MULTAN - Speakers at a Child Rights Conference disclosed on Thursday over 10 million children were working as child labourers in Pakistan, asking the government to ensure implementation of child protection laws as well as protect their rights.
The conference was jointly organised by DEEP Organization and Chopal Development Organization.
Through unanimously adopted resolutions, the participants of the conference said that access to education and healthcare facilities, food, congenial atmosphere and development were basic rights of every child and the government.
Speaking on this occasion, national coordinator of Coalition Against Child Labour Hakeem Ghulam Siddique said that poverty, illiteracy, unemployment and high population growth contributed as major factors for increase in child labour.
He said that child labour emerged as an important issue in entire South Asia and it was national duty of every citizen to play his role for its elimination.
He claimed that 70 million children were deprived of their basic rights in Pakistan while over 10 million were in clutches of child labour.
He added that one million children were forced to work as domestic servants on a very meager salary.
He told the participants of the conference that 42 million children could not go to schools because of poverty as 65 percent citizens lived below poverty line.
He regretted that every year 15 to 20 percent children lost their lives because of malnutrition.
Speaking on this occasion, Mian Naem Arshad, Shahid Mahmood Ansari and others said that the reason behind rampant increase in child labour in Pakistan was poverty.
They said that financial problems forced parents to send their children out for work.
They demanded of the government to create literacy and work opportunities for the citizens and lift living standard of a common citizen to prevent children from work.
They stressed the need for creation of awareness on bad impacts of child labour on children.

This news was published in The Nation newspaper. Read complete newspaper of 14-Oct-2011 here.