Child labour

Launch of badge for prevention and elimination of child domestic labour

ILO Office, Parliamentary Secretary for the Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training and Pakistan Girls Guide Association launched the Badge to prevent and eliminate child domestic labour in Pakistan

Press release | Islamabad, Pakistan | 31 August 2022
'Many children in Pakistan are working to contribute to the meagre family income. Attending school, playing with other children, or reading a book may remain distant dreams for many Pakistani children’, stated the Officer in Charge of ILO Country Office for Pakistan, Mr Markus Ruck. Referring to the recent scoping study “Child labour in domestic work in Pakistan”, he emphasized the great need for awareness raising at all levels and advocated for ‘Giving the girls books, not brooms’. He was speaking at the launch of badge for prevention and elimination of child domestic labour, a joint initiative of the ILO’s Asia Regional Child Labour (ARC) project with Pakistan Girl Guides Association. Acknowledging the kind support of Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office, he remarked that Pakistan Girl Guides Association having a huge outreach and presence in all regions of Pakistan, can support the accelerated efforts to combat child domestic labour.

Pakistan Girl Guides Movement has a very crucial role to in mobilizing the society and shaping the future generations through supporting strong and independent girls, stated Ms Zeb Jaffar, Parliamentary Secretary for Federal Education. Appreciating the ILO’s support and efforts in combatting the menace of child labour in Pakistan, she pointed out that the current flood situation in Pakistan might lead to a spike in child labour. She also accentuated the importance of teamwork and persistence in combating this endemic.

The National Commissioner, Ms Maria Maud Sabri of PGGA underscored that child domestic labour is widely prevalent in our society and thereby would take time to be completely eradicated. She elaborated that the PGGA through its committed trainers and members at the grassroots level will educate the employers and persuade them not to employ child domestic workers.

Many children in Pakistan are working to contribute to the meagre family income. Attending school, playing with other children, or reading a book may remain distant dreams for many Pakistani children"

Markus Ruck, Officer in Charge
The First Lady, Chief Guide Pakistan Girl Guides Association, Ms Samina Alvi in her recorded message elaborated that PGGA being the largest voluntary organization in Pakistan, would be an effective medium to accelerate the message against child domestic labour. She remarked that the trainers will mobilize the educational institutes, employers and the community at large on prevention and elimination of child domestic labour. In particular, they would make the domestic child workers aware of their rights and make their families aware of different social protection programs, which can make their children less susceptible to this vicious cycle of child labour.

Acknowledging the high quality training delivered by ILO-ARC, a group of five trainers, representing different regions of Pakistan shared the key learnings of the two day training, including broaden knowledge concerning four pillars of child rights, child labour, its major determinants and the impact on children, relevant national and sub-national laws, social and welfare programs that protect and safeguard poor families and prevent from child labour, advocacy and campaigning tools for influencing the relevant decision makers and enhanced outreach.

The event was concluded by awarding the certificates to the trainers. Ms Maria presented the shields and badges to the Chief Guest and Guest of Honour and offered gratitude for their presence. All participants representing the Government organizations, UN, development Partners, Civil Society, media and volunteers signed a pledge “Say no to child domestic labour”, demonstrating their commitment for prevention and elimination of child domestic labour in Pakistan.

As the first phase of badge, the ILO and Pakistan Girls Guide Association (PGGA) convened an intensive two-day Training of the Trainers in Islamabad, under Asia Regional Child Labour (ARC) Project funded by the United Kingdom’s Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office. The training brought together 42 trainers, who came from all across Pakistan despite the heavy flooding and rainfall, showing their dedication and commitment towards the important cause.

During the first day, the knowledge of the trainers was broadened with a prime focus on child rights, child labour, hazardous and worst forms of child labour, international, national, and sub-national laws, child protection and social protection mechanisms and hazards and impact on children employed as child domestic worker. They took active part in various learning activities, which encompassed enumerating their childhood blessings, identifying different forms of child labour, social protection and welfare programs, relevant stakeholders in their respective districts.

The second day focused on enhancing the skills pertaining to advocacy and campaigning skills, orientation to the ‘Each One Teach One’ program, under which, the girl guides will engage with child domestic workers and their families and furnish them with the requisite knowledge about personal safety, health and hygiene, preventive measures against hazards and risks at work place, life skills, basic literacy and numeracy, religious education, social protection and child protection system. Mr Aoun Sahi, a seasoned journalist and Director Current Affairs Pakistan Television World, acquainted the participants with key elements of case study and story and the use of social media for influencing the relevant stakeholders and enhanced outreach.