The Punjab Assembly passed a bill, prohibiting children from working at Brick Kilns, on Monday. The bill recommends a six month jail and a fine of up to Rs.500,000 for employing children of 14 years of age, or even under, to work at brick kilns.
The session that took place to pass this bill, was attended by nearly 30 lawmakers, with a delay of two hours before its commencement. However, the delay didn’t let the agenda of the day go un-achieved.
The bill required an upper limit of Rs50,000 as an advance payment, given to the kiln workers by the owners, before starting their employment. The bill forbade the children, aged under 14, to work at the brick kilns, as the environment of these places is hazardous for their growth, health and education.
Also, during the meeting they held responsible, the owners of the kilns, the children’s parents or guardians, as the main reason behind their employment at such hazardous places. The bill further required a copy of the written contract between the kiln owners and the workers, to be submitted to the concerned police authorities.
Prior to the situation, the opposition expressed doubts over the draft of the bill, calling it ‘incomplete’ and filled with many flaws. Principally, the bill has stood against the fact that the children below the age of fourteen should not be allowed to work at such risky places, and also it should be reconsidered with respect to the Article 25-A of the Constitution that recognizes, free and compulsory education right for all the children from 5 to 16 years of age.
According to Law Minister, Rana Sanaullah, the authorities responsible behind the bill had tried their best to set it according to the laws relating to the children. He said advance installments made to the laborers were the genuine issue and the legislature would bit-by-bit boycott the practice. He said the law would soon spread to the auto workshop division as well.