than Pakistan; they cheat less and its tax system is not regressive. Its people in general live with simplicity. India also has successfully projected its image all over the world and has no intention whatsoever of invading and annihilating Pakistan. Then it’s no matter of pride that Pakistan spends 6 times more than India on defense or a matter of consolation that the difference between education spending is only 1%. India may have more poor; it also has child labor issues; it has social issues such as the caste system and dowry; it also has cleanliness problems but then it also has less unemployment than Pakistan. India also has price stability. It has strong institutions and systems that even ensure its poor to have a slightly elevated standard-of-living than the poor of Pakistan. However, all socio-economic classes of Pakistan and not just the poor and except the privileged are deeply entangled in false pretensions that create multiple problems ranging from economic dilemmas to mental blocks. A more recent survey45 reported that Pakistan and Bangladesh spend around 2.7% of their national income on education but Bangladesh has an education standard that’s much higher than Pakistan’s and also has a high-level literacy ratio in excess of 85%.

Global Report 2010, http://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/---dgreports/--dcomm/documents/publication/wcms_126752.pdf 45 Global Employment Trends 2011, http://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/@dgreports/@dcomm/@publ/documents/publication/wcms_150 440.pdf



What’s the bottom line then? Education. This leads to poverty and a mutation of the basic mindset of a human being. Lack of, substandard or partial education in Pakistan is the key to a whole lot of socio-economic issues. No doubt, child labor has a direct relationship with inaccessible or ignored education which is due to poverty. Poverty is a crucial link. People living in poverty are more or less engaged in lowproductivity jobs46. So what do they do about it? The answer’s quite simple; the larger the family, the more the income generation. Generally speaking, people in Pakistan, especially the ones living at and below the poverty line bear the cost of healthcare by up to 80% and are deprived of all tax funded or insurance based medical benefits47. So where does the extra income come from? How will extra income be part of the household? Again, let there be no free-loaders; the more the children, the better for the family. Realistically contemplating, if it’s a showdown between education and health then no prizes there to guess the winner. The psychology of the poor has to be understood which primarily revolves around the simple notion of ‘how do I eat today?’ If the government of Pakistan does not prioritize its PSDPs and continues to ignore education then the problem of child care could not be overcome. There’s no other way to materialize the talks of increased quality human capital and higher productivity. There’s a saying in Pakistan that if everybody pays the due zakat then there wouldn’t be any poverty. Same applies on tax; does anyone pay it except for the on-source deduction of the salaried people? Similarly, the transfer payments; something far more effective and efficient is required instead of the Benazir Income Support Program.
Global Employment Trends 2011, http://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/@dgreports/@dcomm/@publ/documents/publication/wcms_150 440.pdf 47 World Social Security Report 2011, http://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/@dgreports/@dcomm/@publ/documents/publication/wcms_146 566.pdf


The child labor survey of Pakistan in 1996 had hit the bull’s eye with its findings48 and explained the causes of child labor:

1. Large population with high population growth rate; 2. Almost three-fourths (70 per cent) of the total population living in rural areas, with subsistence agricultural activities; 3. Low productivity and prevalence of poverty; 4. Unpaid family helpers, especially in agricultural activities; 5. Discriminating social attitude towards girls and women; 6. Inadequate educational facilities.

If the government has paid heed and initiated programs to tackle these findings then the results will start coming in after next general elections; five years were sufficient. But if that doesn’t happen then it means that some far critical problem overshadowed the one under discussion. If there are positive results anywhere then they are not tangible and neither do the media know about it. A smattering of good deeds is not what Pakistan ‘now’ demands. No security of social life, double standards in education, unemployment, irregular wealth distribution, bonded slavery and age-old social customs all form a cohesive force and push the young children each day in Pakistan towards labor for wages. The status-quo will flourish if parents continue to deprive children, especially girls from education by not giving it importance or priority. The small scale employers will continue to hire ‘cheap’ and ‘flexible’ labor. They have a mindset of their own. Not every company is a Nike that can financially motivate.




Recommendation & Conclusion
Somebody once wrote on his status of Face Book: Islamic Republic of Denial A lot comes into mind when you read this. All the rights and wrongs battle-out in the mind, eventually leading to despair. Hope is always there because a solution is exists. Originally, the title of this part of the paper read ‘recommendations’. The s was removed because there is only one recommendation. It’s quite easy to say that focused action should be taken that can reverse the serious causes of child labor. The author could have listed all such actions but hasn’t. All and sundry know it well and believe in these actions for they have been talked about much. It requires a special kind of leadership to take the first step. That’s it. That’s all there is to it. Leadership. And which will be the first step? Bring in land reforms that include agriculture tax. Subsequently, the feudal system will die its own death thereby leading to the crash of prevailing structure in Pakistan. Everything else will then fall down into its rightful place. But where will the leadership come from? Until this question is answered, the republic will continue to dream in denial.



Page 6

ILO-IPEC TBP Project 2004, BLS Child Labor in Tanneries by Akida Management Consultants in collaboration with FBS, http://www.ilo.org/ipecinfo/product/viewResult.do?page=1 http://human-rights.unglobalcompact.org/dilemmas/child-labour/ Atlantic Magazine, Child Labor in Pakistan by Jonathan Silvers, February 1996, USA, http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/1996/02/child-labor-inpakistan/4660/?single_page=true ILO-IPEC TBP Project 2004, BLS on Child Labor in Glass Bangles Industry by Akida Management Consultants in collaboration with FBS, http://www.ilo.org/ipecinfo/product/viewResult.do?page=1 ILO-IPEC TBP Project 2004, BLS on Child Labor in Coal Mines Industry by Akida Management Consultants in collaboration with FBS, http://www.ilo.org/ipecinfo/product/viewResult.do?page=1 The Express Tribune, November 10, 2010, http://tribune.com.pk/story/75061/ten-million-engaged-in-child-labour-inpakistan/ Understanding Labor Issues in Pakistan, Briefing Paper 20, Page 7, PILDAT CIA World Fact Book, https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-worldfactbook/geos/countrytemplate_pk.html http://www.bisp.gov.pk/ Pakistan Employment Trends 2008 Youth, Pakistan Employment Trends 2008 MDG Target 1B, http://www.lmis.gov.pk/publications/ http://www.statpak.gov.pk/fbs/content/labour-force-survey-2010-11, The Express Tribune, August 2, 2011, http://tribune.com.pk/story/222455/labour-force-survey-2011-officialunemployment-rate-at-6/ Interview, Khalid Mahmood, Labor Education Foundation in Pakistan by Evelyn Holt of International Labor Rights Forum, October 14, 2009 http://laborrightsblog.typepad.com/international_labor_right/ Economics 18e, Samuelson & Nordhaus, Page 254, Chapter 13 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_trade_unions http://www.pwf.org.pk/about_pwf.htm Ministry of Labor and Manpower, http://www.molm.gov.pk/

Page 7, 31, 32, 36 Page 9

Page 11

Page 12

Page 13

Page 17 Page 18

Page 19 Page 20

Page 21

Page 22, 23, 24

Page 23 Page 23 Page 23 Page 25

Page 27 The Indian Express, July 19, 2002, Jobs or Jihad - That’s the Question by Shalini Chawla, http://www.indian-express.com/full_story.php?content_id=6224 http://web.worldbank.org/WBSITE/EXTERNAL/PROJECTS/0,, contentMDK:22928038~menuPK:64282138~pagePK:41367~ piPK:279616~theSitePK:40941,00html http://www.unicef.org/protection/index_childlabour.html Personal observation Study from 2002 survey, http://humanrights.unglobalcompact.org/dilemmas/child-labour/ http://www.ilo.org/legacy/english/regions/asro/newdelhi/ipec /responses/pakistan/index.htm (Link to survey summary at bottom of the web page) www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/---dgreports/--comm/documents/publication/wcms_126752.pdf http://www.ilo.org/legacy/english/regions/asro/newdelhi/ ipec/responses/pakistan/national.htm Page 37 Page 38 Good to Great by Jim Collins, Page 163, Chapter 7, 2001, Harper Collins The Checklist Manifesto: How to get things right by Atul Gawande, 2009, Metropolitan Books http://uk.oneworld.net/guides/childlabour http://www.chinalaborwatch.org/news/new-269.html http://human-rights.unglobalcompact.org/case_studies/childlabour/child_labour/combating_child_labour_in_football_production.html http://www.imacpak.org/atlanta.htm http://www.laborrights.org/ Winning by Jack Welch, Page 3, 2005, Harper Collins Global Report 2010, http://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/---dgreports/--dcomm/documents/publication/wcms_126752.pdf Global Employment Trends 2011, http://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/@dgreports/@dcomm/@publ/docum ents/publication/wcms_150440.pdf World Social Security Report 2011, http://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/@dgreports/@dcomm/@publ/docum ents/publication/wcms_146566.pdf

Page 28

Page 31 Page 33 Page 33

Page 34

Page 34

Page 35, 36, 37, 47

Page 39 Page 39 Page 40, 41

Page 40 Page 42 Page 43 Page 45

Page 45, 46

Page 46