Some Dimensions of Child Labour in Pakistan

Publication Year : 1997

Child Labour between 5–14 years is prevalent in Pakistan. But no reliable and comprehensive data on this age group are available to tackle this issue. Though the Labour Force Survey, the main source of labour statistics, includes information on workforce above the age of 10 years, no study on the nature and extent of child labour between 10–14 years of age is available. Accordingly, this study, based on micro data of three labour force surveys from 1990-91 to 1992-93, has been carried out to fill this gap. The study indicates that the quantum of child labour age cohort of 10–14 years grew from 1.8 million in 1990-91 to 2 million in 1992-93. The growth of girl workers is higher as compared to boys. Industrial structure shows that at the national level and in the rural area, agriculture engaged the maximum number of children, followed by services, whereas in the urban area the services sector dominated. As for employment status, most of the children are unpaid family helpers. The occupational pattern indicates that the majority of them work on farms and on production activities. The data reveals that about three-fourths worked beyond the normal 35 hours per week. It is observed that in order to gain a deeper insight into the socio-economic characteristics of child labour, particularly that between 5–14 years, and the hazardous work performed by them, independent household and establishment surveys are imperative.