Recommendations to address Child Labour

The elimination of child labour should be of paramount importance and should be dealt by federal and provincial governments as a top priority as it has irreversible consequences for present and future generations. Effectively addressing and combating child labour requires a comprehensive, multi-pronged, integrated and collaborative approach.

Concluding Observations by Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC)  

Concluding Observations on 5th Periodic Report adopted by the Committee on the Rights of the Child at its seventy-second session (17 May-3 June 2016).

Section 72. The Committee urges the State party to:

(a) Take appropriate measures to eradicate child labour, in particular the worst forms of child labour, by addressing its root causes, including poverty; 

(b) Establish mechanisms for the systematic and regular monitoring of workplaces that employ children, in order to prevent ill-treatment, abuse and exploitation;

(c) Eradicate all forms of bonded and forced labour of children, in particular those from marginalised and disadvantaged groups, such as Dalit children, and bring those responsible, in particular employers, to justice; 

(d) Conduct a survey or study to assess the prevalence of child labour, including the worst forms of child labour such as bonded and forced labour, and inform the Committee about the findings in its next periodic report; 

(e) Develop programmes and mechanisms to identify and protect child victims of forced labour, particularly bonded labour, and child labour in the informal sector, including domestic work

 (f) Strengthen the labour inspectorate by eradicating corruption and providing labour inspectors with all the support necessary, including child labour expertise, to enable them to monitor effectively, at the national and local levels, the implementation of labour law standards and to receive, investigate and address complaints of alleged violations; 

(g) Expedite the harmonisation of the labour laws in order to establish minimum ages for employment in accordance with international standards, notably the International Labour Organization Minimum Age Convention, 1973 (No. 138), and vigorously pursue the enforcement of minimum age standards, including by CRC/C/PAK/CO/5 19 requiring employers to possess, and to produce on demand, proof of the age of all children working on their premises; 

(h) Seek technical assistance from the International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour of the International Labour Organization in this regard.

General Recommendations

Policy and Law Reforms

  • Child Protection Advisors should be appointed in Federal and Provincial  Cabinets to ensure that the child protection issues and welfare of children are highlighted and given due consideration in policy formulation, drafting of laws and decisions.
  • It is recommended that federal and provincial labour laws, education laws and child protection laws be harmonised and aligned to provide a comprehensive legal framework. It is recommended to raise the minimum age of employment to 16 years in line with the Article 25 (A) of the Constitution of Pakistan and provincial education acts.
  • It is recommended that all provincial governments review and reform the definition of “establishments” under laws restricting and regulating child labour to to extend the scope of the term “establishment” to all occupations and various types of work so that no vulnerable sector or work remains unregulated e.g. agriculture.
  • It is recommended that all laws on child labour in provinces and the provisions dealing with the employment of children in various labour laws be combined into one provincial law.
  • It is recommended to make amendments in labour laws to strengthen the powers of labour inspectors. Labour inspectors should be given more powers to carry out on-site inspections without prior notice or information.
  • The role of the various departments dealing with the different aspects of child labour should be incorporated in child labour laws by provincial governments.
  • Provincial governments should review and revise penalties for child labour violations to ensure that they serve as effective deterrents.
  • There is a need to integrate child labour elimination and prevention strategies in the education policies of provincial governments.
  • Provincial governments should adopt a Child Protection Policies that provides the provincial government and other stakeholders with a framework and structured approach for dealing with child protection and child labour issues.

Administrative Actions

  • It is recommended to create child-friendly and accessible reporting mechanisms for child labour and child protection violations, linked with case management and referral system.
  • Promote collaboration while addressing overlapping responsibilities and mandates between different departments and agencies and establish a mechanism for resource sharing and coordination to optimise efforts and minimise duplication with agencies with similar mandates.
  • There is a pressing need to improve the monitoring and inspection system to identify and report child labour through a collaborative approach involving police, social workers, local government officials and community-based organisations.
  • It is recommended that a sufficient number of labour inspectors are appointed throughout Pakistan, responsible for the enforcement of child labour laws.
  • The federal and provincial governments should prioritise the social sector and increase budgetary allocations for education, health, social welfare, social protection and health to adequately address the needs of vulnerable groups.
  • Respective provincial governments should develop an incentive-based approach to encourage families to send their children to school instead of pushing them to work.
  • Engage NGOs, INGOs and donors and encourage public-private partnerships to boost investment in the social sector and to provide additional support and resources in addressing child labour challenges.
  • Implement targeted reforms to address the root causes of dropouts and out-of-school children, particularly in marginalised communities and also provide essential educational goods to reduce the financial burden on families.
  • Respective provincial governments must use the findings from the child labour survey findings to formulate region-specific policies that effectively close education gaps and expand the reach of safety nets. Provincial governments should increase financial incentives and conditional cash transfers for families in economic hardship to encourage school attendance in targeted areas

Capacity Building and Awareness Raising

  • Capacity building of duty bearers and stakeholders, including law enforcement agencies, legislative bodies, government departments and civil society organisation on the legal framework for child protection in Punjab.
  • Enhance public awareness and education on child rights and child protection through effective media engagement.
  • Campaigns on the unlawfulness of child labour should be conducted regularly. Just as with other crimes, people should be made aware that the employment of children is unacceptable. Disseminate information about the legal provisions prohibiting child labour and the importance of children’s education and well-being.
  • Conduct targeted awareness campaigns to inform communities about the long-term benefits of education and the dangers of child labour.
  • Involve local leaders, influencers and community members in promoting the importance of education and protecting children from exploitative labour.
  • Law reforms advocacy with the members of provincial assembly to address inconsistencies with the Punjab legal framework on child labour.
  • Policy advocacy to highlight the importance of social sector investments in poverty reduction and sustainable development.
  • Engage with Provincial Information Departments, Pakistan Telecommunication Authority, PEMRA and civil society to raise awareness about child labour issues and the importance of educating children.
  • Empower children and youth to advocate for their rights and participate in decision-making processes through child-led initiatives and forums.
  • Integrate child rights and child labour education programmes into school curricula to inform students about their rights and the consequences of child labour.


  • Provincial government should conduct child labour survey every five years.
  • Encourage collaboration and data sharing among different government agencies, such as polio workers, local government, labour department, education department, Social Welfare Department and child protection agencies, etc to leverage and share data for child labour insights.
  • Conduct studies on child protection services model from other countries to provide valuable recommendations and best practises for provision of services at the tehsil and union council level.
  • Conduct a study on the effectiveness and efficiency of District Vigilance Committees in Pakistan in eradicating child labour.
  • Conduct a study on migration patterns in Pakistan and linkages to education and child labour.
  • It is recommended to integrate child labour questions in household surveys and other relevant data collection exercises with existing surveys and data collection efforts by Pakistan Bureau of Statistics.

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