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Unemployment, Underemployment & Poverty

One-fifth of the world population goes to bed hungry every night and one-third of the employed find their income below subsistence requirement. Moreover, two-fifths of the workforce engaged on family farms are able to generate employment for six months. They only earn about $ 10 a week. These are then conditions ideally suited to push women and children towards the labour market for supplementing the family income on any wage or condition.

The situation in Pakistan is also not dissimilar with this global scenario. There is the open unemployment of 6 per cent of the workforce. Out of more than 2 million unemployed, a-quarter possess qualifications of matriculation and above. And those who are employed, a-quaner find their employment income able to meet only half of their subsistence requirements, while another quarter barely manage to meet the subsistence requirements from their employment income. No wonder, a-fifth of the population is found living in poverty conditions. Such conditions are foreign to the ideals of child education and human development, in fact they force a child to become active in the labour market to supplement family income. The contribution of working child in household monthly income can be as high as more than one third.


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Source: Poverty Alleviation in Pakistan: Present Scenario and Future Strategy, Mohibul Haq Sahibzada. Republished with permission.