The United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) annihilated the charter of its sister organization United Nation International Children’s Emergency Funds (UNICEF) by getting involved children in labour activities in its sub-office at Naguman Nahqi area of metropolitan.
Rabbani khan,13 years old and resident of Daudzai Peshawar, working as a cleaner and tea-boy in the Cold Chain Warehouse set up by UNHCR sub-office in Naguman Nahqi area of Peshawar.
Rabbani was noticed cleaning windowpane at the time of inauguration ceremony of the Cold Chain Warehouse on November,7.
Speaking to Pukhtun Nama, Rabani said he has been working in the sub-office of UNHCR at Naguman Nahqi since 2017.
He added that he had also worked as labor in the construction of sub-office building.
“I am working in the warehouse for Rs500 a day,” he mentioned and added that he works from 08:00 am to 05:00 pm.
He told Pukhtun Nama that he has been unable to continue his education because of his family poor economic condition.
A boy,14, Zahidullah was also seen painting and whitewashing the walls of warehouse.
Zahid told Pukhtun Nama that he belongs Daudzai area of Peshawar and has been employed in UNHCR sub-office for the last one years.
The underage children working at the sub-office of UNHCR clearly states that the renowned organization has been abrogating its own sister organization UNICEF’s charter, constitution article 11(3) of Pakistan and International Labour Organization (ILO) convention No. 138.
According to UNICEF charter a child who is involved in hazardous activities that may compromise his physical, mental, social and educational development would be considered child labour.
The article 11(3) says that ‘no child below the age of 14 years shall be engaged in any factory or mine or any other hazardous employment.
ILO convention No.138 says that minimum age for employment is 15 years.
In an interview with social worker Imran Takar, who has been working on child labour for the last 15 years, told FP that according to 1996 census 1.1 million children are forced to work as labourer in Khyber Pukhtunkhwa (KP).
He said that the census excluded erstwhile Fata and Afghan refugees and those working in informal sectors such as agriculture and street child labours.
He lamented that no census has been done yet after 1996.
Imran stated that 1.8 million children are out of the schools throughout the province which hints that the real number of children involved in labor.
He maintained that according to UNICEF census the number of children involved in labor in Pakistan was 20.5 million.
He also condemned the act of such a reputed organization UNHCR for the abrogation of charter of its sister organization UNICEF
The Public Relation Officer (PRO) of UNHCR sub-office Peshawar, Qaiser Khan Afridi said that he will investigate this matter that either these kids are the employees of UNHCR or provincial government.