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Government is Committed to Eliminate Child Labor

 Islamabad March 28, 2002  Mr. Owais Ahmed Ghani, Minister for Labour Manpower & Overseas Pakistanis has said that ratification of ILO convention regarding elimination of the worst forms of child Labour from the country shows Governments firm commitment to the cause of children. He was inaugurating a one-Day National Workshop on New International Commitments, here today. The workshop is jointly organized by the Ministry of Labour and Ministry of Women Development in collaboration with ILO and UNICEF. Mr. Owais Ahmed Ghani said our vision of a better future for the nation is closely linked with the development and welfare of our children, adding that we are deeply involved in pursuing our vision in a systematic and coordinated manner according to the parameters developed in the National Plan and Policy to combat child labour. Minister said that the elimination of the worst forms of child Labour requires concerted efforts from all the stakeholders including employers, workers and civil society organizations. On its part, we have put in place various laws including Employment of children Act 1991, Bonded Labour System, Abolition Act 1992 & children, Pledging of Labour Act along with comprehensive enforcement mechanism.
He said that the Government is actively working through legislative enactment to enhance the age of child upto eighteen years along with evolving a comprehensive strategy for the actual elimination of child labour from the country; in accordance with the requirement of the convention on children Labour which is going to be implemented by October this year. However, in view of the existing socio-economic constraint, together-with existing level of development, there is urgent need of International Cooperation and technical assistance from donor countries and International organization to supplement our efforts, and resources, Minister added.  Owais Ahmed Ghani said that the issue of child labour is strongly linked to the issue of poverty, adding, the Government has specifically addressed the core issue through Pakistan poverty reduction paper, apart from enacting laws. He said, the Government is making efforts to address the issue of child labour through inter-Ministerial coordination as well as involving provincial government in the process.
            The Minister appreciated ILO-IPEC programme which has created awareness and sensitized the society, towards the issue of child labour during the past eight years in various industries relating to surgical instruments, sports goods and carpet manufacturing adding the time bound programme to be launched by ILO-IPEC shall prove beneficial in implementing the requirements of the ILO convention concerning child labour elimination already ratified by the country. He urged all the stakeholders particularly the organizations of employers, workers and civil society to work collectively in eliminating the child labour from the country according to the tenets of Islam, which stands against all forms of exploitations.
            The Minister expressed his profound gratitude to ILO and UNICEF for providing generous assistance in holding the workshop.
            He hoped, the participants of the workshop would develop useful recommendations about elimination of child labour for practical implementation.
The inaugural session of the workshop was also addressed by the country Director ILO and country Deputy Director UNICEF to Pakistan. While appreciating government’s efforts for elimination of child labour from the country, they assured of their continued assistance to Pakistan through various programmes.
            Minister for Women Development and Secretaries Ministries of Labour and Women Development in their addresses renewed Government’s firm commitment to child labour elimination and gender equality. The workshop is being held in connection with ratification of ILO convention and signing two protocols regarding elimination of child labour and equal remuneration for Men and Women.

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