Supporting the National Time-Bound Programme (TBP) on the elimination of the worst forms of child labour in Pakistan

During 2003-2008, ILO implemented its flag-ship Project of Support to the National Time-bound Programme on the Elimination of Worst Forms of Child Labour (TBP Project). It was a major project that made both policy level and district and community level interventions to build capacity of ILO’s tri-partite constituents on the issue of Worst Forms of Child Labour (WFCL).

One of the key interventions was the Development of District Model Approach to build the technical capacity of District Governments to address the child labour from their own resources. The project operated in six districts (Hyderabad, Shangla, Gwadar, Rawalpindi, Sialkot, and Kasur) and had the following eight objectives:

  • Developing an enhanced national knowledge base available on child labour for use by policy makers, researchers and planners;
  • Facilitating the introduction of an improved policy and legislative framework to combat worst forms of child labour;
  • Supporting the incorporation of educational and training needs of children in worst forms of labour in national instruments on education;
  • Mobilizing key stakeholders i.e., district governments, employers, workers and community members to be receptive to the development needs of child labourers;
  • Providing the technical advice and guidance to the target district governments to allocate resources in order to address educational and training needs of children in worst forms of labour;
  • Mobilizing the district government authorities and community groups to monitor the worst forms of child labour incidence and to take affirmative action in target districts;
  • Assisting children in worst forms of labour and their families to be linked with credit facilities and have access to social safety nets; and
  • Ensuring that boys and girls in worst forms of labour and those at risk have access to formal and non-formal education and vocational training.

As per the project strategy, the programme worked at both policy level and grass-roots level, in close collaboration with the federal, provincial and district level governments, employers, workers and civil society organizations. At the policy level, the project assisted the government to formulate the National Time Bound Programme (2008-2016) that through a wide range of actions provides the road map for eliminating hazardous child labour from Pakistan in a time-bound manner. At the grass-roots level, the project is instrumental in changing the lives of child labourers for betterment with the provision of various social protection interventions tailor-made to cater the specific needs of children and their families.

The project operated in six targeted hazardous sectors, i.e., surgical instrument manufacturing sector in Sialkot district, leather tanneries in Kasur district, coal mines in Shangla district, deep sea fishing in Gwadar district, rag picking in Rawalpindi/Islamabad and glass bangle industry in Hyderabad district. The project activities included social mobilization, awareness raising, capacity building, providing non-formal education, mainstreaming NFE graduates into formal education, providing older child labourers with vocational skills training, linking families with microfinance providers, and assisting vocational training graduates in finding non-hazardous jobs in the local market. The project also carried out certain upstream activities at the district level, particularly with various district-based line agencies in providing technical advice and guidance for the formulation of district education plans, and setting up of the Child Labour Monitoring Systems. The project made the following achievements at the community level:

  • 12,290 Children withdrawn/prevented are receiving/received education at non-formal education and literacy centres established under the project;
  • 3,088 Children were mainstreamed into the formal education system;
  • 9,789 children were subjected to health screening;
  • 1,451 families were assisted to access micro finance support;
  • 722 families were supported to receive benefits from Zakat and PBM funds; and
  • 295 community groups were organized.