LAHORE - Terming the South Asia Labour Conference as farce, kiln workers labour conference leaders said the moot provided sufficient proof that it was an attempt to divert attention of European Union, International Labour Organisation and the rich countries from the prevailing grim working conditions, i.e, child labour, bonded labour, long working hours, unhygienic and unsafe factories, etc. They were addressing an open press conference held outside the Lahore Press Club on Saturday. ‘More than 80 per cent employers violate labour laws in general and pay far less than the government fixed minimum wage rates in particular, yet the Labour Department never tried to charge such employers,’ said Meraj Aslam while addressing the press conference. “As a result of this the gap between bear minimum consumption needs (caloric needs, etc) and wages is widening fast. To cover this void, such workers are forced to take loans which they can’t afford to pay back,” he added. Latif Ansari said: “This vicious cycle not only traps them in massive indebtedness but also force parents to send their children to work and keep children out of schools.’ In our view the government is responsible for building this huge social catastrophe. Unless the government takes serious action in this regard, neither child labour nor 100 per cent school enrolment objectives would be achieved, he said. “Did the government announce any strategy about it in the labour conference? Did the chief minister give any pledge for the implementation of minimum wages in the province? This is a sufficient reason to declare the official labour coThis news was published in The Nation newspaper. Read complete newspaper of 27-Apr-2014 here.