On Thursday, Federal Minister for Human Rights, Dr. Shireen Mazari inaugurated the Aitzaz Hasan Child Protection Institute in Islamabad ahead of the World Day Against Child Labour. The institute was established under the Islamabad Capital Territory Child Protection Act 2018, to protect children from abuse, injury, neglect, and exploitation. The Institute will provide protection services to vulnerable children. The institute is named in honor of Aitzaz Hasan, the 15-year-old boy who died preventing a suicide bomber from entering his school in 2014.

Mazari reiterated the government’s commitment to protect the rights of children and eradicate child labour. “Ensuring the rights of children is a key priority… the new Child Protection Institute is a significant milestone in this concentrated effort,” she said. The Institute would help provide rescue, shelter, counselling, family tracing and rehabilitation services to street children, child labourers or children who were trafficked, lost and neglected.

Nearly 30 years after Pakistan ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), no public coordinated child protection case management and referral system, adhering to international standards, has been established. From carpet weaving, deep sea fishing, leather tanneries, coal mines, and brick kiln sectors to rag-picking and domestic work, millions of children in Pakistan are trapped in child labour.

In 2019 the Punjab Domestic Workers Act was adopted prohibiting children under age 15 from working in a domestic capacity. The Pakistan National Assembly also passed the Islamabad Capital Territory Prohibition of Employment of Children Act. A significant amendment to classify child domestic labour as a “hazardous occupation” under Schedule 1 of the Employment of Children Act 1991 was also proposed after the killing of eight-year-old Zohra Shah by her employer. Mazari, stressed the need for strengthening legislation further.

Federal Secretary for Human Rights, Inamullah Khan, stated that it was intolerable that children should be working in exploitative or dangerous conditions. He noted that the new Child Protection Institute represented a critical step in Pakistan’s sustained efforts to safeguard children’s rights and safety.


From : pk.mashable.com

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