Quetta seminar highlights high prevalence of child labour

Child-labour-pakistan-hghghfQUETTA, June 12: Lamenting lack of efforts to control child labour, speakers at a seminar on Wednesday revealed the high prevalence of the menace in mining sector.

The seminar was held to mark the World Day Against Child Labour by the Labour Welfare Department of Balochistan in collaboration with the International Labour Organisation (ILO).

On the occasion, ILO representative Bushra Khalid said that during visits to mining sites in Balochistan she and her colleagues had found children working as labourers inside mines, including coalmines.

She termed child labour in the sector as the worst violation of human rights. She said the government officials and other stakeholders charged with protecting children were simply not fulfilling their responsibilities.

“Neither the parliament and government departments [on the one hand] nor the political parties and private organisations [on the other] seem to be serious in ending child labour, particularly in the mining and domestic sectors,” Ms Khalid remarked.

It had been revealed that ego and dignity of a child got crushed, particularly in domestic work, because of the vulnerability to sexual violence, she added.

Saeed Ahmed, a director of Labour Welfare Department, said the causes of child labour included poverty, corporal punishment in schools and illiteracy among parents.

He said child labourers needed to be trained in vocational skills to make them more useful and productive citizens.

Hanif Panezai, the regional manager of the Society for Protection of Rights of Child, said political parties of the province had not mentioned child labour in their manifestos.

The province was devoid of any borstal institution at the district level while lawmakers were not paying enough attention to the menace, he added.

Source: DAWN

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