RAWALPINDI: The Rawalpindi district administration will establish drop-in centres to eliminate child labour present in the forms of children who beg or collect garbage, said District Nazim Rawalpindi Raja Javed Ikhlas on Monday.
He said this while talking at a ceremony held to mark the Universal Children’s Day by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the Idara-e-Taleem-o-Aagahi (ITA). He said that the centres would provide education to the children to make them a useful part of the society, adding that the government and non-government organisations should coordinate their efforts to eliminate child labour from the country and to safeguard the future of the younger generation.
“The children are our most important assets and their education is imperative for the development and progress of the country,” he said. He said that it was a “criminal act” to deprive children of their rights and force them to do manual labour. He said that the Rawalpindi executive education officer would soon submit a summary of the estimated expenditure and other requirements of the centres. He said that the district government would provide all funds for the project and would run the centres.
He appreciated the efforts made by the ILO and ITO for resolving the problems being faced by homeless children despite their small financial resources and said that the Rawalpindi District Coordination Committee had been directed to cooperate with the NGOs to eliminate of child labour. He said that local government representatives would extend all their support to the ILO representatives in implementing the project.
ITA Chairperson Baela Raza Jamil said that street children who made a living either by begging or selling garbage were leading a “miserable and inhuman life”. She said that the government should set up a special commission to check violence against street children and take stern action against people who were involved in the crime.