Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Pakistan: 1.5m child labourers in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa

The Express Tribune
As many as 1.5 million children are currently involved in child labour in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, an Islamabad-based child rights organisation has said on the eve of the World Day Against Child Labour. “Of the total number, 60,000 children are below the age of 10 years. A majority of [these] children are working in automobile shops,” Jehanzeb Khan, regional manager of the Society for the Protection of the Rights of the Child (SPARC), said at a press conference at the Peshawar Press Club on Monday. The International Labour Organization (ILO) launched the World Day Against Child Labour in 2002 to focus attention on the global extent of child labour. Each year, the day is marked on June 12. Khan said that the ratio of child labour in Pakistan has increased as compared to other countries in the region and 2.6 million children are out of school in the country. The government, he said, continues to ignore the problem. “The government’s lack of seriousness on the issue of child labour can be gauged from the fact that no data is available since 1996,” he said, citing a survey conducted by the government in collaboration with the UN Children’s Fund in that year according to which there were 10.2 million child labourers in Pakistan. “The present government has already declared education as a fundamental right of every individual under Article 25-A of the Constitution,” he said, adding that it is essential to sensitise people of the importance to the right to an education. Under the 18th amendment, he said, child rights fall under the domain of provinces. However, he called on the government to formulate law and take administrative measures to curtail child labour in the country. “The government can implement its efforts by increasing the minimum age of employment under the Employment of Children Act 1991 from 14 to 16 years, thereby allowing children to avail their fundamental right to education,” he suggested. Furthermore, he said, enforcement of policy and legislative initiatives at the grassroots can be ensured by establishing a strong implementation regime. “The Employment of Children Act 1991 is not being enforced comprehensively, owing to inadequate administrative structure.”

Rs 342mn spent on Dr Arsalan: Malik Riaz

DUNYA TV The written statement of real estate tycoon Malik Riaz, which he submitted in the Supreme Court on Tuesday, stated that he spent a total amount of Rs 342 million on chief justice s son Dr Arsalan Iftikhar. Malik Riaz wrote in the statement that Dr Iftikhar had assured that he would help resolve the pending cases in the court but did not get any relief despite the money spent. “Dr Arsalan Iftikahr not only cheated me, my son-in-law but also committed fraud, extortion, and other offences under the Prevention of Corruption Act and the offences falling under the NAB ordinance,” he stated. The document revealed the amount Malik Riaz paid for the two trips Dr Iftikhar had made to London – two with his family and the other with a friend. Riaz further added that he gave Rs 327 million in cash to the chief justice’s son on different occasions. He also asserted that purpose of narrating the facts in the issue was neither to ridicule or disrespect or hatch conspiracy against the Supreme Court - but -was to voice genuine grievances. He made it clear in his statement that neither the prime minister, nor the president or any political member was involved in the matter. The statement also said that sou moto notice by the CJP was not legal as there was no infirmgement of fundamental human rights, It said a new bench must have been constitued after the withdrawl of CJP Iftikhar Muhhamd Choudry. It said Supreme Court of Pakistan was not a investigating authority. Malik said in the statement the he respects the apex court and necer maligned the court, adding no politics was involved in the issue. Details of expenses incurred upon Dr Arsalan s foreign visits. First family visit. Rs 8860,579/- Second visit Rs 692,949/- Third family visit Rs 5,947,726/- Various payments in installments Rs 327,000,000/- Grand Total: 342, 501,254/-