Islamabad - Like all parts of the globe, World Day against Child Labour was also observed in Pakistan on June 12 to highlight plight of the children involved in labour.

Various organisations working on protecting rights of children commemorated seminars, workshops, lecturers and walks  to raise awareness on rights of children. Child Rights Movement (CRM) National and provincial Chapter and National Action Coordination Groups (NACG) called for immediate action to allow and enable each Pakistani child to exercise their fundamental constitutional right to avail free education till 16 years of age, as described in article 25 A of the constitution of Pakistan.

In a CRM statement issued here on Sunday, International Labour Organization estimates in a 2012 survey that 12.5 million children in Pakistan are involved in child labour . Besides, 264,000 Pakistani children are involved in domestic child labour , according to the ILO’s 2004 report.

There are 8.52 million home-based workers are in the country, according to the official National Policy on Home-Based Workers. It said children in the labour environment are in fact vulnerable to exploitation. 

They demanded to amend and align child employment acts or/and relevant laws with article 25-A of the Pakistani Constitution. They further asked for executing ILO conventions ratified by the country and arrest and prosecute all employers using child labourer.

Increase budget allocations for education so that quality education can be available for all children of Pakistan, it said adding, enact the National Commission on the Rights of the Child Bill, so that child rights violations linked with or inherent to child labour can be monitored and addressed.

Develop national and provincial child protection mechanisms to rehabilitate and support and reintegrate child labourers in the formal education stream.

Develop and conduct family planning programs and allocate relevant resources to support families living beyond the poverty line so that children can be sent to schools and not be involved in income generating activities.