Enrolment matters 

Author: Nasir Iqbal
Publication Year : 2021

The prevalence of child labour in Pakistan is very high, with up to 22 percent of children between the ages of 5 and 14 years in some provinces engaged in the worst form of child labour, including bonded labour in agriculture and brick kilns, and forced domestic work. Many child labourers work under conditions of debt bondage and forced labour, and suffer from extreme physical abuse and sexual assault. Families substitute schooling with child work to escape poverty, and in some cases, parents work with their children as bonded labourers. Consequently, almost 23 million children between the ages of 5 and 16 years in Pakistan are out of school. According to the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (Unicef), this translates to about 44 percent of the total population within this age group. Thus, Pakistan has one of the highest rates of out-of-school children in the world. Elimination of child labour and the achievement of universal education are interconnected goals.

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Nasir Iqbal

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