CHILD LABOR AND IMPROPER WALEFARE
RABIA HAMEED MALIK
DEPERMONT OF COMPUTER SCIENCES
Who is a Child?
International conventions define children as aged 18 and under.
Child labor is the employment of children at regular and
sustained labor. "Child labor" is; generally speaking, work for
children that harm them or exploits them in some way
physically, mentally, or by blocking access to education.
The world context:
According to revised estimates by the ILO's Bureau of Statistics, the
number of working children between the ages of 5 and 14 is at least 120
children work in mines, in factories making glass bangles, matches and
fireworks, in deep sea fishing, in commercial agriculture and so on.
The nature and magnitude of the problem:
Statistics on child labor are elusive not only because of the special and
practical difficulties involved in the design and implementation of child
surveys but also because of differences in perception about what
constitutes a child, or child work, or child labor.
Children in hazardous work :
The most common situation in which children are helpless is when they work in
hazardous occupations and industries. Chemical, physical, biological and ps
ychological hazards are often found in combination in the workplace.
2. Child domestic workers
Child domestic service is a widespread practice in many developing countries.
11 to 13 years
5 to 10 years
12 to 17 years
a) Market Imperfections
(b) Poverty Constraints
(c) Multiple Choices
Unemployment of elders
Willingness to exploit children
Discrimination against minority groups:
The demand for child labor plays a critical role in determining
the involvement of children in hazardous work. .
child workers are paid less than their adult counterparts is
indeed true in most cases. But the lower wages and other
advantages claimed for child labor are not always as clear and
The most logical and humane strategy must therefore be to
focus scarce resources first on the most intolerable forms of
child labor such as slavery, debt bondage and work in
hazardous occupations and industries, and the very young .
Report of June 2006, the numbers of children working aged 5 to 14 is:
Globally 190 million:
Pakistan is also suffering from the lingering peril of child labor a
nd the economic exploitation of the poor.
In Pakistan children aged
5 to 14 are above 40 million.
The findings were that
3.8 million children age group of 5-14 years are working in
2.7 million were claimed to be working in the agriculture sector.
Labor legislation is widely used both to regulate individual
employment relationships and to establish the framework within
which workers and employers can determine their own relations
on a collective basis.
The implications for governments of the obligation to eliminate
Effective laws and regulations are fundamental to underpin
action against child labor.
Most countries in the world prohibit forced labor in their
constitution or general labor legislation; Pakistan and India
have adopted legislation specifically outlawing
Enforcement means supervising or putting into action a certain set of rules
, which are outlaid as part of a plan, a system or order.
A: Enforcement measures:
• The creation of special teams for the inspection of work places;
• The supervision of authorities responsible for the application of legislation on
• The establishment of adequate complaints procedures, information and
• Governments take all necessary measures, including the provision of
penalties, to ensure effective enforcement.
labor inspectors and labor administrative authorities, are
vested with the power to:
(i) Request medical examinations when they deem it necessary to determine whether
the work performed by young people could be detrimental to their health or
development, especially in the case of dangerous or hazardous work like in chemical
(ii) Cancel an employment contract or withdraw a work permit if the work is not suitable
for the child's health or physical or moral development.
(iii) Enforce existing legislation during inspection visits by checking the working
conditions of children and examining records of hours of work, holidays and wages.
Weakness of enforcement mechanisms
Enforcement problems are acute in the informal sector
Inadequate labor inspection
Child labor law violations are usually detected in the course of interventions
made on the basis of complaints received.
Action to eliminate child bonded labor requires
Effective and comprehensive national policies
Legislative reform, enforcement
Systems of compulsory and free education
Mobilization (organizational) and information campaigns.
A: National policy and strategies:
Identifying priority occupations and sectors for action,
Raising public awareness,
Developing institutional capacity,
Improving educational, social and health services for the benefit of poor
families and their children.
A complete and implementable national policy and programmed of action will
contain at least the following elements:
•A definition of national objectives regarding child labor
•A description of the nature and context of the problem
•Identification of the priority target groups
•A description of the intervention approaches to be used
•Designation of the institutional actors to be involved.
To protective labor legislation for children:
Affordable education of good quality and which is relevant to
the needs of children and their families will ultimately be the
most effective instrument for the elimination of child labor.
Schooling has, moreover, a number of other positive effects
that help reduce child labor over the longer run.
Educated persons are more aware of their rights and so less
likely to accept hazardous working conditions.
The legislation of ILO member States setting a basic minimum
age for admission to employment.
There are two main exceptions to the generally prescribed
minimum ages provided :
A lower minimum age for «light work»
A higher minimum age for hazardous employment or work.
The majority fix 12, 13 or 14 years as the minimum.
Only about 20 countries which waive the basic minimum age for
Subject such exceptions to all of the conditions laid down in
Convention No. 138, namely that:
The work should not be harmful to the child's health or
Should not interfere with school instruction,
Should not take place during school hours
Should not be more than specifically prescribed hours of work.
The higher minimum age for hazardous employment or work is
after 18 years and are working in factories, heavy work etc.
In recent years attention has been increased to the problem of child labor in various
The work of UNICEF and the United Nations Commission on Human Rights
are well known and do not need elaboration.
Regional in The International Confederation of Free Trade Unions
(ICFTU), one of the very early campaigners against child labor, launched a
global campaign for the elimination of child labor in and continue to be active
in advocacy and research on behalf of working children.
The General Council of the International Organization of Employers (IOE)
passed a resolution in June 1996 on child labor which makes a number of
basic recommendations to employers and their organization.
There are many other less known organizations which were active in the
child labor area but whose work is of fundamental significance to the
campaign against child labor.