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CHILD DOMESTIC LABOUR IN PAKISTAN: OVERVIEW, ISSUES AND TESTABLE HYPOTHESIS BY Sajjad Akhtar Saadiya Razzaq June 2005 CENTRE FOR RESEARCH ON POVERTY REDUCTION AND INCOME DISTRIBUTION (CRPRID) Ist Floor, P-Block, Pak Sectt. Islamabad Phone: 9202868 Fax: 9210254 Abstract There is a dearth of in-depth empirical and qualitative research about the children in domestic work in Pakistan. The children in domestic work are not recognized as ‘child labour’ by society and by a number of governments, but rather as a normal feature of society. The objective of this paper is to present various dimensions of this neglected segment within the child labour phenomena. The purpose is not only to highlight the similarities and differences in dimensions such as labour market characteristics and its arrangements, working conditions, violence, exploitation from the all inclusive and parent “child labour” category, but also to spell out testable hypothesis that can be the basis for future data collection and empirical analysis on the subject. Our premise is that the labour arrangements of child domestic worker in Pakistan are segmented along non- resident and resident. Thus working conditions, violence, exploitation and dynamics of demand and supply vary with this widely observed segmentation. Although legislations and action plans on child labour in Pakistan, do not include any clause specifically on child domestic labour but the reality is that the vast majority of children in domestic labour would find a place in one or more of these categories, either because of the nature of the work they are required to perform, the treatment they receive or the means by which they entered into the situation in which they find themselves. Paper also suggests some policy measures to reduce the incidence of child domestic labour and for their rehabilitation.
CHILD DOMESTIC LABOUR IN PAKISTAN: OVERVIEW, ISSUES AND TESTABLE HYPOTHESIS BY Sajjad Akhtar* Saadiya Razzaq 1 21. Introduction There is a dearth of in-depth empirical and qualitative research about the children in domestic work in Pakistan. Following are some of the reasons for the skeleton research: - First, almost every child domestic worker is employed in an individual and/or dependent capacity in different households. As a group, child domestic labourers are invisible and difficult to reach and to count. Academically, they are also implicitly subsumed in many child labour studies. Secondly, job arrangements are informal and are made between the child’s parents, or an intermediary, and the employer. Thirdly, most of these jobs are neither registered nor do they form part of any system of official job registers, leading to underestimation in labour force statistics. Fourthly, the variation of domestic work adds to the information gap. Conditions of work and rates of payment vary not only from city to city but even within a city and even the same neighbourhood.

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