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June 17, 2021

Dialogue Prompt actions, efforts stressed to protect children from labour

PESHAWAR: Speakers at a dialogue have called for taking prompt actions and streamlining efforts to end child labour by protecting the rights of the kids by creating a society where their basic needs are met.

Blue Veins, a civil society organization (CSO), under the Aawaz II Programme had organised the dialogue to commemorate the World Day Against Child Labour. The theme was ‘A Child Employed is a Future Destroyed’

Shakeel Ahmed, Deputy Director, Directorate of Labour Department, in his keynote address, said: “The KP government is committed to ending child labour and will ensure enforcement of effective measures to protect children from all kinds of discrimination.”

Bilal Khan, Assistant Director, Programmes of the KP Child Protection and Welfare Commission, emphasized collaborative efforts by the government, CSOs, Non-Governmental Organizations and INGOs to collect statistics of the children engaged in labour and develop a Management Information System with updated information to curb the instance of child labour and protection cases from the district.

Asad Ali Aawaz, District Forum Peshawar executive member, said: “The KP Prohibition of Employment of Children Act, 2015 was passed six years ago but the inspectors are yet to be named and committees constituted under the law. As a member of Aawaz District Forum, I urge the government to address these issues to end child labour in the country.”

Zahid Rehan, Director Regional Office of the Ministry of Human Rights: said “We assure our full support and commitment to the Labour Department and KP Child Protection and Welfare Commission to end child labour as it is a clear violation of human rights and I condemn the harmful practice.”

Imran Takkar, a child rights activist said: “According to Pakistan National Child Labour Survey 1996 1.1 million children are forced to work in KP Child Labour can only be abolished through the provision of free and compulsory education to all children irrespective of social class aged 5-17 years.”

Spotlighting the unbreakable connection between education and child labour, Sana Ahmed, Program Officer, Blue Veins, said that the KP government should focus on the provision of quality education to reduce the number of children employed as labourers in different sectors.”

The dialogue, Aawaz II District Forum, unveiled a charter of demands for abolishing Child Labour, which was submitted to the Directorate of Labour Department and Child Protection and Welfare Commission.