Project to end child labour soon
ISLAMABAD – Pakistan Baitul Mal (PBM) has decided to undertake a project for elimination of child domestic work through education and skill development, official sources told Dawn.
The project entitled “Elimination and Prevention of Child Domestic Work Through Education and Training” would be initially implemented in five capital cities of the country.
Under the project, around 1,000 Child Domestic Workers (CDWs) in Islamabad, Quetta, Karachi, Lahore and Peshawar would be provided education and training with adequate wage compensation.
Child Domestic Workers is the most neglected area among various facets of child labour present in the country, the sources said. At present, there is no specific law for the regulation of CDWs in the country.
Under the project, efforts will be made for the review and enactment of the draft law that was formed during the previous action programme of the ministry of social welfare.
For understanding the situation of the CDWs, rapid assessment is already going on which will be followed by an effective policy making to address this issue. At present, the situation of the CDWs is not exactly known, as adequate research is not available, however, a number of NGOs have conducted studies in Islamabad and Punjab, pointing out the prevalence of CDW as a common phenomenon.
These studies also reveal that most of the CDWs are girls. Gender situation in conservative societies like NWFP and Balochistan may be different. Unfortunately, domestic child workers are either low paid or not paid at all. In most cases, a child domestic worker is also over-worked and undernourished.
Many of these children face verbal and physical abuse. In certain cases, they are sexually abused and such cases have been reported by the NGOs in their studies. They are also deprived of education and other basic rights. The working hours of these children are long and ill-defined. The children virtually have no awareness of their rights and lack skill to negotiate with the employees.