Lahore—Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif has said that elimination of child labour from brick kilns is his mission and vowed that this menace will be eliminated from the society. He said that child labour will be eliminated from the province and the children will be equipped with education. He said that besides brick kilns, child labour will also be eliminated from auto workshops, hotels and petrol pumps.
He said that like elimination of child labour from brick kilns, strict action will also be taken for eliminating child labour from other professions. He said that mortgaging the families through advance payment for child labour at brick kilns will be eliminated.
He said that all out resources will be provided for the children of the nation. The Chief Minister said that he will not rest content till ensuring enrolment of last child working at brick kilns.
He expressed these views while addressing 9th meeting of steering committee set up for elimination of child labour from brick kilns, here Saturday. The meeting decided to eliminate child labour from auto workshops, hotels and petrol pumps after complete elimination of child labour from brick kilns.
It was directed that a comprehensive survey should be carried out for eliminating child labour from auto workshops, hotels and petrol pumps and in the light of it, a future strategy should be evolved.
Shehbaz Sharif directed that the process of survey should be completed at the earliest and final recommendations be presented. He said that elimination of child labour is a form of worship and we will have to work like a team for achieving this objective.
He said that more than 31 thousand children working on brick kilns have been enrolled in schools and reiterated that all children working on brick kilns will be brought to schools for education.
The Chief Minister said that Punjab government has given revolutionary package for providing education to the children working at brick kilns. He said that besides a monthly stipend of one thousand rupees, free books, uniform and stationery will be given to every child whereas two thousand rupees will be given to the parents of the children going to schools.
He said that bounded labour is a social curse which will be eliminated at every cost. Shehbaz Sharif asked concerned officials to leave offices and go to field for eliminating child labour from brick kilns and review the steps taken in this regard.
He directed that the challans of the cases registered on the violation of law of child labour should be sent at the earliest so that the violators could be awarded punishment.
He said that continuous socio-economic steps are essential for the families working on brick kilns for elimination of mortgaging families through advance payment for taking child labour at brick kilns.
Therefore, the steering committee should consider every aspect in this regard and bring a durable solution on permanent basis so that the steps taken for elimination of child labour should also continue regularly in future, he added.
The Chief Minister said that an effective monitoring system should be evolved for providing education to the children working on brick kilns. He said that concerned Provincial Ministers and secretaries should continue their regular visits to the brick kilns and take effective steps for elimination of child labour from brick kilns. Shehbaz Sharif expressed satisfaction over the steps taken for elimination of child labour from brick kilns and appreciated the performance of Labour Department.
Secretary Labour gave a briefing about the steps taken for elimination of child labour from brick kilns. He told that more than five thousand brick kilns were inspected, 207 sealed and 650 cases were registered on violation of child labour laws and 717 brick kilns owners have been arrested.
The meeting was told that the International Labour Organization and European Union have appreciated the steps taken by Punjab government under the leadership of Chief Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif for eliminating child labour from the province. Provincial Ministers Rana Sanaullah, Ch. Muhammad Shafiq, Chief Secretary, Additional Chief Secretary, Inspector General Police, concerned secretaries and senior officials attended the meeting whereas Provincial Minister for Labour Raja Ashfaq Sarwar attended the meeting from Rawalpindi through video link.