Landmark Initiative to Combat Child Domestic Labor: Draft Bill Consolidation Consultation held in Islamabad

ISLAMABAD (PEN) : Today, at the Serena Hotel in Islamabad, a critical step towards addressing the pervasive issue of child domestic labor was taken with the Consolidation Consultation on the proposed Child Domestic Labour Draft Bill. Esteemed stakeholders, including representatives from UNICEF, ILO, Ministry of Human Rights and various other organizations, gathered to contribute their expertise and insights.
The event was graced by the presence of Ms. Ayesha Raza, the Chairperson of the National Child Rights Commission (NCRC), whose commendable efforts have played a pivotal role in bringing attention to and addressing the pressing issue of child domestic labor.
Child domestic labor, a legal and social challenge, has far-reaching implications on the well-being of children. The issue is exacerbated by child labor in various sectors such as brick kilns, carpet factories, and the ominous nexus of narcotic terrorism.
Children engaged in domestic labor are subjected to health risks, rights violations, disrupted education, and exposure to violence and brutality. Recognizing the gravity of this issue, the National Child Rights Commission (NCRC) has taken an admirable initiative by crafting a comprehensive piece of legislation aimed at preventing and regulating child domestic labor.
The proposed bill takes a bold stance by criminalizing child domestic labor, marking it as a non-bailable offense. Furthermore, it seeks to establish a uniform child rights legislation applicable across the entire country of Pakistan. One of the key provisions emphasizes the urgent need to set a uniform age for children, aligning with the spirit of the Child Rights Convention, i.e., 18 years.
During the consultation, the Secretary of Law, in acknowledgment of the significance of the cause, attended the event. Additionally, the Ministry of Law and Justice (MoLJ) has pledged its full support to facilitate the enactment of the Child Domestic Labour Law. This commitment reflects the government’s dedication to addressing the multifaceted challenges posed by child labor.
The proposed legislation aims to go beyond being merely punitive; it seeks to fully incorporate the commitments made in the Child Rights Convention (CRC).
As the consultation concludes, there is a shared sense of urgency among stakeholders to expedite the legislative process. The commitment of all participants signals a united front against child domestic labor. The proposed Child Domestic Labour Draft Bill represents a significant milestone in Pakistan’s ongoing efforts to safeguard the rights and future of its children.