ISLAMABAD: President Dr Arif Alvi said on Sunday that Pakistan is committed to its international obligations towards the prevention of child labour in all its forms and manifestations.
“World Day against Child Labour is observed all over the world to raise awareness for the prevention of child labour, encourage stakeholders to speak against this social evil and re-affirms our resolve to end child labour in all its forms and manifestations,” the President said in a message on the observance of the Day across the globe on June 12.
The President said that child labour was a growing curse in the world, particularly the developing countries and Pakistan was the victim of this growing global phenomenon.
The President said Article 11 (3) of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan guaranteed that “no child below the age of fourteen years shall be engaged in any factory or mine or any other hazardous employment. Furthermore, the federal and provincial laws forbade child labour, however, implementation of these laws needed to be strengthened at all levels, the President said, adding “The entire nation needs to stand together to fight this evil.”
The child labour, President Alvi said, deprived children from receiving basic education and access to health facilities. It exposed them to harmful and hazardous environments and clipped their basic rights to life and liberty, he added.
The President further observed that the child labour was harmful to the physical and mental development of the children, compromised their dignity, prevented them from going to schooling, subjected them to excessively long and heavy work and in the worst-case scenario subjected them to slavery and separation from their families, he noted.
“The children illegally working in different jobs, in factories, enterprises, agriculture and homes are deprived of their childhood which they deserve and are subjected to worse working conditions,” he observed.
The President underlined that every child has a right to get the education and better health and stressed upon the need to ensure that their children were also provided a safe and secure environment around them. “We can do so by strengthening capacity of the regulators to address the issue of child and bonded labour. The launch of effective and determined awareness campaign to sensitize the society on harmful effects of child labour is one important element to fight the menace of child labour,” the President said.
The President also emphasised that supporting of the federal and provincial authorities to enhance their capacities on data collection and analysis, promoting inter-agency cooperation and sharing knowledge and effective advocacy should also be pursued to counter this menace.