Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah Monday said the Sindh government was conducting a survey to ascertain the number of children engaged in child labour so as to provide these children education and trainings to enable them get employment at the time they attain appropriate age. This he said while talking to a four-member Japanese delegation led by MD Association for Overseas Technical Cooperation and Sustainable Partnerships (AOTCS) Joji Tateishi, said a statement. The CM Sindh said that the survey of child labour is being conducted by the provincial government in collaboration with United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF).
The other members of the delegation include Prof. Dr Hiroyuki Fujimura of Hosei University Tokyo, Eiji Teshima and Mahito Yoshimura. The meeting was also attended by a delegation of Employers Federation of Pakistan (EFP) Presidents Majeed Aziz, Zaki Khan, Feroze Alam, Ismail Sattar, Syed Nazar Ali, Fasihul Karim, Rabiya Anwar and Shumail Rizvi. The chief minister was assisted by Minister Labour Murtaza Baloch, Secretary Investment Ahsan Mangi, Secretary Labour Rasheed Solangi and Commissioner SESSI Kashif Gulzar.
The chief minister said that Sindh Factories Act 2015 prohibits working of child below the age of 14 years to work in a factory. He added that Sindh Child Labour Survey in collaboration with UNICEF was being conducted throughout Sindh for which his government allocated Rs 96 million.
Once survey is completed the government would be able to provide technical education to the children so that they can seek employment in industrial sector, he said. Secretary Labour Rasheed Solangi assured the chief minister the survey would be completed by the end of December 2019.
He added that in order to implement Minimum Wage and eradicate child labour as Minister’s Task Force headed by Director Labour alongwith prominent labour leaders and representatives from Employers Federation of Pakistan and Chambers has been constituted. The chief minister said that District Jamshoro has been declared as ‘Child Labour Free’ district and his government was working to make others district free from child labour in phases. He added that minimum wage has been fixed at Rs 16,200 for unskilled workers and during current financial year his government has fixed minimum wage at Rs 17,500.
The chief minister urged the visiting AOTS Japanese delegation to start technical training/basic education for the children involved in child labour so that they could be made skilled workers. The AOTS delegation and EFP Chief Majeed Aziz assured the chief minister for designing job-oriented technical training courses for children and other youths so that they could be adjusted in the industries.
Syed Murad Ali Shah said that the children engaged in labour must be given basic education along with technical education before their induction in the workforce. “We are committed to eradicate child labour and would offer the children some stipend during their education and technical programmes just to encourage them and then utilize their services in the industrial sector,” he said.
The chief minister also informed the visiting delegation about available investment opportunities and said Dhabeji Special Economic Zone being developed by Sindh government has a great potential for investors. Secretary Investment Ahsan Mangi briefed the delegation about the Dhabeji Special Economic Zone and invited them to visit the area. Sindh Minister for labour Murtaza Baloch also briefed the delegation about the measures taken by his department for welfare of the labourers.
He told them about health facilities, schools and residential colonies established by the labour department. The delegation assured the chief minister that they would start working on training programme to attract more investors to invest in Sindh.—APP