National Commission on the Rights of Child

NCRC Initiates Consultative Process in KP to Improve the Prohibition of Child Domestic Labour Bill 2024 

Peshawar, [14th December 2023]

The National Commission on the Rights of the Child (NCRC) initiated the consultative process to discuss the Prohibition of Child Domestic Labour Bill 2024 with key stakeholders. 

The Prohibition of Child Domestic Labour Bill 2024 is set to bring about transformative change by strengthening legal measures against those involved in engaging children in domestic labour. By making Child Domestic Labour (CDL) a non-compoundable, non-bailable and cognizable offence, the NCRC aims to send a clear message that the rights and well-being are our top priority.

This bill aims to amend the Pakistan Penal Code, 1860, and the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898, to criminalize child domestic labour and eradicate this pervasive menace. The proposed bill titled the Criminal Amendment (Prohibition of Child Domestic Labor) Bill, 2024, signifies a commitment to protecting the rights and dignity of children throughout Pakistan. 

The bill proposes the insertion of a new section, 374A, into the Pakistan Penal Code, 1860, specifically addressing child domestic labor. This section criminalizes the employment, recruitment, harboring, transportation, or provision of a child below the age of eighteen years for domestic labor. The punishment includes imprisonment ranging from two to seven years and a fine not less than five hundred thousand rupees. The offenses related to child domestic labour are categorized as non-bailable, non-compoundable, and cognizable.

Commencing the journey towards widespread societal change, the NCRC has planned a series of consultations at the provincial level to refine and strengthen the proposed bill. The first of these consultations took place in Peshawar on December 14th, marking a significant step in fostering collaboration with key stakeholders, including government representatives, civil society organizations, and experts in child rights.

The NCRC recognizes the importance of collective input and expertise in shaping effective legislation. The consultation in Peshawar addressed concerns and gathered insights, to improve the proposed bill. 

Commenting on the consultative process, Nadia Bibi, Member Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, NCRC, stated, “This bill reflects our firm commitment to ending the scourge of child domestic labor. By making CDL a non-compoundable and non-bailable offence, we are sending a powerful message that the exploitation of children will not be tolerated. We urge all stakeholders to join hands with us in this critical mission to safeguard the rights and dignity of every child.”

Farrah Ilyas, Child Protection Specialist, UNICEF stated “On behalf of UNICEF, I would like to extend our sincere appreciation to the NCRC – our partner – to have prioritized this issue and for organizing this important consultation. This is truly an important step towards the realization of the right of a child to be protected from domestic labour and putting an end to this abuse and torture that children are being subjected to”.