World Day Against Child Labour today: Provision of social protection stressed to combat child labour

LAHORE: Awareness walks, seminars and special campaigns arranged by the International Labour Organisation (ILO), Employees Federation of Pakistan (EFP), Association of Network for Community Empowerment (ANCE) and other stakeholders will be held in the city to mark the World Day Against Child Labour today (Thursday). 
The day is observed on June 12 every year and theme for this year’s day is ‘Extend social protection: combat child labour’.
Talking to Daily Times, EFP Secretary Saud Aalam said that as per the theme for 2014, social protection had to be extended so that children did not come to economic activity. 
He said: “In his budget speech, our finance minister has said that 60% people are living below the poverty line. This figure is very dangerous and we must do something; one of the strategies could be to offer employment insurance to the people. This will actually amount to extending social protection to the people and combating child labour.”        
According to the ILO, a large number of children are engaged in paid or unpaid domestic work in the home of a third party or employer around the world. These children can particularly be vulnerable to exploitation. Their work is often hidden from public eyes; they may be isolated; and they may be working far away from their families. Stories of abuse of children in domestic work are all too common. The observance of the day calls for action to introduce, improve and extend social protection in line with the ILO Recommendation No 202 on social protection floors. 
ANCE President Raja Abbas Ali works for empowerment of brick-kiln workers by running literacy programmes and by fighting for their rights in collaboration with the ILO. 
Talking to Daily Times, Raja Abbas said that he was committed to continuing his services for the eradication of child labour. 
“Seeing a smile on the faces of kiln workers is the greatest reward as well as deep internal satisfaction for me because I myself remained a victim of child labour,” he added. He said that the ANCE would focus on providing social protection and combating child labour in collaboration with other stakeholders.
The EFP, in collaboration with the ILO, will organise a special event at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) in which representatives of other organisations, including Centre for Improvement of Working Conditions and Environment (CIWCE), Independent Monitoring Association for Child Labour (IMAC), Workers Welfare Board and Pakistan Workers Federation, will also participate.

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