KARACHI: “There are 21 million children employed as labourers across the country, of which 10 million are made to do taxing and dangerous work.”
This was stated by Coalition Against Child Labour Pakistan (CACLP) Chief Hakeem Ghulam Siddique during a press conference at the press club on Monday where he named 2011 ‘Education Year’.
In 2011, CACLP hopes to free 10,000 children across the country from child labour by educating them while assisting their families through the Bait-ul-Maal.
According to Siddique, 34.5 per cent of the population lives under the poverty line, of which 10.6 per cent are children.
“The main reason behind this figure is the lack of education,” he stated. “They start working very early instead of getting an education, which ultimately keeps them from progressing.” He also said that the lack of education is the main reason behind child labour as areas with lower literacy rates have higher numbers of children working.
“Only two per cent of the entire federal budget is spent on education,” he said. “Just like the Punjab government, that passed a Neglected Children Act in 2004 and built protection houses throughout the province, we will strive to pass a bill in the Balochistan, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Gilgit-Baltistan, and Azad Jammu Kashmir assemblies in the year 2011.”
He thanked the Sindh Assembly for tabling the child protection bill.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 15th, 2011.