Labour dispute by child employee

We are a non-governmental organisation dealing with child protection and have been approached by a child who was employed on a two-year contract as a gardener but his contract has been terminated on account of what the employer called laziness. We would like to get your opinion whether under law, a child employee can lodge a labour dispute against the employer directly or he is required to use a next friend.
PN, Dar

Rule 21 of the Law of the Child (Child Employment) Regulations, 2012 provides guidance for institution of employment disputes by a child employee. The Regulations require a child who is aggrieved with termination of his employment to refer the dispute to the Commission for Mediation and Arbitration in accordance with the procedure prescribed under the labour laws. Although the Commission does not sit as a juvenile Court, the Regulations demand that the procedure for institution and settlement of employment disputes by a child employee be modified in order to guarantee child protection. In that regard, a child is required to refer an employment dispute to the Commission through a parent or guardian or anybody who signed the employment contract on his behalf at the time of taking the job as a next friend.

In the absence of such a person, the child may refer the dispute to the Commission through any person he chooses to be his next friend for the purpose of referring the dispute to the Commission. At the time of taking the child’s evidence during the arbitration hearing, the procedure used by the Commission should be friendly to the child as if the child is giving evidence in a juvenile Court. Only the child’s next friend, lawyer, the arbitrator and the opposing party will be allowed to be present in the arbitration during the hearing session.