World Day against Child Labour was observed in Pakistan on Tuesday, to raise awareness of the plight of child labourers.
This year’s theme was the global concern to improve the safety and health of young workers and to work towards elimination of child labour from the world.
Statistics reveal that there are 218 million children between the ages of 5-17 years who are in employment globally while 152 million children are victims of child labour.
Various organisations working on protecting rights of children commemorated seminars, workshops, lecturers and walks to raise awareness on rights of children, all over the country.
Moreover, the Child Rights Movement (CRM) National and provincial Chapter and National Action Coordination Groups (NACG) called for immediate action to enable each Pakistani child to exercise their fundamental constitutional right to avail free education till 16 years of age, provided by article 25 A of the constitution of Pakistan, Radio Pakistan reported.
Caretaker Chief Minister Punjab Hassan Askari Rizvi’s message on the Labour Day, said that the purpose of observing this Day is to sensitize the public about the severe and ruthless effects of child labour on the future of children.
He said that child labour can be eliminated by consistently working as a team and by actively engaging the society to play its due role along with the government.
It has been learnt from the UNICEF report that in 2011 there were about 215million child labourers in the world, and 115million out of those were involved in hazardous work.
To combat child labour around the world the International Labour Organisation (ILO) initiated the World Day Against Child Labour in 2002. The World Day Against Child Labour (WDACL) and the World Day for Safety and Health at Work (SafeDay) have taken care, this year, to highlight the global need for improving the safety and health of young workers and to effectively end child labour.
This joint campaign aims to accelerate action to achieve Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target 8.8 of safe and secure working environments for all workers by 2030 and SDG target 8.7 of ending all forms of child labour by 2025.
Achieving these goals for the benefit of the next generation of the global workforce also requires a concerted and integrated approach to eradicating child labour and promoting a culture of prevention on occupational safety health (OSH).
Message by the Foreign Minister of Pakistan on the World Day against Child Labour (12 June 2018)
The World Day against Child Labour is significant in several respects, at national and global levels: it is an important occasion to renew our shared commitment to promote and protect the rights of every child; to demonstrate our collective resolve to do everything necessary to eliminate child labour and to enhance international engagement and cooperation in this important filed.
It is essential for each individual to make a smooth transition from childhood to productive. This requires coordinated measures in the fields of education, nutrition, healthcare, vocational training, employment opportunities, and social protection.
Such investments are the keys to a better future for our children and would constitute a net contribution to the realization of Sustainable Developments Goals.
We recognize the role of the United Nations and its specialized agencies as well as our partners in supporting child related initiatives of the Government of Pakistan.
Pakistan is a party to the Convention on the Rights of the Child and ILO core Conventions relating to Child Labour: Minimum Age Convention (No.138) and Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention (No.182).
Our provinces have enacted substantive legislative and administrative measures with a focus on enforcement and to ensure that children are not forced into hazardous labour. Countering child labour is also among the priorities of Pakistan’s decent work country programme for 2016-2020.
Apart from preventive measures, our policy interventions seek to supplement labour rights by reforms in education policies. The Federal and Provincial governments continue to give priority to the project, by incentivizing school enrolment, provision of meals at school, and training teachers.
We believe that children have their place in schools, not at workplaces. On this Day, I wish to reaffirm Pakistan’s commitment to the welfare and protection of all children of Pakistan.