Pakistan: Nearly 6 Million Children under 10 Are Child Laborers

Almost 12 million children, half below the age of 10, are employed as child laborers across Pakistan, and the number is growing. Children are beggars, car washers, and domestic workers, reports the Society for the Protection of the Rights of the Child (SPARC), a longtime Solidarity Center partner. In an effort to eradicate the most extreme forms of child labor in Pakistan, SPARC is conducting a national campaign during the week of June 11–16.

SPARC specializes in child rights advocacy and uses education, research, and awareness raising to promote legal and policy reforms that cultivate and facilitate child rights in Pakistan. As part of its campaign, SPARC is urging the federal and provincial governments of Pakistan to implement and advance legislative initiatives aimed at combating child labor in Pakistan. Activities involve press conferences, walks, rallies, seminars, and a puppet show.

The campaign aims to:

  • Sensitize media so that issues of child labor are highlighted at a national level.
  • Highlight the importance of enforcement of policy and legislative initiatives to tackle child labor.
  • Emphasize the importance of free and quality education, which is guaranteed in Pakistan’s constitution.

“This is a serious cause for concern as underage employment undermines a child’s physical and emotional development,” SPARC said in a fact sheet on the campaign. “Therefore, serious steps need to be taken to tackle child labor.”