Pakistan is still among the top ten countries with the child labor issues. Although the country has had Child Protection Departments and Bureaus since 2004, the departments have had little luck in containing the rapid growth of the menace of child labor.
Where poverty and inflation have played a lethal role in the seemingly uncontrollable increase in Child Labor in Pakistan, there have been other factors that have contributed exponentially to this problem.
The 2005 earthquake, which hit parts of northern Pakistan and Pakistani-administered Kashmir, pushed millions of families to the wall of economic extinction and their children were left with no choice but to earn their bread and butter themselves. According to United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), out of the 20 million people affected by floods in Pakistan, 10 million are children, 2.8 million of them aged under five. These factors added hundreds of thousands if not millions of children to the child labor pool.
While the civil society organizations and non-governmental organizations have tried their best to raise awareness in this regard and, with the help of international donors, have also funded programs to address the issue. Education programs coupled with stipends and other such programs have been employed.
Not only are children forced to work but they are often engaged in occupations that impact their physical, emotion and mental health, and are subject to a range of forms of abuse.
Pray for a will in government and society to act on behalf of children; for families whose lives a trapped in cycles of poverty that force children into working; for those whose lives were dramatically affected by the earthquake and floods and are still trapped in the aftermath of that; for the Church and Christian organizations to work for the welfare and good of children.