The administration and police have arrested 38 brick-kiln owners and their staffers and registered 19 cases over violation of Child Labour Act during campaign against child labour in Kasur and Jhelum districts here the other day.

In Kasur, the district police have arrested 34 brick-kiln owners and their staff and registered 19 cases over violation of Child Labour Act.

The district administration has launched a crackdown on brick-kilns to eradicate the menace of child labour . “The owners have been directed to send the children to schools instead of engaging them in labour,” said DPO Syed Ali Nasir Rizvi.

“Employing children at factories and kilns and exposing them to hazardous conditions is a violation of basic human rights,” the DPO pointed out.

He said that cases against 34 kiln owners have been registered for various violations of labour laws.

He said that such practices should be discouraged. “Children should be in school. Their place is in classrooms, not brick-kilns,” he warned.

The DPO said that if a child between the ages of five and 14 years is found working at a kiln during school timings, the brick-kiln would be sealed for seven days. Mr Rizvi said that kiln owners could face imprisonment between seven and 60 days and face fine between Rs50,000 and Rs500,000. In Jhelum, the district administration claimed to have arrested four brick-kiln owners for violating the Child Labour Act here the other day.

According to police officials, DCO Zulfiqar Ahmed Ghumman along with a police team conducted a raid on brick-kilns in Dharyala Jalab and Chak Shadi in Pind Dadan Khan and found six children working at the brick-kilns. The police arrested Raja Ghzanfer, Haji Liaqat and Afzal Khan and registered cases against them under the Child Labour Act. While fourth kiln owner namely Chaudhry Gulzar made good his escape from the scene.

Under the law, children below 14 years of age are not allowed to work at kilns. It may be mentioned that the Punjab government is taking strict action against violators of the Child Labour Act across the province.