The World Day against Child Labour is significant in several respects at national and global levels: it is an important occasion to renew our shared commitment to promote and protect the rights of every child; to demonstrate our collective resolve to do everything necessary to eliminate child labour and to enhance international engagement and cooperation in this important filed.
Making a smooth transition from childhood to productive work for everyone is both essential and prudent. This requires coordinated measures in the fields of education, nutrition, healthcare, vocational training, employment opportunities, and social protection.Such investments are key to a better future for our children and would constitute a net contribution to the realization of Sustainable Developments Goals.
We recognize the role of the United Nations and its specialized agencies as well as our partners in supporting child related initiatives of the Government of Pakistan.
Pakistan is a party to the Convention on the Rights of the Child and ILO core Conventions relating to Child Labour: Minimum Age Convention (No.138) and Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention (No.182).
Our provinces have enacted substantive legislative and administrative measures with a focus on enforcement and to ensure that children are not forced into hazardous labour. Countering child labour is also among the priorities of Pakistan’s decent work country program for 2016-2020.
Apart from preventive measures, our policy interventions seek to supplement labour rights by reforms in education policies. The Federal and Provincial Governments are continuing to accord priority in terms of incentivizing school enrollment, provision of meals at school, and training teachers.
We believe that children have their place in schools, not at workplaces. On this Day, I wish to reaffirm Pakistan’s commitment to the welfare and protection of all children of Pakistan.