3.3m child workers in Pakistan -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

3.3m child workers in Pakistan

LAHORE – Pakistan is experiencing worst form of child labour with more than 3.3 million child workers which is a point of major concern for all the stakeholders. This ratio of child labour is very high in Punjab, however, this grave situation demands more practical initiatives so that this social nuisance could be controlled and the country’s image could be improved in the outer world.

This was disclosed by national project manager ILO, Saba Mohsin Raza while addressing a training workshop in the Institute of Communication Studies, University of the Punjab here on Thursday. The workshop was arranged by International Labour Organisation in collaboration with ministry of information and broadcasting.

Besides Saba Mohsin Raza, Director Institute of Communication Studies Prof Dr Mughees Uddin Sheikh and senior columnist Javed Chaudhry addressed the participants of the workshop and spoke at length about the negative effects of child labour and responsibilities of the society as well as the national media in controlling this menace. A large number of students attended the workshop.

Saba Mohsin Raza quoted the 1996 study done by Federal Bureau of Statistics, saying that Over 3.3 million child workers exist in Pakistan. She further revealed that Punjab was found to be having the highest number of child workers with a staggering 60 per cent in the national aggregate followed by 20 per cent in NWFP and 14 per cent in Sindh, 6 per cent in Bolochistan.

These growing statistics are point of serious concern for all the stakeholders and “it is our collective responsibility to come up with practical steps to control this menace”. She mentioned that the ILO and govt’s partnership was going very strong and cooperation from the govt was exemplary to help eradicate the child labour.

Javed Chaudhry said that rising number of working children was a major point of concern for the relevant authorities as well as society.

According to him, better health and education is basic right of a child and it should be ensured at any cost if we want to build a healthy and educated nation.

Speaking on the occasion, Prof Dr Mughees uddin Sheikh said that the agenda of children rights was not on the manifesto of Pakistani political parties. Today the children are being victimized by different classes in education sector. He said child labour was collective social issue and we should come forward to control this menace as early as possible.
Source: The Nation
Date:3/7/2008