The World Day Against Child Labour is being observed across the globe on Friday with focus on the impact of crisis on child labour.
The COVID-19 health pandemic and the resulting economic and labour market shock are having a huge impact on people’s lives and livelihoods.
There are an estimated 152 million children in child labour, 72 million of which are in hazardous work. These children are now at even greater risk of facing circumstances that are even more difficult and working longer hours.
In a message on the eve of this day, Minister of Human Rights Shireen Mazari said that we must reaffirm our collective commitment to protect our children and ensure that each child is given the opportunity to realize their potential.
She said that this year, as the world confronts an unprecedented pandemic, children face an increased risk of child labour, child marriages and other forms of exploitation.
Shireen Mazari said the COVID-19 public health emergency has disrupted the right to education for children across the world. In Pakistan, where there are already an estimated 22.8 million children out-of-school, this is likely to adversely affect learning outcomes and exacerbate existing inequalities in educational attainment such as high female dropout rates.
She said her ministry works on reviewing and strengthening laws and institutional mechanisms to protect child rights in Pakistan. Laws at the federal and provincial level set bans on hazardous work for children and minimum age limits for labour.
She said that Pakistan has ratified the UN Convention on Rights of the Child, its Optional Protocols; and ILO Conventions related to Child Labour.