Pakistan is the 6th most populated country in the world. With more than 40% of its population falling below the age of 16 it’s a young nation with a significant population group in its early years. Pakistan can either make or break its future depending on how well it brings up its youth. The country’s entrepreneurial ecosystem has been budding since the last 5 years and is showing great potential. In this regard, Pakistan’s economy has been performing better than India and China, according to Forbes. The credit to this amazing growth also goes to its youth, who are creating employment opportunities for others as well as following their passions.


But there is also another side to this coin, a side that is darker and filled with hopelessness. Child labor remains one of the major problems afflicting Pakistan and its children. The problem is embedded deep into the roots of Indo-Pak culture. With a growing population and limited number of resources, more and more children are being forced to become a part of this plague. In December 2014, the U.S. Department of Labor reported 9 out of 6 goods produced through forced child labor are from Pakistan. It is also estimated that one quarter of the country’s work force was made up of children. Every fourth household in Pakistan employs an underage servant. These children are often abused and their basic rights are violated.


So what’s the underlying cause of this evil? According to the International Labor Organization (ILO), poverty is the biggest cause behind child labor. In 2008, nearly 17% of the total population of the country lived below the poverty line. Young children are forced to enter the workforce early because of financial instability at their home. They are trained to beg, work in factories or at homes to earn bread and butter for their families.


After learning the horrors that these children face, one asks if there’s any way they can turn things around. And that question was what forced an artist to bring this issue out into the public. Al-Hilal Yesha, a YouTuber from Pakistan, made a short film on this grave issue. The short-film follows a young girl living in a village and shows how the death of her mother and her bleak financial background forces her into slavery. The heart wrenching production shows the horrors these children face in their lives.


An Artist Shows the Realities of Child Labor in Pakistan.

An Artist Shows the Realities of Child Labor in Pakistan.Read the full article at DopeInsights:

Posted by Dope Insights on Wednesday, 5 April 2017



Every 4th household in Pakistan employs an underage servant. People are so used to this that it is not even considered wrong anymore. But it is! Seeing their conditions and how these children are treated one wonders what went wrong. The answer is education. People need to realize that it is not okay for them to employ these young kids at such an early age. What they can do is either adopt the orphans or act as their god parents. And then take care of them, feed them and educate them. This is the only way the nation can eradicate this plague from its society. And this is where artists like AlHilal can highlight the practices that are forbidden by law and ethics and are becoming a norm in Pakistani society.


child labor in Pakistan

© Salman Alam Khan


Pakistani government has passed laws in an attempt to limit child labor and indentured servitude. Sadly these laws are are being ignored universally. Researchers believe that more accessible education and reduction in poverty will help aid the effort of reducing the amount of child labor. Private NGOs and social startups are also trying to solve this issue. The combined work of these organizations and content creators like AlHilal Yesha is a ray of hope for a better future for the underprivileged youth of Pakistan.


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