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Title: Investigation of Hidden Dimensions and False Positives of Child Labor in Pakistan
Authors: Azhar, Usman
Keywords: Economics
Issue Date: 2017
Publisher: University of Karachi, Karachi.
Abstract: Along with the other socio economic challenges, the issue of child labor is persistently prevailing and posing serious threats to the welfare of considerable number of children in Pakistan. Various factors simultaneously determine the decision of supply of child labor at household level. There are numerous false positives prevails in our society related to the issue of child labor. For instance, at household level there is a common perception that the early exposure in the labor market will create the avenues for skills acquisitions through on job trainings and it may act like accumulation of human capital and may positively influence the future earning of child. Major proportion of working children belong to the households facing extreme poverty and the economic contribution by the children is essentially required for their survival. Provision of free education can potentially alter the decision of supply of child labor by the households. The ratification of international conventions and introduction of child labor laws may contribute in the reduction of child labor. Provision of conditional or unconditional cash transfers and other types of income support programs have no linkages with the issue of child labor. There is a dire need to refute these and other false positives and to explore hidden dimensions of child labor through serious research contributions leading towards polices aiming to eliminate this menace. In this dissertation we tried to investigate various issues of child labor, particularly with reference to Pakistan, which are still needed to be investigated. The first chapter of this dissertation is focusing of the provision of details the issue of child labor and the relevance of various associated factors related to this issue specifically focusing on Pakistan. In second chapter, we tried to present a comprehensive analysis of the extent of child labor at global, regional, and national levels. Trends of important variables having causal association with child labor are also discussed in this chapter. A separate chapter is included to present the summaries of hallmark research contributions in the field of child labor. Considering the diversity of topics, we tried to present the findings of comparable research contributions under a common theme. During this literature we have highlighted numerous gaps in literature related to the issue of child labor, specifically focusing the issue of child labor in case of Pakistan. Any kind of economic exploitation of children in Pakistan shall be treated as a crime and violation of rights of child ensured by the constitution of Pakistan. In this chapter we tried to present significant laws, bylaws, and international conventions related to the issue of child labor in Pakistan. Despite of its illegality, child labor is commonly observable phenomenon in Pakistan. Millions of children are annually deprived from their basic right of education and forced to join labor force. Acquisition of skills in any particular trade through apprenticeship is generally treated as assurance against extreme poverty and hunger. A considerable number of children in Pakistan are forced to join various trades as apprentice but their working hours and tasks performed by these children suggest the prevalence of exploitative child labor. This practice is more prevalent in small enterprises which use human labor more intensively. Hiring the children on apprenticeship is a demand side issue and due to the absence of any reliable data set, we opted to collect primary data through survey. We surveyed more than 200 small enterprises operating in informal sector of Karachi. The findings of the survey suggest that a considerable number of children are working in these enterprises for the sake of acquisitions of skills through on the job trainings and observing the similar or even prolonged working hours as compare to their adult counterparts. Remuneration extended to these children is reported to be extremely lower than the adult workers and the employer prefer to use a combination of adult and child workers. Majority of children are found to be exposed to hazardous tasks and reported to be using sharp and heavy tools. A considerable number of these children belong to the families recently migrated to Karachi. Physical punishments, use of abusive language, bullying by the adult workers, and working with drug addicts are the common problems reported to be commonly practiced during the survey. We included an empirical chapter in this dissertation to analyze the macroeconomic determinants of child labor specifically focusing on Pakistan. Considering the dynamic behavior of the various variables used to estimate the model extending the opportunity to investigate the macroeconomic determinants of participation rate of labor force younger than 15 years. Our model comprised of the variables of gross per capita income (constant US $), young dependency, gross secondary school enrollment, institutional quality, and the dependent variable of participation rate of labor force younger than 15 years. Our finding suggest that youth dependency is contributing positively in the participation positively, while institutional quality, gross secondary school enrollment, and per capita income are having negative long run relationship. While the, variable of secondary school enrollment also has negative short run impact on the participation rate of children in labor force. Conditional and unconditional cash transfers or any other kind of social safety nets can potentially alter the households’ decisions of supply of child labor, particularly the households who are extremely vulnerable to income shocks. Benazir Income Support Programme is providing assistance to a considerable number of households on regular basis and reduction of economic vulnerabilities have detrimental impact on t he supply of child labor. In this regard, by considering the bottom three income quintiles, we estimated a model by using the micro data of Pakistan Social and Living Standards Measurement and analyzed the impact of income support in the presence of liquidity constraint. Our findings suggest that BISP is contributing in the reduction of extent of child labor at household level and the increase in the scope of this important income support program can potentially be helpful in the reduction of child labor in Pakistan.
Gov't Doc #: 19378
Appears in Collections:PhD Thesis of All Public / Private Sector Universities / DAIs.

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