Goals to free the children from the child labour by 2025
The legal concept has evolved over the practice of child labour which is still exiting in the Asia-Pacific region.
The South Asia initiate to end violence against children, the “Regional Consultation on Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Alliance 8.7-South Asia Launch” was held among the SAAR Countries for two day concluded on 20 July, 2016 in Thimphu, Bhutan.
The Sustainable Development Goals 8.7 refers to take immediate and effective measures to eradicate forced labour, end moderns slavery and human trafficking through coordinated, multi-stakeholders and secure the prohibition and elimination of the worst forms of child labour, including recruitment and use of child soldiers, and by 2025 end child labour in all its forms.
As per the Regional Action Plan (RAP) for the Prevention and Elimination of All Forms of Child Labour states that more children are in child labour in the Asia and Pacific region than in any other region in the world. South Asia, as a home to some half-a-billion children, the largest child population of any region, has among the largest number of children engaged in the labour and other forms of exploitation
A handbook of the Labour Ministry classified child labour as any form of work that is children (below 18 years) engage in which deprives them of their childhood, their potential and their dignity. And a work that is harmful to the child’s physical and mental development which results in deprivation of education.
The Labour Minister Lyonpo Nyeema Sangay Tshempo said that the minimum age of employment in Bhutan is 18 years. However, aged between13-17 is considered acceptable from of child labour provided it is seasonal and doesn’t affect physical and mental health of children.
The National Commission for Women and Child (NCWC), Director, Kunzang Lhamu said that although goals are very ambitious, the need to intervene in such issues has become increasingly critical. Adding that, he also said currently the child extent of violence against children cannot be reckoned due to lack of data on such incidents.
The director also added that an effective coordination mechanism must be developed among all the stakeholders within the country to address child labour.
The Ministry of Works and Human Settlement, Lyonpo Dorji Choden said that it requires responsible parents to breed healthy children. He said, “A family is the most important social unit for the healthy upbringing and development of the child. What we learn from our families in childhood builds character and serves us throughout our lives.”
He further added, “Families guide personal growth and education, while offering love and protection. When families are strong, our neighborhood is strong, our nation is strong and we can be more hopeful about the future.” He also said, “The journey begins from the family, the home. We need a healthy family that nurtures healthy children, less likely to be abused and avoid being pre-maturely in the labour force.”
According to the Labour Minister, the government is constantly working closely with all stakeholders like law enforcement agencies and CSOs to uphold laws on the worst forms of child labour and budget for development of women and children is accorded a high priority.
The consultation was being hosted by The Royal Government of Bhutan, Ministry of Labour and Human Resources, National Commission for Women and Children (NCWC) and National Action Coordinating Group (NACG) on Action Against Violence Against children Bhutan and is being organized by South Asia Initiative to End Violence Against Child (SAIEVAC) Regional Secretariat in collaboration with South Asia Coordinating Group on Action against Violence against Children (SACG). The event is being supported by the international Labour Organization (ILO).
The inaugural session of the South Asia Initiative to end violence against children was launched by the minister for works and human settlement Lyonpo Dorji Choden