The assessment reviewed the national and sub-national efforts for addressing the issue of child labour in auto-workshops and brought together set of recommendations at macro, meso and micro levels. The assessment is supported by supported by the ILO’s Asia Regional Child Labour (ARC) Project, funded by Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), Ms Sadia Sohail, Member of Provincial Assembly, Punjab said that “Child labour is a social evil, which cannot be neglected. The state has not been able to safeguard children’s rights and wellbeing, therefore an emergency should be imposed to tackle the issue of child labour”. She further pointed out that children engaged in child labour at auto workshops are exposed to health hazards, sexual exploitation and harassment, which compromise their wellbeing and safety and damage their personalities in the long run.
Child labour is a social evil, which cannot be neglected. The state has not been able to safeguard children’s rights and wellbeing, therefore an emergency should be imposed to tackle the issue of child labour."Ms Sadia Sohail, Member of Provincial Assembly, Punjab
Mr Nabeel Javed, Secretary, Labour and Human Resource Department, Government of Punjab stated that “Child labor is fragmented and there is dire need of inter-departmental coordination to work collectively for the eradication of child labour”. He further added that the outcomes of child welfare cannot be achieved with fragmented approach, therefore all stakeholders ranging from public to private sectors and donor agencies need to collaborate. He appreciated the efforts made by ILO and particularly the ARC project in term of evidence generation for the policy reforms and actions plans, capacity building of the concerned stakeholders, and creation of awareness among the masses to understand the sensitivity of the issue of child labour.
Ms Munawar Sultana, the National Project Coordinator of the ARC Project, briefly shared the progress of ARC Project, objectives of the workshop, painted a picture of the current circumstances and the national and provincial efforts for addressing the menace of child labour. She mentioned that ILO and UNICEF have been extending technical support to the government of Pakistan in execution of child labour survey and developing evidence-based child labour policies along with action plans. The ARC Project launched an animated video, mobilizing the relevant stakeholders for taking out young children from child labour at auto workshop and enrolling them in schools to protect their childhood and basic rights to education, wellbeing and safety and productive life. She encouraged the participants to provide their valuable inputs for enriching the findings. She also urged the participants to take active part in the group work and bring viable actions for the implementation of recommended areas.
Child labour is fragmented and there is dire need of inter-departmental coordination to work collectively for the eradication of child labour."Mr Nabeel Javed, Secretary, Labour and Human Resource Department, Government of Punjab
The key findings and recommendations stemming through the rapid assessment relating to child labour in auto mechanic repair workshops entailed the magnitude, characteristics, working conditions, recruitment patterns, hazards and violence along with push and pull factors, which indulge children into the labour at workshops. The assessment suggests for (1) the need for revising the list of hazardous work for children, annexed to the national and sub- national Acts, prohibiting the employment of children, as per international guidelines; (2) improve and strengthen effective monitoring and accountability mechanisms through engaging relevant stakeholders; (3) the need for necessary reforms in TVET institutes to enhance the access of underprivileged groups of society to viable technical education leading to decent employment; (4) at meso level the inter-departmental coordination and whole of government approach need to be adopted, specifically related to compulsory education, child labour, child protection and rehabilitation along with improved registration of auto-workshops, work on supply and demand of child labour; and (5) community engagement for monitoring and reporting of child labour cases, educating auto-workshop owners and creating awareness among children working at workshops along with public-private partnership for piloting program related to formalizing the informal apprenticeship.
The participants deliberated on the key areas and recommended various legislative reforms, actions including multi-stakeholders’ engagement for initiating innovative models and strategies for inter-departmental coordination, awareness creation, engagement of development partners, countering the health hazardous at workplace, generating reliable data and evidence for policy actions.
The event concluded with a vote of thanks by the ILO-ARC Team, followed by taking and signing the pledge for ‘No child labour at work and at home’ by all participants.