- MPA Shoaib Siddiqui says Punjab has Child Protection Bureau but no child protection policy
LAHORE: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) lawmaker Shoaib Siddiqui, in his adjournment motion on the Universal Children’s Day, has revealed that the government has miserably failed to conduct a survey of the child labour in order to ascertain actual data for over two decades.
The adjournment motion was submitted in the Punjab Assembly on Monday by the PTI lawmaker that was also available with Pakistan Today and it has been claimed in the motion that the government has not conducted any survey of the child labour since 1996.
“Its November 20th today and this day is commemorated as the Universal Children’s Day worldwide. No policy regarding the child protection has been made clear by the Punjab government that could be helpful to get rid of the incidents of torture to the children,” the motion says.
Moreover, he said that children under the age of 18 were being forced to work in the industrial units, brick kilns and the workshops while there was no data available with the Punjab government regarding the child labour. “We have a Child Protection Bureau but the child protection policy is not available that could explain the mechanism of the government to protect the helpless children,” he said.
In the motion, he said that the bonded child labour was rampant in the province where the children were not getting even their basic right of education while the role of the Punjab government was no more than a silent spectator.
It is worth mentioning here that several functions were held in the Lahore city to commemorate the Universal Children’s Day on Monday and a three-day event was also inaugurated in the Child Protection Bureau while another ceremony was held at the Children’s Library Complex in Lahore.
CHILD LABOUR FROM BRICK KILNS: Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif also issued a statement on the Universal Children’s Day in which he said that children were the precious asset of any country and they were the architect of the country’s future as well. In his statement, he said that the Punjab government has taken concrete measures to eliminate the child labour from brick kilns and they have been handed over the book and pen instead of brick and mud.
Hundreds of children under the age of 18 can also be found working in different auto-workshops of the city situated at Lytton Road, McLeod Road and other areas despite the government claims. Child Protection and Welfare Bureau (CPWB) spokesperson Waseem Abbas told Pakistan Today that it was not the job of the bureau to conduct the survey of the child labour as it was out of their domain.
Elaborating the measures taken by the bureau, he said that the CPWB has facilitated over 26 thousands children of under the age of 18 during the last five years. Currently, “we have more than 400 children in Lahore while over 850 children are being taken care of in the province by the bureau,” he said, adding that they were provided shelter, education and health facilities.