Child Rights activists have demanded an increase in the legal age of a child from 14 to 18 to curb child labour in Pakistan.
On Saturday, a session held to raise awareness about the child workers was organized by Society for the Protection of the Rights of the Child (SPARC) to mark World Day Against Child Labour at a local hotel, the participants of which said the provincial government should take steps to abolish any form of child labour in Sindh.
Sindh Assembly PTI MPA Sidra Imran reminded that Sindh has approved the Sindh Prohibition of Employment of Children Bill, 2017 which was jointly supported by all lawmakers beyond any political scoring.
Meanwhile, MQM MPA Mangala Sharma said that direct action is required by the government to increase the age of adulthood and employment to 18 years in all legislations and outlaw child domestic labor as a modern form of slavery.
Sindh Child Protection Authority (SCPA) Chairperson Shamim Mumtaz said the Child Protection Helpline is active so if any case come across related to child labour complaint may register there and it will be responded to accordingly.
He added that child labour is one of the major issues related to child protection not only in Pakistan but every under developing countries.
Govt urged to implement child labour ban
Moreover, Labour Department Secretary Abdul Rasheed Solangi said the department is developing a sustainable policy to eliminate forced underage labour.
Labour Department DG Bux Ali Meher said: “We are in process of compiling data and other statistics regards to child labour with technical assistance from the civil society organizations.”
According to experts, present at the occasion mentioned that the country already has the second largest population of out-of-school children in the world.
The financial implications of Covid-19 will also include child marriages and trafficking for commercial and sexual exploitation. They added that Covid-19 pandemic is another aspect that has forced hundreds of thousands of others to drop out and join work force.