Combating Abusive Child Labour II

This project contributes to the Government of Pakistan’s efforts to eliminate child labour, including its worst forms (WFCL).

Project background

ILO-IPEC Pakistan with the financial assistance from the European Union (EU) is implementing the “Combating Abusive Child Labour II” Project. The project is being implemented in close collaboration with the Government of Pakistan under the National Time Bound Programme Framework (NTBP), 2008-16 which forms a part of the National Policy and Plan of Action to Combat Child Labour (NPPA-CL).

Project interventions are especially designed to pave way for the implementation of the ILO Convention-182 on Combating Worst Forms of Child Labour and Convention-138 on the Minimum Age for Employment. Both of these conventions have been ratified by the Government of Pakistan. Therefore this project, beside other ILO-IPEC projects in Pakistan, is playing an important role in eliminating child labour, especially its worst forms, in Pakistan. The Project design is based on two fundamental premises. Firstly, in all areas/localities identified for direct action at the grass roots level, the hazardous child labour from all occupations will be addressed rather than adopting a specific sector approach. The targeted children should be in hazardous occupations under the most intolerable conditions ranging from exposure to chemicals and other harmful substances to long tedious working hours. It will cover all hazardous sectors and occupations identified by the national legislation . Secondly, the Project will aim at the immediate withdrawal and prevention of children participating in the worst forms of labour and opt for a phased withdrawal, prevention and rehabilitation strategy in the case of other trades not included in the national list of hazardous occupations.

Project intervention logic

The Overall Objective of the Project is to contribute to the Government of Pakistan’s efforts to eliminate child labour, including its worst forms (WFCL). The Programme adopts a three-pronged strategy. The first component is at the local level where working children and especially those engaged in the worst forms of labour, are identified and provided with alternative opportunities for education and vocational training while their families are linked up to social safety nets, credit providers and health services. The second component aims at building government capacity at district, provincial and federal levels and at keeping child labour as a priority on the agenda and eventually disseminating the lessons learned from the Project to other districts through increased planning and leadership capacities of the government at all levels. The third component facilitates the building of a dynamic knowledge base to inform policy and to create increased awareness in order to ensure a favourable climate to support efforts directed at addressing child labour.

Strategically, the Project is designed to work at the district, provincial and national level to strengthen institutional capacity; to enhance the knowledge base; and at the grass roots level in the target districts to develop a model on how child labour across economic sectors can be effectively addressed at the district level. The three components mutually strengthen and support each other, while the institutional strengthening strategies reinforce and sustain the direct interventions. The enhanced knowledge base and awareness help in mainstreaming child labour concerns in the relevant national policies and programmes and in addressing them over the long term. It is expected that the strengthened institutional mechanism takes the lead role and overall responsibility on the timely implementation of National Policy and Plan of Action to Combat Child Labour that will help Pakistan in achieving the ILO’s Global Goal on eliminating all worst forms of child labour by 2016.

Progress made so far

Key steps taken so far to combat worst forms of child labour under this project are as follows:

  • The Programme Steering Committee has been constituted at the federal level to coordinate the programme activities in the country;
  • Federal Child Labour Unit has been established in the Ministry of Human Resource Development to provide advice to the provincial governments and to coordinate reporting responsibilities on the implementation of ratified ILO Conventions on child labour;
  • Provincial Coordination Committees on Child Labour (PCC-CL) in four provinces (Balochistan, KPK, Punjab and Sindh) have been constituted in order to provide policy advice on child labour issues;
  • Provincial Child Labour Units (PCLU) have been established in four provinces to monitor the implementation of provincial level child labour elimination programmes;
  • The institutional and technical capacities of these units have been enhanced through equipment and material support and also by providing training on various child labour related aspects;
  • All provincial labour departments have been assisted to review laws related to the employment of children and bring these laws in conformity with the international conventions/standards;
  • Employers’ Federation of Pakistan has been assisted to create awareness on child labour among its members and to mobilize employers at the district level to follow a code of conduct for the employment of children as a means to restrict children in hazardous occupations;
  • Pakistan Workers Federation has been supported to create awareness on child labour among its members and to organize them in informal sector workplaces to stop children being involved in hazardous occupations;
  • The capacity of the Centre for Improvement in Working Conditions and Environment (CIWCE) has been enhanced to address the occupational safety and health hazards faced by young workers (aged 15-17 years) and to create model workplaces in various sectors that provide a safe environment for them to learn and pursue various vocational skills;
  • Occupational safety and health studies have been conducted in 10 hazardous sectors (including stone crushing, road-side workshops, restaurants, rag picking, cotton farming, date farming, etc.) in the two pilot districts of Sukkur and Sahiwal to identify main physical and psychosocial hazards faced by the young workers;
  • Baseline surveys on worst forms of child labour have been conducted in Sukkur and Sahiwal;
  • The District Coordination Committees on Child Labour (DCC-CL) have been constituted in Sukkur and Sahiwal to provide programme level advice and to monitor the progress at district level;
  • The capacities of the two District Governments (Sukkur & Sahiwal) have been strengthened to combat the worst forms of child labour by mainstreaming child labour concerns in their District Education and Health Plans and Programmes;
  • Print and electronic media has been mobilized to create public awareness on child labour issues and to lobby for action against violators;
  • The capacities of two NGOs, National Rural Support Programme and Punjab Rural Support Programme have been built through especially designed action programmes to address worst forms of child labour on pilot basis at Sukkur and Sahiwal districts;
  • These NGOs are providing non-formal education, literacy and skills training to about 6,500 children involved or at risk of worst forms of child labour with an aim to withdraw and prevent them from hazardous conditions. Their families are also being supported to enhance their income so that the withdrawn/prevented children could attend the formal education regularly;
  • As a result of capacity building initiatives undertaken at provincial level, the Punjab Government has launched a 5-year project to replicate ILO’s interventions in 4 other districts (Jhang, Jhelum, Layyah and Chakwal). Rs. 180 million have been earmarked for this project by the Punjab Government;
  • KPK Government has also initiated a similar programme for Haripur district with the financial outlay of Rs. 14 million in the FY 2012-13;
  • In addition, Sindh Government is also going to launch its own programme for two other districts in the province.

For further information please contact

Mr Sujeewa Fonseka
Chief Technical Advisor
Tel: +51 2276456-8