Child Labor is an issue that has been prevalent in third world countries for a long time. Most of the countries in Asia and Africa have been using this practice. In Pakistan, Child Labor is practiced in even urbanized cities. However, recently in Sindh, a new law was passed. Anyone employing kids of and under the age of 12 will be punished.
Child Labor Laws In Sindh
The idea is to abolish child labor and give children the opportunity to get a proper education. At times, parents who cannot make ends meet and cannot afford to send their children to school employ them in different hotels, tire shops, small shops, and other odd jobs.
Anyone found hiring children under the age of 12, will not be punished according to the laws implemented by the government of Sindh. The punishments will depend on the severity of the crime, and will include fines and a few months of jail time.
Constitution of Pakistan
Under the mines act of 1923, the minimum age for hiring anyone is 15 years in Pakistan. Whereas the minimum age for hazardous work is 14 years, under the children act of 1991, in Sindh, Islamabad, and Balochistan. With the changes in the 18th amendment, a child is under the age of 14, while an adolescent is under 18. These changes were not incorporated in the labor laws.
According to the state laws, a state has to provide education to all children under the ages of 5 to 16, which means that anyone under the age of 16 cannot be allowed to work.
Now, with the implementation of the new law in Sindh, there seems a new ray of hope. While it is not aligned with the state laws, but seems more enforceable by the cities. Children are the future of Pakistan. While we understand that in these times, especially with COVID-19, it is hard to make ends meet. All children must first get proper education before they start to work.
What is your take on this?