Call for steps for better environment, child and animal welfare.

 
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LAHORE -- The civil society organisations demand coordinated interventions of the people and the government to improve environment, animal welfare and child and bonded labour situation.

During a media briefing jointly arranged by the Search for Justice, a non-government organisation, working for promotion and protection of child rights and Brooke Pakistan, an international organisation working for animal welfare, Search for Justice executive director Iftikhar Mubarik said the government under Sustainable Development Goals was obligated to take immediate and effective measures to eradicate child and forced labour, end modern slavery and human trafficking by 2025.

He said the Punjab Prohibition of Child Labour at Brick Kilns Act 2016 prohibited the labour of any child less than 14 years of age in brick kilns sector while in 'The Punjab Restriction on Children's Employment Act 2016,' the minimum age for admission in child labour was 15 years, adding that the discrepancy in age of children must be removed through an amendment. He said the law must be having a system and procedure to rehabilitate the children rescued from brick kilns sector.

Mr Mubarak said Peshgi (advance), which promoted modern form of slavery, was earlier prohibited in the Bonded Labour System Abolition Act 1992 but in 2018 the Punjab government made an amendment to allow advance if any other law allowed advance to be given by employer. He demanded the prohibition of advance payment system.

Brooke Pakistan Advocacy Manager Naeem Abbas also highlighted the gap between the number of workers working in brick kiln sector and the total number of registered workers under the Punjab Employees Social Security Institutions. He said the situation was worst when it came to registration of brick kiln workers under the Employees Old-Age Benefit Institution (EOBI).

He said the Punjab Labour Department made efforts to remove approximately 96,000 children in the previous years who were...

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