Scavenger Children at Work in Islamabad

Scavanger Children at Work in Islamabad

This is summer vacation time in Islamabad for school going children but not forĀ  Afghan scavenger children who in their ragged clothes, unwashed faces travel long distances everyday to pick recyclable waste in their waste collection bags from waste dumping points located in markets, residential areas as well as hospitals. Their parents are unskilled, illiterate and live in abject poverty. Parent’s poverty forces these kids into scavenging. While other children of their age are going to school, these scavenger children become earning hand of their poor families living in abject poverty. Nevertheless, they are not only exposed to various health hazards but also become victims of sexual abuse. We should appreciate the hard toil of these scavenger children because they, unlike hundreds of beggar children found begging in various markets and roads of Islamabad, are not begging but are earning their living through hard means.

Despite the fact that the Government of Pakistan is a signatory of the Convention on the Rights of the Child 1989, the steps taken by the government to protect children rights are still invisible. I wonder if this is the sorry state of affairs in Islamabad as far as the implementation of Convention on the Rights of the Child 1989 is concerned then what would be the situation of child scavengers in other parts of the country. My question to all of you is what our government should do to protect child scavengers from all sorts of exploitation and hazards? Should the government ban scavenging altogether keeping in view the associated health hazards for scavengers and promote a culture and awareness of recycling at the household level as is done in developed countries or should the government formulate a comprehensive policy for the rehabilitation of scavenger children while providing them free education and offering their poor parents some monitory assistance or should the government continue doing business-as-usual?

3 Comments so far

  1. sufiblade on July 7th, 2009 @ 2:22 pm

    Difficult question. Of course, if there was some way to provide for the parents of these young ones, then providing for the education is perhaps not so hard. Some colleagues at my work place have taken the initiative and done the difficult job of convincing the parents to let the kids study. Alhamdulillah some have been studying for over a year now, and the colleagues have been aiding with the expenses.

  2. wkhang on July 8th, 2009 @ 12:24 am

    Yep its so difficult for me to even ask them to study or ask, do you wish to work. I wish I have millions or Rs so I can make homes and education centers for them.

    Trust me the extra money you are keeping in your accounts have no worth if these kids does not get education, food and place to live.

    I wish…………

  3. crazymonkey on July 8th, 2009 @ 2:47 pm

    What we need right now is free education. Absolutely free. When parents will learn that they don’t need to spend a dime to educate their kid and make him or her into a better more capable person, then the kids would flock to schools and literacy rate would increase. Instead of allocating all the tax payers money for buying defence toys, the government should use all that money to provide free education to the poor.

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