Child labour; the erosion of Innocence
Every 12th of June is globally celebrated as World Day against Child Labour. The day allows us to reflect upon how and why such a manipulation of innocent obedience and loyalty’s exist all around us. It presents us with an opportunity to educate ourselves about the perspectives of the manipulators, the children involved, and of those who wish to relieve the world from burdens of such unjust and oppressive actions.
Causes of child labour are stretched over a number of factors, including poverty, social norms condoning them, lack of decent work opportunities for adults and adolescents, migration and emergencies. According to a research conducted by the University of Iowa Labor Center, the most dominant factor among all others is the poverty and economic deprivation of the familywho find their obligations to the well-being of their children fading into the necessity of battling against their poverty and feeding the entire family. As a result, such parents raise their children with the prospective that education and other extracurricular activities as personality development are luxuries that they cannot afford and so the natural order of progression of their lives require their children to work and earn money by all means possible. Growing up with such a perspective, children eventually begin to lose their innocence under the weight of shouldering the burdens of their adult responsibilities.
According to United Nations, there are an estimated 152 million children in child labour, 72 million of which are in hazardous work. This goes to show the extent to which poverty has begun dealing out debilitating blows to not only poverty stricken families but in effect to the builders of our future. For children across the world are carriers of their familial as well as cultural legacies. If we allow child labour to bury the innocence of our children, if we do not play our part in eradicating poverty and protect our children from being robbed of their innocence and be exploited by their oppressive circumstances, then, our laziness towards doing our work ourselves is yet another major factor which helps child labour to persist despite all laws and regulations against it.
In essence, organisations such as human development foundation worked tirelessly to do all that can be done to rid our beloved Pakistan of poverty and its shackles such as child labour and many other social and psychological vices. Let this 12th of June be the day for our resolves to materialise in action by contributing in any way we can to the efforts of such organisations, by offering our services, by making a small donation, or at the very least by taking some time to study their efforts and glean some food for thought to be inspired to take some initiative in our own individual lives. Let us invest our time and education, our money or other available resources, to free such children from their poverty and its various exploitations!