Is Child Labor Illegal in Pakistan?

(Last Updated On: 02/03/2014)

Although child labor is illegal in many countries of the world and Pakistan is one of them but is it really considered illegal in Pakistan? Without any doubt it is illegal in Pakistan for a child under 14 to be employed in corporate, domestic or any other form. But it seems that it is strictly for the papers or books of law and there seems no practical implementation of the law.

Almost all of us can see a barefoot child who is selling roses on the roads and has never seen inside of the school. We also come across kids working in hotels, serving tea and food to us. Working in mechanic shops, there mostly are children who are less than 14 years old.

Little girls taking care of babies and working as maids when the baby falls asleep is not uncommon either. In fact this trend is growing very rapidly not only in rich but middle class families as well. What actually are the reasons behind this growing phenomenon of hiring young children and depriving them of education and a childhood they truly deserve like every other kid?

One of the most obvious reasons is the fact that child labor is very cheap. Any poor parents would love to hook their little kids to some job and in return if the kid is even getting food, they will gladly accept it because they don’t have the resources to feed their children. They will consider it a blessing that the children are fed by any other source.

On the other hand, people who hire the kids also get cheap labor as if they were to pay an adult, it would cost them much more.

Another factor adding to the above mentioned factor is that children can be controlled very easily and can be punished if they misbehave. In other words, children can be tamed according to the wishes of the employer.

When it comes to the job where one has to take care of your baby, girls are preferred over boys as they are considered more sensitive, responsible, loving and caring. Some of the little girls already have the experience to raise their younger siblings so they know how to take care of kids.

The trend of hiring children for taking care of your babies, working in a restaurant, working in workshops and even the kids who sell sweets or flowers or some other product on the road is growing at such a rapid pace that the law of children under 14 employed doesn’t seem illegal any more. Almost at every place we can see children less than 14 years old working and nobody cares anymore. It has become a normal thing in our society and the law is limited to just books.

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