World Day against Child Labor with theme “Warning Children in Hazardous Work- End Child Labor” had been celebrated a few days ago. Statistics available with different international organizations are enough to open eyes in this regard. A large number of children working illegally; out of which 53% children are working in very dangerous environment. They are not only deprived of basic rights but are not also looked after for their services. Unfortunately most of these children come across any physical disability or even die due to destructive nature of labor and unhealthy atmosphere they are exposed.
There has been a significant decrease of 9% noticed in the number of children working in unsafe conditions due to the efforts of several organizations specially United Nations. In 2009, the number of children working in hazardous environments in different industries was 120 millions worldwide; fortunately this numbers has fallen to 115 millions in 2010. According to a report; India is the most hazardous place where children not only receive very meager wages but they also are pressurized to work in dangerous conditions. In Pakistan, 25% of children in labor face difficulties and different diseases while working in hazardous atmosphere.
Another report reveals a total number of children engaged in child labor worldwide is 215 million. 76% of these children belong to rural areas and the remaining 25% are located in cities. Africa is on the top with 68 million child laborers; every 3rd African child is a laborer. According to ILO (International Labor Organization) South Asia stands on second number with high ratio where every 10th child working somewhere. 44 million children are bound to work in this part of the world to have their bread and butter.
India tops in South Asia with 22.1 million working children while Bangladesh with 12 million child laborers in on second number. Pakistan comes next in the table with 9.5 million laborers. Floods in 2010 with adverse effects on already crippled country’s economy; have forced a large number of school going children to leave studies and go to work. According to an unofficial report recent flood effected 9780 government and almost the same number of private educational institutions. According to UNICEF almost 10 million children were directly effected by the floods. A large number of these children had to join the child labor force because they were unable to rejoin their studies due to limited resources and prevailing poverty. This child labor force comprises of 73% boys and 27% girls.
It is pertinent to mention that 2016 has been set as deadline to eradicate child labor across the world; however keeping in view the current state of children working in Africa and Asia it looks impossible to meet the goals. Thus strenuous efforts are needed to be made to curb the menace of child labor particularly in developing countries.