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‘Model’ child labour policy to be introduced soon

LAHORE: The Punjab Social Protection Authority (PSPA) plans to introduce a model child labour policy to eliminate poverty and enhance literacy.

According to this policy, children aged between 13 and 18 years will be allowed to do “soft jobs” during their formal and technical education in alignment with international labour laws.

The PSPA will provide opportunities of free education, skill development training, jobs or business to more than 30,000 children working at workshops, petrol pumps and hotels so they did not have to permanently depend on stipends; this aims at enabling them to earn a living, a press release stated without elaborating what the soft jobs were.

Punjab Finance Minister Dr Ayesha Ghaus Pasha congratulated the PSPA on framing the first provincial social protection policy.

The authority’s chief executive officer, Dr Sohail Anwer, briefed the minister that the PSPA was providing education, professional training and interest-free loans to the vulnerable in collaboration with the Special Education Department, Technical Education & Vocational Training Authority, Punjab Small Industries Corporation and Lahore Businessmen Association for Rehabilitation of the Disabled.

The authority also managed school admissions for children of 1,288 beneficiaries of the Khidmat Card Programme to special education institutes with a monthly stipend of Rs800 to each enrolled student, free books and uniform, the release quoted Anwer as saying.

The authority is also about to distribute Rs1,00 to each of the 450,000 schoolgirls from class VI to X in 16 less-developed districts through the Khidmat Card Programme, subject to their attendance in schools. It is also planning to allocate funds for victims of acid attacks.

Published in Dawn, January 9th, 2017

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