Workshop by ILO: ‘media role important in eradicating bonded labour’
LAHORE (October 31 2008): Speakers at a workshop organised by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) on ‘Role of Media in Eradication of Bonded Labour in Pakistan’ here on Thursday disclosed that 12.3 million persons are involved in bonded labour around the globe, out of which 9.5 million are from Asia and Pacific. Out of these, 40 to 50 percent children are involved in bonded labour in the world, they added.
They also said that the media plays an important role in eradication of bonded labour. It acts as a driver of change both by exposing labour exploitation issues, and by informing and educating people about their rights at the work. They said that both print and electronic media in Pakistan is acting as a major global industry in its own right. They said media coverage of bonded labour must be handled sensitively and responsibly.
Speaking on the occasion, Provincial Minister of Labour Ashraf Khan Sohna has said that there were 600,000 registered labourers in the Punjab and only 24,000 children of labourers are going to schools and they are using the funds of Workers Welfare Fund. He said that all the jobs of labour departments would be given to children of labourers. He said that 50 percent of the people in Punjab are working as labourers.
Sohna said that government is working on the policy of educating the children of labourers and they would be launching a programme soon in which children of labourers would go to school rather than working as labourers. He said that trade union organisation would gave the suggestions.
Speaking on the occasion, Director International Labour Organisations (ILO) Dong Ling Lee said that ILO is working to end all kinds of bonded labour in Pakistan by 2015. Senior columnist Javaid Chaudhery said that media in all its varied forms, must play its due part in the global alliance against forced labour, as a powerful catalyst for social change.
Source: Business Recorder