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Leave no one behind

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It is not the lack of resources but the unequal distribution of the wealth behind the vicious circle of poverty. When it comes to poverty, child labor cannot be ignored as the two are inevitably bound together. If you want to end child labor, you will have to fight poverty. Child labor is a crime. Parents push their children into labor because of poverty as there are parents who would like their children must be working in kilns, bus stops, factories, auto repairing workshops, instead of schools and in playgrounds. Childhood is a part of human life in which he is supposed to be enjoying the pleasures and innocence of life, parents love, away from labor, and economic worries.

But in this country where national wealth is devoured by a few powerful families, poverty is something which is not divine’s choice rather the product of human greed. Unfortunately, we stand among those nations that didn’t begin to agree on fundamentals for instance the elimination of the abusive forms of child labor, then how we can expect that we will march forward into a prosperous future. This is a serious matter which needs attention of the government. The policymakers shall ask that why small hands, which can handle a pen better than a tool for working, are pushed into labor.

The spokesman of Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs, Martyrs and Disabled (MoLSAMD), Ali Eftikhari said the ministry opposes child labor. He also said that according to the law, children under 18 years of age were not allowed to work. Now one wonders, why there are dozens of child laborers on every square and in bazaars. He said that around two million children from war-affected families work as child laborers. This is pathetic that how the war has been affecting millions of children and their future, and how the government is failing to address this issue successfully. This is more pathetic to know the ministry has created a strategy to combat child labor, but lacks budget to implement the program. Lack of budget is a common excuse employed by most of the ministries.

Given the billions dollar aid, ideally there must have been no poverty, but two million children have been pushed into earning instead of learning. Those who are responsible for reforms in governance, economy, and our foreign policy, are entrenched in exploiting our national wealth. They get the five years of their term an opportunity wherein they don’t miss any moment of grabbing. With this type of governance, injustice, poverty, and ignorance will prevail and we will remain hostage to an indifferent polite elite class and a legion of extremists—who usually paint themselves to be revolutionaries and fighting for the liberation of the nation, but in reality inflicting irreparable damages on this war-weary and poverty-hit nation.

Should “leave no one behind” be the policy of the government, pursued with honesty and consistency, miracles will happen, but the problem is who will introduce such a spirit and passion as our governance is affiliations-based. We are a highly polarized society. And this polarization is deliberately maintained because it serves the objectives of the political elites.