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June 13, 2020

Call to protect children from labour

Lahore

June 13, 2020

LAHORE: Speakers at a webinar held on the “World Day Against Child Labour” on Friday foresaw increase in child labour in the country.

The theme was “Covid 19: Protect children from child labour now more than ever.” Ismail Suttar, President Employers Federation of Pakistan (EFP) said, “We must focus on creating employment opportunities and for that we need to set up industries on war-footing.

Ingrid Christensen, Director ILO Pakistan, said the global community has pledged to accelerate efforts to eradicate child labour by 2025.

Majyd Aziz, former President of Karachi Chamber of Commerce said, “Pakistan has had a rough year that has aggravated due to Covid-19. Exports will be down over $5 billion. In this grim scenario, marginalised families will have to face the brunt since there would be nearly 20 million job losses. The possibility of these families swallowing a bitter pill and sending their children to work is most predicted.”

Others who spoke on the occasion included Abdul Rashid Solangi, Secretary Labour and Human Resources, Sindh, Karamat Ali of PILER, Caroline Bates of ILO, Muhammad Benyameen of ILO, Ravi Peiris of ILO and Malik Javaid.

Meanwhile, child rights organisations demanded the Punjab government take all possible measures to implement available legal framework to address the deep-rooted issue of child labour.

This was demanded during an online roundtable arranged by Search for Justice and Child Rights Movement, Punjab to mark World Day Against Child Labour.

2,470 cases under Child Labour Act registered: minister As many as 70,828 organisations/businesses were inspected and 778 employers were arrested in 2,470 cases under the Child Labor Act since the since the legislation.

Punjab Minister for Labour Ansar Majeed Khan stated occasion of World Day against Child Labour while releasing the latest facts and figures about action taken against child labour.

During the raids conducted on 27,465 brick klins, 1,116 owners of 1,565 kilns were arrested and cases were registered against them by sealing 246 kilns.

Ansar Majeed Khan said that a comprehensive survey on child labour being conducted by the Punjab government in collaboration with UNICEF would be completed in the next few months. The survey will prove to be very helpful for the agencies working to eradicate child labour from the province.

He called upon the people to play their role along with the government institutions to help the victims of child labour get education.