Children in Pakistan are not only denied their Basic Right to a life of Dignity, but are also denied their most Fundamental Right- the Right to Education

  • Children in Pakistan are not only denied their Basic Right to a life of Dignity, but are also denied their most Fundamental Right- the Right to Education

While addressing the National Seminar organized by Pakistan Labour Federation (PLF) Haji Muhammad Saeed Arian Founder/Secretary General said  that  Children in Pakistan are not only denied their basic right to a life of Dignity, but are also denied their most Fundamental Right- the Right to Education.  He said that The official figure of out of school Children paints a gloomy picture, calling out for emergency measures. According to data from the Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training , as many as 44 percent of Children between the ages of five and 16 are out of school. Of these, the Majority are Girls as the family deems Girls’ Education a waste of money and a burden on the already precarious Financial condition. The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, Pakistan has remained off-track on various Millennium Development Goal indicators, including those related to Education, Maternal Health and infant Mortality Mrs. Atia Saleem Chairperson (PLF) said that Since the 18th Amendment of the Constitution, Child Protection has become the sole purview of the Provinces. The Provincial Governments have failed to enact Provincial Laws to ensure the protection of Children however, exacerbating the state of Children in the country. She said that we would like to draw the UN Human Rights Council’s attention to the rise in Violence against Children in Pakistan.  Mrs. Shumalia Sadiq Secretary Women Wing (PLF) said that The Realization of Children’s Rights Index has ranked Pakistan as 159 out of 196 countries in the world in terms of Child Mortality, Health and Education facilities, and protection of Child Rights. In terms of health, many Pakistani Children do not live to see their fifth birthday.  She said  According to UNICEF, Pakistan tops the list in Child Mortality rate among South Asian countries. Pakistan loses 90, 000 Children at the age of 5 to pneumonia annually.  Whaheed Ahmad Ch Advocate Legal Advisor (PLF) said that Pakistan remains in the third spot with its prevalence of Child and Forced Labour. Child labour continues unabated in the country, due to conflicting Laws and lack of political will. He said that  Pakistan was ranked third on the Global Slavery Index 2016, for the second time in a row, with an estimated 2,134,900 people trapped in slavery. Meanwhile, although the International Labour Organization reports a decline throughout the world in the number of underage workers. Rana Muhammad Akram Dy Secretary General (PLF)  said that  Pakistan has no comprehensive Child Labour Law, but the Constitution under articles 3, 11(3), 25(3) and 35 prohibits employment of underage children, while stipulating that the rights of the Child shall be protected by the state. Further, Article 37(e) stipulates that the state shall “make provision for securing just and humane conditions of work, ensuring that Children and women are not employed in vocations unsuited to their age or sex”. Ch Bilal Akbar Khan President (PLF) Punjab said that  Pakistan has ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1990, but has not enacted any enabling Legislation since then, to make its provisions into domestic Law. For this reason, the Convention cannot be directly applied in the courts. Mr Aziz ullha Khan President (PLF) Baluchistan said that s to ensure that Child Rights are appropriately integrated, consistently interpreted and applied in all Legislative, administrative and judicial proceedings and decisions, and in all policies, programmes and projects that are relevant to, and have an impact on, Children. Mushtaq Ahmad Bajwa Vice Chairman (PLF) said that to  Ensure that provincial Governments establish a Child Safety Cell in every district. There is a dire need for a Provincial Action Plan to protect Children from torture, abuse and violence. The provinces should also set up an effective awareness campaign for the protection of Children, and introduce new Legislation to protect Children and other vulnerable groups He demanded to Formulate policies and Laws to Eliminate Child Labour, and take cohesive and concrete steps to work towards ending Poverty. The state must realize that Child Labour and Poverty are inevitably bound together. If children continue to be used as a treatment for the social disease of poverty, the country will not be able to eradicate either poverty or Child Labour. The state must also ensure that while eliminating Child Labour from the export industry, it must also eliminate it from the informal sector, which, being invisible to public scrutiny, leaves the Children more open to abuse and exploitation

(Haji Muhammad Saeed Arian)

Founder/Secretary General

Pakistan Labour Federation (PLF)

Affiliated with

World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU)

International Confederation of Labour Movement (ICLM)