Activists demand budget for surveys on child labour
PESHAWAR – Expressing concern over the increasing ratio of Child Labour, Child rights activists have demanded of the federal and provincial government to allocate adequate budget to carryout survey about actual number of child labours in the country.
The demand was made by Regional Manager of SPARC, Jehanzeb Khan, while speaking at a news conference organised at Peshawar Press Club on occasion of International Child Labour Day, being marked today on Sunday across the globe.
Jehanzeb Khan said that around 168 million of children across the globe were still engaged in unpaid or paid work across various manufacturing and service industry.
He clearly said that a great number of children among the said statistics are vulnerable to abuse and exploitation.
He called for formulation of legislation and taking of administrative measures to curtail child labour in the country.
Jehanzeb flanked by his other SPARC officials said that more than half of these children are exposed to the worst forms of child labour such as work in hazardous environments’, slavery and illicit activities including drug trafficking and prostitution as well as involvement in armed conflict.
He regretted over the non-availability of statistics about child labour in the country and said the last survey had been conducted in 1996 which estimates that around 3.3 million child labourers in the country.
Referring the International Labour Organization (ILO), he informed there are an estimated of 12millin children engaged in labour while UNICEF projects roughly estimates 10 million chill labourers across the country.
However, these statistics do not take into account child labourers in the informal sector of the economy such as those working in households and are unmonitored by labour inspectors and child protection officials. As per statistics by ILO, the activist said approximately 264, 000 children are engaged in domestic work across Pakistan.
Stating the causes of child labour, he said the wide prevalence of underage employment in Pakistan is complex and multifaceted however, they can be broadly related to entrenched poverty.
He also pointed out the lack of legislative and administrative framework to deal with child labour along with poor enforcement of existing initiatives by government that caused increase in it.
Pakistan has already declared education as fundamental right of every child aged 5 to 16 years under Article (25-A) of the constitution, he added.
Moreover after the 18th amendment all matters relating to child labour have been devolved to the provinces, he maintained.
In this regard the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is the only province that has enacted legislation on child labour by passing the KP prohibition of Employment of Children Act 2015.