Islamabad (Web Desk): World Day Against Child Labour is being observed today (Monday) across the globe, including Pakistan.
The World Day against Child Labour, observed every year on June 12, is intended to foster the worldwide movement against child labour in any of its forms.
The theme for the day this year is "Social Justice for All End Child Labour!"
According to the United Nations (UN), The International Labour Organization (ILO) launched the World Day Against Child Labour in 2002 to focus attention on the global extent of child labour and the action and efforts needed to eliminate it.
Each year on 12 June, the World Day brings together governments, employers and workers organizations, civil society, as well as millions of people from around the world to highlight the plight of child labourers and what can be done to help them.
In a message on the observance of the Day, President Dr Arif Alvi on Monday said that the challenge of child labour could be overcome by promoting social justice and ensuring the provision of quality education to children.
“World Day against Child Labour is observed all over the world to raise awareness for the prevention of child labour, and encourage stakeholders to speak against this social evil,” he said.
The president said that child labour was a growing curse in the world, as according to the United Nations (UN), around 160 million children were forced into child labour. “Globally, one out of every 10 children is working.”
He said although child labour had been reduced on the international level, still there was a dire need for further efforts to eradicate the social evil.
The president emphasized that poverty, wars, terrorism and lack of access to education were the basic causes of child labour, adding that the basic causes needed to be overcome to completely eradicate the challenge.
He said poverty forced the families to get their children to engage in work at an early age.
"Child labour deprived children from receiving basic education and access to health facilities. It exposed them to harmful and hazardous environments and clipped their basic rights to life and liberty", he added.
An estimated 27 million children did not go to school in Pakistan, he said, adding that in Pakistan, legislation was being made to eliminate child labour from the country.
"In Pakistan, child labour was completely banned and the government was providing educational scholarships to discourage child labour and attract children towards education," he said.
President Alvi stressed the need to speed up efforts to promote the protection of children’s rights and eliminate child labour from the country.
He also stressed that the government, society, private sector, media, employers and civil society should work together and play their due role in eliminating child labour in Pakistan.
As per the UN, Today, 160 million children are still engaged in child labour. That is almost one in ten children worldwide. Africa ranks highest among regions both in the percentage of children in child labour, one-fifth, and the absolute number of children in child labour, 72 million. Asia and the Pacific ranks second highest in both these measures, 7% of all children and 62 million in absolute terms are in child labour in this region.
The Africa and the Asia and the Pacific regions together account for almost nine out of every ten children in child labour worldwide. The remaining child labour population is divided among the Americas (11 million), Europe and Central Asia (6 million), and the Arab States (1 million). In terms of incidence, 5% of children are in child labour in the Americas, 4% in Europe and Central Asia, and 3% in the Arab States.
While the percentage of children in child labour is highest in low-income countries, their numbers are actually greater in middle-income countries. 9% all children in lower-middle-income countries, and 7% of all children in upper-middle-income countries, are in child labour.
Statistics on the absolute number of children in child labour in each national income grouping indicate that 84 million children in child labour, accounting for 56% of all those in child labour, actually live in middle-income countries, and an additional 2 million live in high-income countries.