“Child labour perpetuates poverty, unemployment, illiteracy, population growth, and other social problems.”

–Kailash Satyarthi

For us, as Pakistanis, child labour is a natural phenomenon. It is usual for us to see a 12-year-old serving tea at some tuck shop, waiting tables in restaurants or working as full time helpers in the homes of the well-off instead of receiving a basic quality education. Individuals reap benefits off of the children due to their gullible and exploitable nature not only on local turfs but also internationally. Sialkot is one of the largest producers of footballs in the world, all because of the efforts of the children who sew the balls together by hand. The industry earns in millions of dollars but what percentage of that really returns to the child worker himself?

One could argue that their circumstances require them to earn for their sustenance but that would only be a way through which we, as a society, downplay and justify the entire problem. However, not just the children in Pakistan that are victims of this violation of rights but the issue stretches across to Afghanistan, India, the Philippines, Congo, Sudan so on and so forth. An estimate of around 150 million children are engaged in child labour worldwide. It is true that every moment that this issue remains unchecked more children are trapped into a life where they lack progressive employment opportunities due to the lack of education received which would naturally put them in the lower income bracket of the society this robbing the generations to come a possibly better quality of life. One act of ignorance can be a catalyst for irresolvable and complex issues to be created.