PAKISTAN has one of the lowest literacy rates in the world, yet no serious efforts have been made to promote literacy. As a consequence, we face several problems, including child labour. The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan estimated in 2005 that there would be 10 to 12 million child workers in Pakistan by 2010-11. But according to an All-Pakistan Labour Force survey, this number has doubled to about 21 million child workers. It shows the gravity of the situation. The main reason is poverty, while the low literacy rate has also contributed to the problem to a large extent.

According to the above survey, over 21 million child labourers between the age of 10 and 14 years are working in the country.

Out of which 27 per cent are girls and 73 per cents are boys. Children who are our future are uneducated, and parents treat them as a burden.

If children are treated badly and brought up in a harsh environment, they would obviously become aggressive. A major issue in Pakistan, which needs to be solved, is child labour. Undoubtedly poverty is the main reason which compels children to work 15 hours a day to make ends meet.

Child labour can never be eliminated until and unless our society and, more importantly, the government shows determination and takes firm steps to overcome the menace.

SAHER ABDUL GHANI Turbat

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