LAHORE: Provincial Minister for Population Welfare Begum Zakia Shahnawaz said on Tuesday the government was taking steps to check child labour.
“Child welfare centres have been set up where children are provided formal and vocational education,” she told a national conference on child labour. The event was held under the aegis of the University of Management and Technology.
Global Youth Ambassador Mian Zaryab Arif, former foreign minister Sardar Aseff Ahmed Ali and Senator Sardar Mohsin Leghari were also present.
The minister said 215 million children all over the world were forced to work. Of them, she said, only one per cent had access to education.
Shahnawaz said that according to the National Child Labour Survey, a large number of children less than 14 years of age were forced to work. She said a high population growth rate was the major reason for child labour. “If we succeed in controlling population, we can check child labour. Ending child labour is a responsibility for all of us.”
Shields were distributed among participants of the conference.
Labour and Human Resource Minister Raja Ashfaq Sarwar has said Rs610 million has been allocated in the budget for the welfare of labourers.
“The allocation is 11.3 per cent more than that of the last’s year,” he said in a statement.
“The government is committed to the welfare of labourers.” Sarwar said the government would check child labour and was compiling data for the purpose. He said a Labour Market Information System and Resource Centre would be set at a cost of Rs65 million. He said Rs50 million had been allocated for carrying out a provincial child labour survey.
Sarwar said the government had started a project to check child and bonded labour and rehabilitate vulnerable labour communities at a cost of Rs5.2 billion.
He said a project costing Rs134 million had been launched for the capacity building of industrial units and enforcement of international labour standards.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 17th, 2015.