Child labour increased by up to a third one year after Pakistan floods says Save the Children
Islamabad: New research shows child labour in parts of Pakistan has risen by up to a third in the aftermath of last year’s floods, according to a report by Save the Children.
Children are being sent out to work in hazardous environments like factories and garages because their parents can no longer make a living. The local economy has collapsed due to the massive destruction caused by the floods and the education system has been massively weakened, with just under a half of parents reporting there are no teachers in their children’s school.
Save the Children surveyed over 2,300 households in the three hardest-hit provinces for its report, “Pakistan: One Year On”. It shows families have seen their incomes plummet by up to 70% and on average a third of households have been unable to rebuild their homes.
Many of the 10 million children are struggling to survive as a result of the disaster: the report shows that in some flood-affected areas 23% of children are acutely malnourished.
Nearly half of parents surveyed reported that their children were suffering phobias, nightmares and other signs of psychological trauma and in one district of Punjab one in ten families reported their children had turned to hashish or glue to cope with their feelings.
David Wright, Save the Children country director in Pakistan, said:
“A year on from the floods and many of the children caught up in the disaster are struggling to survive. This is an ongoing nightmare for many of them. We need to get them out of work and back at school.”
Save the Children launched its biggest ever emergency response in Pakistan, and over the last year its aid has reached 4 million people, 1.8m of them children. It has treated 25,000 children for malnutrition. However the charity said that despite the size of its response, the scale of the flooding in Pakistan meant there was still a huge amount of work to be done.
David Wright said: “This has been our biggest ever emergency response to a disaster. The public’s money has enabled us to help over 4 million people. But if the people hit by the Pakistan floods are to make a full recovery, there needs to be a concerted effort from both the government of Pakistan and the international community to reduce hunger, help people rebuild their lives and work on long-term economic recovery.”
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