Speaker National Assembly Sardar Ayaz Sadiq has said that child Labour was a huge impediment to children’s rights; and a barrier to national development and prosperity. He lamented that the children who enter the labour force end up being deprived of all amenities of life which could uplift them, their families and eventually the whole society out of poverty and hunger. He was addressing an event observing the “World Day against Child Labour” being organized by the Federal Ombudsman in Islamabad. Federal Ombudsman Salman Farooqi also spoke at the occasion.
Highlighting the global severity of child labour, Sardar Ayaz Sadiq said that 215 million children around the world including Pakistan were working, with more than half of them exposed to worst forms of child labour including hazardous environments and slavery. He apprised the audience regarding establishment of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Secretariat in the Parliament House and said that the Parliament was functioning in accordance with international development agendas. He said that in this regard, he constituted a Parliamentary Task Force coordinating with all the provinces and administrative units to formulate a common strategy to deal with developmental challenges of such nature.
Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq appreciated the efforts of Ombudsman in raising awareness regarding the critical but ignored matter of child labour across the country. He said that the role of Ombudsman in effectively dealing with the individual complaints pertaining to children was crucial because of its existing legal framework to address the systematic issues. He also commended the Ombudsman for addressing significant cases of public importance and providing relief to hundreds of thousands. He extended his all out support in providing assistance in formulating and coordinating policies on Child Rights and Child Protection through National Commissioner for Children.
The Speaker stressed upon the need to devise integrated strategies formulated by coordinated efforts of legislation, civil society organizations and media to rehabilitate and free the children in labour. He informed that the Parliament would soon hold debates on matters pertaining to vital importance of social development including population growth and child labour. He said that both issues are largely interconnected with one leading to another because of lack of resources. He said that we should avail this opportunity to think of children in forced labour who are facing the harsh and unforgiving effects of this hardship. “We undoubtedly owe all these children a future without violence, fear and exploitation as they deserve to be at schools and acquiring skills and education which prepare them for decent work as adults”, he added.
Source: National Assembly of Pakistan.