Call for concerted efforts to combat child labour
KARACHI (March 25 2008): Provincial Caretaker Minister for Education Shujat Ali Baig has called for initiating more concerted efforts in education and health sectors for eliminating the menace of child labour from the society.
He was speaking at a daylong workshop on “Activating Media in Combating Worst Forms of Child Labour in Pakistan”, which was jointly organised by Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and International Labour Organisation (ILO) for the capacity building of journalists from print media.
Shujat Baig said that due to lack of educational and health facilities the problem of child labour has become worsen, which tarnished the country’s image abroad. National Project Manager ILO, Saba Mohsin Raza, Chairman Pakistan Workers Federation Muhammad Ahmed, Senior Columnist Dr Tahir Masood, Chairman WEBCOP Ahsan Ullah Khan, Director Labour Sindh Kashif Gulzar and Deputy Secretary, Employers’ Federation of Pakistan Saud Alam also spoke on the occasion.
Shujat said that the Sindh government was striving to resolve child labour issue under the ILO Convention 2001 and Convention 2006. He said that the issue could only be solved through creating awareness among masses.
He urged media to play its effective role in spreading information about the menace of child labour besides suggesting recommendations with new approaches to eliminate it from the society. Saba Mohsin Raza said that child labour has rapidly increased in Pakistan. She urged the authorities concerned to play their due role to resolve the issue.
According to Federal Bureau of Statistics report issued in 1996, around 3.3 million children were working in the country, she said and added that majority of them were working in manufacturing units of surgical instruments, glass bangles industry, tanneries, coal mines, rag pickers/scavengers, deep-sea fishing, domestic workers, carpet weaving and others.
She said that ILO had initiated several programs to establish regular schools and training institutes in different parts of the country in collaboration with the government to combat this social evil from the society. She said that media was playing its instrumental role in creating awareness about the child labour.
Muhammad Ahmed highlighted that the ratio of child labour in different industries and sector, adding that the ration was very high in carpet and bangles sectors. He said that due to long hours working at the manual carpet weaving machines, children suffered from several diseases like respiratory problems and regular finger injuries. He urged that the anti child labour law should be implemented strictly.
Dr Tahir Masood urged media to realise its responsibility in combating child labour across the country. He said that media professionals should recognise the principles of reporting to protect the identity of children.
Source: Business Recorder