Floods aftermath: More children in the market, less in school

Published: July 28, 2011

As child labour spikes, children are being sent to scour for income. PHOTO: REUTERS

ISLAMABAD: 

While Pakistan has yet to recover from the devastating 2010 floods that affected over 20 million people, the incidence of child labour has surged in the last year, as some of the poorest families continue to be deprived of their livelihoods, British newspaper The Independent reported on Wednesday.

In a report released on Wednesday, UK-based charity Save the Children warns that the number of children forced to work has sharply risen by up to a third in areas worst hit by the floods. With their parents still unable to find jobs, children are being sent out to hazardous areas to scour for desperately-needed income, it was reported.

“A year on from the floods, many of the children caught up in the disaster are struggling to survive,” David Wright, Save the Children’s country director for Pakistan, was quoted as saying. “We need to get them out of work and back at school.”

The spike in child labour comes as families have watched their incomes fall by up to 70% over the past year, the report said, drawing on a survey of over 2,300 households in the worst flood-affected areas.

With incomes plummeting categorically, the 10 million children in flood-affected areas are also being denied the food they need to survive. Save the Children warns that nearly a quarter of the children are suffering from “acute malnourishment”, the UK based national daily reported.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 28th, 2011.

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