“World Day Against Child Labour” ads in Pakistan’s media are such an apt real life explanation of the book “Amusing ourselves to death” by Neil Postman – essentially using a combination 0f flowers, colours, spiels, images, backgrounds, jargons (and often pretty faces) to market a mixture of true and false ideas, for fame, money , power and to look good and politically appropriate.
The fact is that CHILD LABOUR IS LEGAL IN PAKISTAN.
Consider this example:
Sindh Prohibition of Employment of Children Act 2017 is hugely defective as it :
1. Defines “Child” as some one under 14 years. This is a highly exploitative, unethical illegal and incorrect definition.
2. States that a ‘Child’ cannot work in an “establishment”. It then performs the master deception. Its definition of “establishment” does not include children working as domestic labour. So in SINDH, CHILDREN BELOW 14 CAN WORK AS DOMESTIC LABOUR AND WE CANNOT EVEN COMPLAIN TO SCPA. This is absolutely disgusting and makes this ACT, not worth the paper it is written on. It defacto legalises children below 14 to work as domestic labour.
3. It then actually goes on to legalise a large number of establishments and occupations where children from 14 years and one day to 18 years ARE LEGALLY allowed to work.
The same insanity is a part of our Constitution that essentially provides, exploits and legalises child labour for the convenience of the rich elite, Waderas, and industrialists.
Suggested solution: We need many more World Bank or UNICEF funded seminars in one or the other Serena, lubricated by Powerpoints, lunches, high teas and Nestle waters to understand that there is a gap of 4 years between the numerical 18 and 14. A new organisation “National Commission for the Rights of Arithmetically Challenged” be established with the sole function of spreading awareness and capacity building of unknown citizens and functionaries in the areas of numbers , specially those that exist between 14 and 18 in general and less than 14 in particular.