Balochistan area wise, is the biggest Province of Pakistan. It is richest province in term of natural resources including natural gas, gold, copper and many other minerals. The province has more than 750 km of coast line with different type of fish.
Balochistan has been supplying gas for domestic and industrial purposes for many decades. But unfortunately Balochistan is the least developed area of country and a large people of Balochistan is under poverty line.
Yasmeen Lehri a political worker and former MPA said economic condition of Balochistan is very weak. Last year UNDP has released a poverty report that indicates stark regional disparities with in Pakistan with Balochistan being the poorest province of the country. Balochistan is lacking basic needs. The province has further fallen down in terms of sustainability and is on top of the poverty.
Parents cannot afford to send their children to schools and even cannot give them shelter, when their children become ill then they cannot afford to treat them from private hospitals. Due to poverty they send their children to work for economic support of family.
This is the responsibility of Government to make a law and implement it strictly to curb the child labour. The Government should also support the poor families financially to eradicate it.
Samiullah and Hikmatullah are brothers and they compelled to work in childhood to support their family. They collect things and drop them at other place for a meager income of Rs. 1500 per month. Talking to Balochi Zind, they said that if they did not work, from where they will eat. They said that their father only earns Rs. 500 per day to feed a big family. Both brothers said that they are compelled to work hard work and support their father financially .When asked that why they are not going to school, they said they wanted to go to school, wear clean clothes, play games and watch TV but because of poverty, this is not possible for them .They said, if Allah Almighty, gave them money, they will go to school, play game and enjoy the life.
Dr. Shama Ishaqe former Member of Provincial Assembly of Balochistan said Balochistan is a very rich area in terms of minerals and other in natural resources, She said, despite it the dropout rate of children from schools is very much high. The schools are in a bad condition. People don’t have basic health facilities, shelter and clean water. There is shortage of food and people are suffering from malnutrition. As member of provincial assembly they work hard for child protection bill. After long struggle Child Protection policy was approved in 2013 and Balochistan Child Protection Law enacted in 2016. All credit goes to former Chief Minister Dr Abdul Malik Baloch. She said she supported them for formulation of child protection policy and law.
Director General Labour Saeed Ahmad Sarparah said this is the responsibility of Labour Department Government of Balochistan to check Child labour. He said besides existing law of child labour Act 1991, Government of Balochistan has drafted a new law to prohibit child labour ,which is in final stage .
There is not a such authentic data available of Child labour in Balochistan. However Government of Balochistan with the collaboration of Unicef conducting the child labour survey throughout Balochistan, which has started. Child labour is direct linked with poverty ,illiteracy. The child labour interventions would be started through education, technical education and social welfare etc.
Abdul Rahuf Baloch Secretary welfare Department Government of Balochistan said, this is very necessary to create awareness among the society regarding child protection bill which passed in 2016.He further said law must be strictly implemented to ensure protection of children. He said, if they succeed to implement child protection bill 2016 in the province 50 percent problems will be solved directly.
Social welfare Department Government of Balochistan ,functionalizing and strengthening child protection unit Quetta and establishing Child Protection Units at Divisional Headquarters. Department has taken steps for formation of Child protection committees at District, Tehsil and UC level and establishing Child protection Care units in Hospitals. The main thing is Child Protection awareness and sensitization of the communities against Child Labour. He said, if the society, particularly parents made aware about the hazards of Child labour, then nobody will use children for labour. He said, as a human being this is our duty to treat and care other’s children just like our own. He was of the view that there is no doubt it’s the responsibility of Government but civil society and rich people should also play their role for betterment of poor and needy children.