Permitted age for employment of children as domestic workers

By Qindeel Shujaat- Executive Director OBUN2
1 min read

Do you know what the minimum age is for children in the different provinces of Pakistan to be employed as domestic workers?

Child labour is a provincial subject in Pakistan after the 18th Constitutional Amendment in 2010. The 18th Constitutional Amendment devolved the issue of labour and employment to the provinces and each province is now responsible for enacting and implementing its own labour laws.

There are two types of laws that have prohibits the employment of children as domestic labour in Pakistan. They either concern the prohibition and regulation of the employment of children or the regulation of the working conditions of domestic workers.

Employment of children as domestic workers is not allowed in the Islamabad Capital Territory for children under 16 years of age. Previously, it was 14 years under the Employment of Children Act, 1991. In Balochistan, domestic work is not allowed for children below 18 years under Balochistan Employment of Children   (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 2021. In Punjab, domestic work is not allowed for children under 15 years of age, but light work is allowed for 15-18 year olds, considering it does not affect the health, safety and education of domestic workers.

Both Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Sindh provinces are silent on the issue of child domestic labour. Both provinces define children as persons below 14 years of age and prohibit the employment of children below 14 years of age in “establishments” under the KP Prohibition of Employment of Children Act, 2015 and the Sindh Prohibition of Employment of Children Act, 2017 in the respective provinces. Both provinces have also enacted laws to regulate domestic work, but neither law prohibits the employment of children in domestic settings, as is the case in ICT and Punjab’s domestic work laws.

Region/Province Allowed Age Reference of Law
Islamabad Capital Territory 16 years + Section 3 – ICT Domestic Workers Act, 2022
Balochistan 18 years + Section 3(2)- Balochistan Employment of Children (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 2021
Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Not specified
Punjab 15-18 years – Light Work Section 3- Punjab Domestic Workers Act, 2019
Sindh Not specified
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