LAHORE: On the World Day Against Child Labour, the Child Rights Movement (CRM) and National Action Coordination Group (NACG) to Eradicate Violence Against Children in Pakistan have demanded that both the federal and provincial governments amend and align child employment acts or/and relevant laws with Article 25-A of the Constitution.

In a joint statement on Sunday, NACG’s Valerie Khan and Labour Education Foundation’s Khalid Mahmood also demanded ratification of ILO conventions and arrest and prosecution of all those employing child workers.

They also sought increase in the budget allocations for education so that quality education could be available for all children and nomination of a chair for the National Commission on the Status of Women (NCSW) as per law and in accordance with procedures described in the relevant act.

They demanded passage of the National Commission on the Rights of the Child Bill, still pending in the National Assembly so that child rights violations linked with or inherent to child labour could be monitored and addressed.

They also called for developing national and provincial child protection mechanisms to rehabilitate, support and reintegrate child labourers in the formal education stream.

They also demanded inclusion of child domestic labour to the list of illegal employment.

Awareness: The Pakistan Orphan Care Forum, comprising various NGOs working for the welfare of orphan children, has announced launching an awareness campaign to highlight the plight of the orphan children.

Speaking at a press conference here on Sunday, forum chief Abdus Shakoor said seminars and conferences would be held to mark the Orphans’ Day that falls on 15th of Ramazan and observed under the auspices of the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC).

This year, he said, Pakistan would be officially observing the day for the first time as the Senate has passed a bill for protection of orphan children’s rights.

Quoting Unicef figures, he said Pakistan was currently home to 4.2 million orphan children, most of whom are deprived of basic health and education opportunities.

Published in Dawn, June 13th, 2016

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