What is Child Labour?
I would define child labour as an illegal employment of children in some business or work. It may also be defined as a work that is forbidden for children under certain age because of the detrimental nature and unacceptable conditions of the work.
Poverty – The Cause of Child Labour
Poverty is the greatest single cause of child labour in Pakistan and in other countries too. Approximately, more than 25% people in Pakistan are below poverty line and their only purpose in life is to fulfill the basic necessities of life i.e. food, shelter and clothes. Poor families usually have more children and the income of a single person could not suffice even these basic necessities of the family in any possible way. So, the only way these families know to have the basic necessities fulfilled is to let their children go out and find work to get some extra income. To support their families, these children start work at different teashops, stalls or factories and unfortunately compromise their childhood under these bitter circumstances.
Child Labour is Not the Solution to Poverty
People try out different ways to get them out of poor living conditions and child labor in one of them. But, this is the time when parents and every other person need to realize that the child labor is not a solution to poverty. This kind of attitude of parents and society which forces children to work outside where they are treated just like servants and bear the inhuman behavior of those so-called people who are higher in status destroys the personality and self-esteem of these innocent souls and turn them into damaged individuals. They think it’s just okay to be treated like this because they are poor and have no right to stand for their rights.
Children are future of our country and it is up to us to make or mar our future. Child labor is and will never be the solution to eradicate poverty from Pakistan. This will only make the situation worse to that extent where eventually it will become impossible to handle. So, if we want a bright nation, we should make the future of our children bright by getting them able to have at least basic education and a sense of self-actualization. If they will have basic education, they will be able to become self-sufficient and support their families in a respectable way where they will not need to beg in front of others for food and shelter.