News / Economy

Poverty Forces Children to Work Illegally in Pakistan

Poverty Forces Children to Work Illegally in Pakistani
X
August 07, 2013 5:47 PM
Despite laws in Pakistan that prohibit child labor in hazardous jobs, millions of children continue to work in order to put food on the table. According to the International Labor Organization, many of these children work in harsh and often dangerous conditions. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Karachi on the life of one young boy who was forced to leave school and work in order to help feed his family.
TEXT SIZE - +
Sharon Behn
— Despite laws in Pakistan that prohibit child labor in hazardous jobs, millions of children continue to work in order to put food on the table. According to the International Labor Organization, many of these children work in harsh and often dangerous conditions.

Like millions of other children in Pakistan, Mohsin left school at 13 to work to help feed his family. His father is paralyzed.
 
“My father has been sick, and we had nothing to eat at home. So I had to work because of the problems we face at home,” said Mohsin.
 
According to the latest U.S. Department of Labor report, Pakistan had made no advancement by 2011 in efforts to eliminate the worst forms of child labor.
 
Qadir Khan Mandokhail, who works for a non-profit human rights organization in Karachi, capital of southern Sindh province, said, “We are working for the implementation of the laws. The children, they should not work under 18. They should go to schools for educations. The reason is that the department of government of Sindh and Baluchistan and the federal government - they are not seriously working for these issues.”
 
While education is free and even compulsory to age 16, children as young as six in poorer areas need to work to help their families.
 
“I want so very much to go to school, but I can’t study because of the situation in my home,” said Mohsin. He works in a local garment factory, loading bundles or doing embroidery, and earning roughly $10 a week.
 
Mohsin’s mother, Ruby, said Mohsin’s older brother started working in the factory when he was 10, despite the dangerous conditions. A fire in a garment factory last year in Karachi killed 289 people, including children.
 
“We got scared when that factory caught fire. Other people’s children got killed -and they were like our children. I’m so afraid of sending my children to work, but what can I do? I have to send them to work so that we can eat,” said Ruby.
 
With little law enforcement, increasing unemployment and widespread poverty, it is hard to see how Mohsin, and others like him, will have a different future.

You May Like

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.7217
JPY
USD
102.17
GBP
USD
0.5949
CAD
USD
1.1009
INR
USD
60.326

Rates may not be current.