LAHORE  -   Human rights champions have raised the demand for effective implementation of laws to curb child labour in province.

The demand was raised at a press conference at Lahore Press Club on Wednesday.

Representatives of NGOs Search For Justice, Domestic Workers Union, HomeNet Pakistan, Brooke Pakistan and Child Rights Movement Punjab, organised the media talk to mark the World Day Against Child Labour.

Human rights activists have been observing the World Day Against Child Labour since its launch in 2002 by International Labour Organization on June 12 to focus on the global extent of child labour and the efforts to eliminate it.

This year’s theme of the day is ‘Children shouldn’t work in fields, but on dreams!’

Activists expressed concern over the surge in violence against domestic child workers in Punjab.

They stressed the government should initiate a large-scale campaign to highlight the salient features of Punjab Domestic Workers Act 2019 that bar children under 15 from working as domestic labourer 

Child domestic labour is a clear violation of children rights guaranteed in UN Convention ratified by Pakistan in 1990, media was told.

HomeNet Pakistan Executive Director Umme Laila Azhar appreciated the initiation of Child Labour Survey in 2019 and urged increase in budget to strengthen labour inspection system.

Separately, Chairperson of Women Empowerment and Gender Mainstreaming Committee of Punjab Assembly Uzma Kardar hosted a consultative meeting with parliamentarians and media representatives in collaboration with UN Women’s United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, on issue of child marriage.

A documentary was screened on child marriage situation in Pakistan in which chairperson Counsel of Islamic Ideology Qabla Iyaz talked in favour of raising the age of marriage for girls from 16 to 18. Lawyer Ahmer Majid gave a presentation on the subject.

He said majority of Muslim countries all over the world have 18 years as minimum age of marriage for both girls and boys.