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Title: Child Labour and Human Development in Pakistan
Authors: Chaudhry, Muhammad Saifullah
Keywords: Social Sciences
Social sciences
Sociology & anthropology
Issue Date: 2012
Publisher: Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad, Pakistan
Abstract: This anthropological research explores the issue of child labour from the human resource development perspective embedded in the centuries old cultural practices of workplace based skills transfer to younger generations. Moreover, within cultural and economic discourses the research attempts to present the factors that influence poor parents to decide a career course for their idle male children to become functional adults. This research was carried out in the Dhok Hassu locality of Rawalpindi City in the Province of Punjab, Pakistan, involving children working at the informal auto repair and refurbishing workshops, their Ustaads (Technicians & Employers), and parents. It has helped to understand more fully the existence of the child labour phenomena from the perspectives of communities. The research presents a ‘Split Pyramid Model: Depicting Cultural and Economic Determinants of Child Labour’. The model describes how the interplay of cultural and economic determinisms induces poor families to send children into labour to develop their human resources. On the cultural side, it suggests that social norms of abhorring idleness 1 and deviancy 2 compel parents to place out of school male children at workplaces. On the economic side, the model indicates that future income needs, as opposed to immediate ones, play a critical role in prompting parents to opt for workplace based human resource development opportunities for their idle male children. The practice of child labour is carried out despite parents knowing that children are subjected to corporal punishment at the workplaces. Communities view the practice of child labour 1 Idleness: Child who is not going to school (never been to school or dropped out) and primarily spending time in streets in playful activities, which is considered by parents as waste of time. 2 Deviancy: It consists of actions or behaviors that violate cultural norms including formally-enacted rules and informal violations of social norms. Parents fear that children can develop behaviors that are socially and culturally unacceptable and lead to crime. ivas a traditional method of transferring new skills to the next generation, in continuity of cultural practices.
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