Devolution of ministry: Child labour issues in limbo

After 18th amendment, labour ministry in quandary.

Express May 06, 2011


In the wake of the 18th Amendment, the Ministry of Labour and Manpower seems to be in quandary over conducting second survey on child labour. The survey was going to be carried out under the ‘Combating Abusive Child Labour- II’ project, which is funded by international donors.

Responding to queries during the question-hour session of the upper house of parliament on Wednesday, Federal Minister for Labour and Manpower Khursheed Ahmad Shah said that after the passage of 18th Amendment enforcement of laws relating to elimination of child labour falls exclusively in the domain of the provincial governments.

The International Labour Organization (ILO) has partnered with the European Commission (EC) for a five-year project to help Pakistan curb child labour and take 10,000 children out of hazardous workplaces. The project, as per ILO website, has faced numerous obstacles mainly due to the deteriorating security situation in the country.

As a result, the establishment of the proposed institutional mechanism which should be in place to commence the core project took more time than expected. However, provincial coordination committees on child labour and provincial child labour units were established and made operational in all the four provinces.

The minister claimed, “During the year 2008, about 12,000 child workers have been removed from hazardous occupations.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 6th, 2011.


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