“Child labour perpetuates poverty,

unemployment, illiteracy, population growth, and other social problems.”

–Kailash Satyarthi – 1954.

Children are the architects of tomorrow. At a tender age when they are to develop physiologically and psychologically, we thrust them into a world of industry and capitalism where their meagre status is exploited by despotic managers and administrators. Not only are trapped in a vicious cycle of poverty perpetuated through low wage jobs; they also fall victim to sexual violence, scarring their tender personalities for life. Unfortunately, our country is among the few where child labour prevails to this day. According to a research, Pakistan is ranked among the countries with the highest ratio of children being out of school. Many of these children are employed at brick kilns, carpet factories etc. Taking the lead in matters, the Punjab Government has looked into providing mechanisms for eradicating this social evil. In January this year, it introduced the Punjab Prohibition of Child Labour at Brick Kilns Ordinance, under which brick kiln owners will suffer imprisonment and heavy fines if they were found to have employed children. The families of underage brick kiln workers will be given incentives to send them to school. Recently, Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has given formal approval to the Restriction of Employment of Children Ordinance 2016 declaring labour by children under the age of 14 as an unpardonable crime in every sector of the province. We can hope that these efforts of the Punjab administration imbue a sense of responsibility in other provincial governments. Let us put an end to this heinous practice and create a generation of confident and educated young individuals.