Implementation of child protection laws in all provinces is needed with budgetary allocation to break the chain of child labour once and for all.
Reham Khan, a social activist and the head of Mashoom, an organisation working for the protection of children rights, said this while speaking at the end of a walk organised by the organisation aimed at raising awareness about the deplorable condition of children, and a lack of basic child rights in Pakistan.
The walk started from Kulsoom Plaza and culminated at China Chowk. It was attended by a large number of people, especially school children, who carried placards and banners inscribed with slogans in support of child rights, and against child labour in the society. Reham Khan said that Mashoom walk demanded that Article 25-A should be implemented in the country, as Pakistan was the first Muslim country which ratified the UNCRC in 1990.
She demanded that child labour should be banned, and it should be ensured that children are educated children, as an educated child could change his/her family’s destiny. Reham said that individuals, society and government will have to change their mindset, adding that the recent case of Tayyaba has highlighted the pertinent issue of abuse and child labour in the country.
Mashoom presents specific recommendations to ban child domestic labour under the schedule of banned occupations of the Employment of Children Act, 1991, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Prevention of Child Labour Act, 2015, Punjab Prevention of Child Labour Act, 2016 and Sindh Prevention of Child Labour Act, 2017.
She demanded that introduce legislation about Domestic Workers and ban Child Domestic Labour under Domestic Workers Bill passed by the Senate of Pakistan last year. Implement Article 25-A of the Constitution of Pakistan about right to education for children 5 to 16 years of age, as it will play a key role in the prevention of Child domestic labour and Child Labour in general, she added.
There is the ICT Right to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2012, which was also extended to FATA. However, no rules have been notified under this law for the ICT and FATA. She asked that in the presence of Article 25-A, and the 2012 Act, why Tayyaba was not in school. The NCRC Bill was passed by the national assembly on February 01, and we hope that the Senate of Pakistan will also pass it; but the question which stands, is about bill’s immediate implementation.
Similarly, the enactment of the ICT CP&W Bill, and the implementation of child protection laws in all provinces of Pakistan is to ensure an effective child protection system in the country. One of the major reasons of the poor implementation of these laws is a lack of or no budgetary allocation by the federal and provincial governments, she concluded.