Labour department enrolled over 4000 children in schools: minister

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Provincial Minister for Labour and Human Resource Raja Ashfaq Sarwar has said that Punjab Labour and Human Resource Department, after the identification of as many as 4524 children from the age of 5 to 14 years, involved in child labour at auto workshops, petrol pumps, service stations, hotels and restaurants, has enrolled them in different schools of School Education Department, Punjab Education Foundation partner schools and informal basic education centres established by NGOs.

The department has also enrolled as many as 2764 adolescents from the age of 14 to 18 years via its 6-month duration Literacy Cum Skills Training Programme in different vocational training institutes of Punjab Vocational Training Council (PVTC). These children were identified by Bureau of Statistics (BOS) through Provincial Child Labour Survey conducted in districts Dera Ghazi Khan, Bahawalnagar, Hafizabad, Okara, Sheikhupura, Rahim Yar Khan, Khanewal, Sialkot, Gujranwala and Multan.

The minister said this while presiding over a high level meeting to review the pace of progress in the project to eliminate child labour from petrol pumps, auto workshops, hotels and restaurants.

Secretary Labour Sohail Shehzad, DG Labour Welfare Muhammad Saleem Hussain, Project Director Integrated Project/Focal Person Dr. Saeed Ahmed Wattoo, Director Labour (HQ) Dawood Abdullah, Senior Manager the Urban Unit Abdul Razzaq and other concerned officers attended the meeting. The meeting was informed it has been proposed to give Rs.2000 to the parents of children enrolled in schools as encouragement once whereas their children who will continue their studies will be given Rs.2000 per month as stipend.

Project Director Dr. Saeed Ahmed Wattoo informed the meeting that PVTC will impart training to the enrolled adolescents in the evening shift so that they would be able to earn their livings in the morning hours. Moreover, the labour department will ensure the provision of suitable jobs after the completion of training to eligible and talented adolescents. He further informed that 80 per cent of field work of Child Labour Survey conducted by Bureau of Statistics in 13 districts under the second phase has been completed whereas third and final phase of this provincial survey will be completed till September 15.

Minister Labour Raja Ashfaq Sarwar directed the concerned officers to accelerate the pace of work in this project for elimination of child labour in these three sectors. He stressed upon the importance of social mobilisation to convince the parents of the children involved in child labour and their employers so that they could be motivated to educate these children. The meeting also discussed the matters of Third Party Validation (TPV) regarding verification of authenticated data of children involved in child labour at brick kilns of the province.

 

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