The complete elimination of child labour from brick kilns is the government’s primary mission, Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif said on Saturday.
He was addressing a meeting of the Steering Committee set up for the elimination of child labour from brick kilns.
“Pens and books not bricks will be given in the hands of children. All resources will be provided for equipping children working at kilns with education. Action should be continued against owners of brick kilns involved in child labour,” he said. The chief minister said that ministers, elected representatives, police and the district administrations should ensure the complete elimination of child labour from brick kilns. “The inspection of brick kilns should continue and strict action should be taken on the violation of law,” he said.
He said that stationery, books and uniforms would be provided free of cost to the any such children going to schools. “An educational package has been announced for such children. It will be implemented from the start of the new academic, starting from April,” he said.
The chief minister said that action would be taken against district administration officials who do not perform well during the crackdown against brick kilns. “A comprehensive plan should be evolved within 30 days for eliminating child labour from restaurants, workshops and other professions,” he said.
The CM said that the departments concerned had to play their role effectively for eliminating child labour from brick kilns and other professions.
The labour secretary briefed the meeting about the ongoing crackdown against child labour at brick kilns. “A total of 3,051 brick kilns have been inspected in Punjab. So far, 519 cases have been registered and 441 kiln owners and managers have been arrested,” he said.
Ministers Rana Sanaullah, Raja Ashfaq Sarwar, Chaudhry Muhammad Shafiq, the chief secretary, the additional chief secretary and the IGP attended the meeting.
The chief minister on Saturday directed officials concerned to ensure the implementation of the security plan evolved for private and public educational institutions. “Effective monitoring of security arrangements of schools, colleges and universities should be continued. The authorities concerned should personally review implementation of prescribed security plan regularly. No compromise will be made on the security of public and private educational institutions,” he said.
He was addressing a video conference at the Civil Secretariat to review security arrangements in educational institutions. Divisional commissioners, RPOs, CPOs, DCOs and DPOs attended the meeting through a video link.
“Providing children education in a safe atmosphere is our joint responsibility. We have to fulfill it at every cost,” he said.
He said that separate committees should be constituted for reviewing arrangements made under the security plan in existing educational institutions at all divisional headquarters.
He said that members of the committees would review security plans in their respective divisional headquarters and submit reports. The meeting was briefed in detail about the steps taken so far about steps taken to improve security for educational institutes. Ministers Rana Sanaullah, Rana Mashhood Ahmad and Special Assistant to CM Rana Maqbool Ahmad were also present in the meeting.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 7th, 2016.
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