ISLAMABAD: The Government of Pakistan is fully determined to eliminate child labour from the country. To achieve the objective, the Government is pursuing a National Policy and Plan of Action to Combat Child labour, which addresses various aspects including legislative development, administrative measures and direct interventions. This was stated by Federal Minister for Labour, Manpower and Overseas Pakistanis, Syed Khursheed Ahmed Shah while addressing a meeting prior signing ceremony of combating abusive child labour II project on Thursday.
He said a number of initiatives have been undertaken to tackle the problem, the major part of which owes to the ILO and international donors. The assistance provided by the international community has had far-reaching effects on developing a national level programme to address the child labour in general and the worst forms of Child Labour in particular.
However, we need to pay more attention to the best utilization of resources so as to target maximum number of the working children. The Contribution agreement is signed between the European Commission and the ILO in the presence of Syed Khursheed Ahmed Shah, Minister for Labour, Manpower & Overseas Pakistanis and Malik Asif Hayat, Secretary of Labour, Jan de Kok, the Ambassador of the European Commission delegation to Pakistan, and Donglin Li, the Country Director, ILO-Islamabad.
European Commission (EC) and the International Labour Organization (ILO) will together to support the Government of Pakistan’s efforts in combating abusive child labour in line with its National Policy and the Medium-term Plan on Combating Worst Forms of Child Labour (2008-16). In this regard, a sum of Rs.545 million (Euro 5,197,900) is pledged to finance a 5 year long project that focuses on children working in hazardous occupations under the most intolerable conditions ranging from exposure to chemicals and other harmful substances to long tedious working hours.
The project will cover all hazardous sectors and occupations identified by the national legislation. The project will initially be implemented in selected districts of NWFP and Sindh. A large majority of the out-of-school child population of Pakistan is expected to receive benefits directly or indirectly as a result of interventions carried out by this Project, and an estimated 10,000 children are expected to be withdrawn from hazardous workplaces. Under the Contribution Agreement, the European Commission and the ILO will contribute Euro 4.75 million and Euro 447.900, respectively.
The ILO will implement the Project in collaboration and close partnership with the Ministry of Labour, Manpower, provincial labour departments, employers & workers organizations, local government authorities, NGOs, networking organizations, research institutions, and the media.
The project is aimed at promoting and replicating the “District Model” that has proven successful under on-going child labour projects in the target districts and beyond, institutional strengthening at the district, provincial and federal level through the enhancement of capacity of respective child labour units and the establishment of a child labour monitoring and referral system, and enhancing the child labour knowledge based through the conduct of a second National Child Labour Survey and related the research studies, and the promotion, development and adoption of pro-child polices and legislative frame work.-SANA