Ms Munawar Sultana, National Project Coordinator for ARC Project, set the scene by acquainting the participants with the key objectives of the project, progress made so far, the on-going and planned activities. showcased the knowledge products and shared the programs/ partnerships and mobilizing stakeholders for accelerated joint efforts towards prevention and elimination of child labour in Pakistan.
Around 160 million children aged 5 to 17 years engaged in child labour in 2020, with 79 million children involved in hazardous work"Mr Peter Buwembo, Officer in Charge
One in every four households in Pakistan employs a child in domestic work, predominantly girls, aged 10 to 14 years, Dr Meesha Iqbal remarked, while disseminating the Scoping study report relating to child labour in domestic work in Pakistan. The study offered pertinent insights into the current landscape of child labour in domestic work in Pakistan. The lives of the children engaged in child labour in domestic work were assessed at the micro-level, where the 'push' factors were explored, including social support, home environment and, the attitude of children and parents towards child labour. The meso system explained the 'pull' factors for child labour in domestic work including the working conditions, exposure to hazards, violence and abuse, renumeration and payment methods, school attendance, the support of the family members and neighbourhood. The macro-level critically assessed the policies, laws and programmes, addressing the national and sub-national response to child labour in domestic work. And finally, the priority areas were recommended including legislative and non-legislative measures for combatting child labour in domestic work in Pakistan.
One in every four households in Pakistan employs a child in domestic work, predominantly girls, aged 10 to 14 years "Dr Meesha Iqbal
Recognizing the efforts of ILO, Mr Syed Ejaz Bukhari, General Secretary, Pakistan Oil and Gas Employees Federation and Deputy General Secretary, Pakistan Workers Federation, stressed on the implementation of relevant laws and ILO’s ratified conventions related to child labour. He referred to the PWF’s awareness campaign and signing of agreement with employers of cotton fields for addressing the child labour in cotton supply chain in south Punjab. He necessitated the Government of Pakistan and all relevant stakeholders to ensure the effective implementation of and compliance with ratified conventions and assured the PWF’s support.
Child labour as a human rights and social issue, deprives the children of their childhood and dignity and requires sustainable social and economic solution by all relevant actors in Pakistan, commented Mr Syed Nazar Ali, Secretary General, Employers Federation of Pakistan.
Launching the unconventional collaboration between ILO-ARC Project and Pakistan Girl Guides Association (PGGA), Ms Maria Maud Sabri, National Commissioner, shared the outreach, programs, partnerships and accomplishments of Girl Guide Association in Pakistan. The collaboration aimed at engaging girl guides for campaigning and community mobilization as to prevent and eliminate child labour in domestic work. She mentioned the key elements of the program, including training of trainers, orientation to school managements, training to girl guides, followed by cascading of awareness raising and community mobilization against child labour in domestic work.
Underscoring the role of media as the fourth pilar of state and influencing legislation and policies, and shaping the public attitude, Ms Valerie Khan, Technical Advisor, Group Development Pakistan explained the major accomplishments, and on-going trainings for capacity building of media professional towards improved research and ethical, evidence based and child sensitive reporting on child labour issues in Pakistan. She shared the encouraging feedback and produced media stories, radio and TV program by the trained journalists, indicating the actual use of acquired learning in their work. Acknowledging the technical support of the ILO-ARC Project, she requested the Officer in Charge, ILO to launch the training manual by curtain raising.
Asia alone is home to over 62 million children involved in child labour, with 28 million of them involved in the worst forms of child labour"Ms Annabel Gerry, Development Director, FCDO
Asia alone is home to over 62 million children involved in child labour, with 28 million of them involved in the worst forms of child labour, Ms Annabel Gerry, Development Director, FCDO, remarked. Citing her work experience with children engaged in child labour in Pakistan, she commented that parents were unwittingly compelled to send their children to work. She wished that this event would lead to greater collaboration on the issue as Pakistan would be all the better for it “It is a global challenge. Let’s all make sure that we have the stamina, we strengthen each other to bring a visible difference for better Pakistan”.
Highlighting the commitment to ILO conventions, Mr Zulfiquar Haider, Federal Secretary, Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development, reaffirmed the commitment of Government of Pakistan to extend full cooperation in prevention and elimination of child labour as envisaged in the national policies and in fulfilling its commitments towards SDGs and ILO Conventions.
The event concluded with a vote of thanks by the ILO-ARC Team, followed by taking and signing the pledge for ‘No child labour at work and at home’ by all participants.