Almost one-third of the world population consists of children. Therefore they need to be cared and protected, to keep up and improve posterity. Children are important component in social structure and potential future carries to the culture. Now the question arises, who is a child? Or who can be considered as a child? Finding a single definition to describe a “child” is becoming an uphill task. The plain dictionary meaning of the word ‘child’ is that, a young person especially between infancy and youth.
“A child is a person who is going to carry on what you have started…the fate of humanity is in his hands.”
— Abraham Lincoln.
But whatever is happening today is totally contrary to what authors and writers say about the origin of child. Today children are used as a toolkit for surviving poverty and hunger.
Daily thousands of poor parents send their children to work at specific wages to win bread for their households. This destroys their mental and physical growth. By doing all this, their confidence gets shattered and they can be no longer recognized as a normal human being.
It makes them suffer in their later life with having nothing in hand which forces them to the same profession as they had been attached to since childhood. They have nothing in hand including their education, knowledge, exposure, learning and proper well-being.
That’s the reason child labour has been stated as the worst of all evils in the society. This societal disease started hitting numerous countries in 1980. Then the circle got bigger and bigger ending in worldwide catastrophe. Children were often spotted at agricultural sites, pesticides in farms, factories, dairy farms and brick production areas other than school, colleges and universities. This analysis was done on the basis of their financial statuses which marked out most of the children from lower class and belonged below by the poverty line.
According to World Report on Child Labour (2013) that there are around 265 million working children in the world—almost 17 per cent of the worldwide child population.
This report shows the rising ratio of children working and having no future ahead.
At national level as well as local level many organizations are busy to protect the rights of a child as well as to solve the problem of child labour with the help of funding agencies and with the help of government machinery. Government’s commitment to addressing the problem of child labour is reflected in the National Agenda of governance. And when we looks in to the statutes on child labour, minimum wage is not prescribed for the occupation permitted for children and no provision exists for working children.
Many marches are held worldwide to stop people from letting their child going in wrong hands which affects child’s mind if they are tortured or punished in a violent way.
International debates are held for this one day at May 1st in order to make parents realize that their children are more precious than anything in life. They are worthy enough to go to schools and make their childhood memorable instead of shoving themselves in chimneys and hot engines at car shops.
Children of the nation are supremely important asset. Children’s programs should find a prominent part in our national plans for the development of human resources. So that our children grow up to become robust citizen, physically and mentally fit, and morally healthy; endowed with the skills and motivations needed by the society.
Child labour is a significant problem in Pakistan. The scenario is shown by the child work participation rates which are higher in Pakistan and Ethiopia than in other developing countries. Equal opportunities for development to all children during the period of growth should be our aim. For this purpose even we as a citizen should join hands with government and other institutions which are set up for this purpose. To save tomorrow’s child and our next day asset which is getting wasted as time passes by.
Ghazan Khan, MBA student, Bahria university Islamabad