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APP
June 24, 2019

Concerted efforts needed to address child labour

Lahore

A
APP
June 24, 2019

Islamabad : Child labour is still rampant in various markets of the federal capital despite legislation of numerous laws suggesting severe punishment to the employers.

The child labour creates mental and physical issues for children as they start hard work from initial age. A Large number of underage boys are working in automobile workshops, homes, hotels, brick kilns, factories, vending in the streets, bracelets making, even as rag pickers and masons.

During a visit of different areas of the federal capital including, Aabpara Market G-6, Allah Wali Market F-8/1, Ayyub Market F-8 Markaz, Cafe Irum Market G-6/2, Jinnah Super Market F-7 Markaz, Jummah Bazar (near Peshawar Mor G-9 and G-6), Karachi Company G-9 Markaz, Safa Gold Mall, Super Market F-6 Markaz, it was observed that large number of children were employed by haulers, car washing and shoe polishing. The impact of Child Protection Act passed by the Parliament last year was nowhere to be seen.

However, when contacted the administration seemed clueless on how to implement the law to prevent child labour in the federal capital. Most of the employers told APP that children were employed by them as per the wishes of their parents. Rizwan, a 10 year old, who works in automobile workshop for over 12 hours daily, said he was earning Rs50 daily, another Kamran Khan in his teens, who is a rag picker, said he earns Rs100 to Rs150 daily.

Walid, who sells pens at different bus stops, said he could manage to earn over Rs250 daily. Ali, the owner of Auto Workshop in G-7/1 said although a number of children and teenagers were employed at the workshop, they were all well treated and trained in the necessary skills to succeed in the industry and earn good livelihood.

“Children who leave the workshop in search of better earnings often go astray and fall into drug addiction,” he added. However, a workshop owner in Faizabad and another in Blue Area urged the government to devise a mechanism of imparting skill-based training among such children, so that they could earn more in workshops and other institutions.

National Commission for Human Rights (NCHR) member Chaudhry Shafeeq said efforts were underway to strictly implement child labour laws in the federal capital. The government was massively doing efforts to create awareness among the people by organizing workshops, seminars and through social media tools.

According to International Labour Organization, worldwide 218 million children between 5 and 17 years were in employment. Among them, 152 million were victims of child labour; almost half of them, 73 million, work in hazardous child labour almost half of child labour (72.1 million) is to be found in Africa; 62.1 million in the Asia and the Pacific; 10.7 million in the Americas; 1.2 million in the Arab States and 5.5 million in Europe and Central Asia.

The 2030 sustainable development agenda reaffirms the urgency of eliminating the worst forms of child labour, which includes hazardous work, the need to promote safe and secure working environment for all, and sets the target of ending all forms of child labour by 2025.

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