HRCP demands end to child labour

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LAHORE: The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) called for the government to take necessary steps to end child labour in the country.
The demand was made by the HRCP at workshop on “Child Labour” at its offices on Thursday, May 19th.  In attendance were prominent civil society organizations, focusing on the rights of children, activist and representing the government Child Protection and Welfare Bureau (CPWB).
“Pakistan being a signatory to many international conventions of the rights of children – United Nations Committee on the rights of children (2009), various ILO conventions and local constitutional and governmental legislations – has yet to create an effective implementation and enforcement mechanism,”  says a statement by the HRCP.
Despite some positive measures by the government; provision of educational subsidies, efforts to remove child labour from brick kilns – much remains to be done, it said.
The following critical areas where governmental focus and intervention is required are:
 
·A comprehensive survey of child labour needs to be carried out. Unlike earlier survey this should be inclusive of agricultural and domestic workers, who constitute a significant portion of child labour. The survey need to go beyond basic household data, in capturing actual hubs where child labour is engaged.
 
·Article 25 A of the Constitution, the right to education, needs to be implemented in both letter and spirit.
 
·Legislation entailing the registration and documentation of Street children need to be formulated and facilities for their shelter provided.
 
·The current state of public education, especially the depleted condition of schools, needs review by the government.  The role of public education should be to provide a plausible alternate to child employment.
 

·The government should be cognizant of the fact that, child labour constitutes an integral part of Generalised Scheme of Preference (GSP+) regime and needs to be addressed if economic benefits through trade with the European Union are to be retained. 

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