National Commission on the Rights of Child

NCRC Spearheads Consultation on Child Domestic Labour Bill 2024 in Punjab

Lahore, [20th 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. This is the second of these consultations which took place in Lahore on December 20th, marking a significant step in fostering collaboration with key stakeholders, including government representatives, civil society organizations, academia and experts in child rights and law.

Ayesha Raza Farooq, Chairperson, NCRC said “We believe that the Prohibition of Child Domestic Labour Bill 2024 is a pivotal step towards eradicating the menace of child domestic labor. Through collective efforts and collaboration with stakeholders, we aim to create a legal framework that not only deters offenders but also safeguards the rights and dignity of every child in Pakistan.”

Sarah Ahmed, Chief Guest, representing Punjab Child Protection Welfare Bureau said “The introduction of the Criminal Amendment (Prohibition of Child Domestic Labor) Bill, 2024, is a crucial development in addressing the urgent need to protect children from exploitation in domestic labor. This initiative reflects a collective commitment to ensuring that every child enjoys a safe and nurturing environment, free from any form of exploitation or abuse.”

The NCRC recognizes the importance of collective input and expertise in shaping effective legislation. After the bill was presented by Mr. Miqdad Mehdi, the participants shared their valuable input and suggestions in detail. Mehek Naeem, Member Punjab NCRC thanked the participants for their recommendations and reflected on how this consultation in Lahore addressed concerns and gathered insights, to improve the proposed bill.