Child Rights

Child labor graph went up during the pandemic

Lockdowns and closure of businesses forced children to take jobs to meet household expenses

KARACHI: The global pandemic has increased the graph of child labor in Pakistan. Subsequent lockdowns and closure of businesses caused large-scale of job loss, compelling families to engage children in the labour.

During the period, schools remained closed for many months and which caused an increased dropout and dumped the children into the trap of labor.

To assess the impacts of COVID-19 on school-going children, DevCon, a non-governmental organization conducted a survey on’ Impact of Covid-19 on school-going children in the Korangi Industrial Area.

The study revealed that the number of children taking different jobs has increased alarmingly. Before the pandemic, the total number of school-going children in the surveyed area was 49 (2.18 percent) out of 2,240 school-going children in 10 schools. During the pandemic, the number of working children went up to 288 that constituting 12.9 percent of total school-going children.

The percentage of girls’ child labor is 67 percent as compared to boys who constitute 33 percent of working children. A total of 95 school-going boys and 193 girls reported that they are engaged in labor. The age of working children ranges from five to 18 years.

It was also revealed that the majority of 50 percent of working children are studying in primary classes while 26 percent in secondary and 24 percent study in matriculation and above.

The study found that a total of 92 students have dropped out of school during the last two years, therefore, the total dropout ratio was 4.1 percent in both girls and boys.

The data shared by the organization shows that the boys’ ratio of drop out was 2.7 percent regarding total enrollment students while 1.4 percent were girls.

It was also observed that some students did not attend school regularly and just joined schools during the examination. Those children are more interested in the pass-out certificates which will help them get employment because the majority of employment sectors need a minimum qualification of matriculation.

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