Children are the future of every country, and the new democratic government promised many things, when they came into power, but helping poor children was not one of them. An important question for all of us is how to help these children. We all come across children cleaning car windscreens on the road or picking garbage for sustenance. The number of such children has increased drastically. Children from poverty-stricken communities rush to cars parked on the traffic signals to clean them.

Rag-picking is another form of child labour, and hundreds of children are working as rag-pickers in all major cities. We need to realise that child labor seriously jeopardises children's prospects for a better future. We are committed to Article 32 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) that says: "State Parties recognise the right of the child to be protected from economic exploitation and from performing any work that is likely to be hazardous or to interfere with the child's education, or to be harmful to the child's health or physical, mental, spiritual, moral or social development.”

Nothing of this has been seen in our country, and our children need to be protected, but unfortunately, many people pass ruthless comments and find ways to abuse them in other ways as well. These children, working in the streets are treated brutally, and many end up as criminals. There is a dire need to stop this, or crime will rise exponentially in the coming years.

MIRZA AHSAN ALI BAIG,

Karachi, May 22.