Our children are the future of Pakistan, but unfortunately, they are suffering throughout the country. They face violence and mental, physical and sexual abuse, and are exploited for labour at a tender age. Most children belonging to underprivileged or rural backgrounds are suffering from malnourishment and inadequate provision of education and healthcare. This is mostly because of poverty, due to which children start working at a very young age to bring in an income for the family. Some even start to beg and are forced to live as street children in big cities. Hence, the rate of mortality for children is much higher in interior Sindh, and the under-five mortality rate was recorded at 10.4 per cent in the province in 2014.

This horrid condition of our children needs to be addressed before our country takes a turn for the worst. We must work on policies and their implementation to protect children from exploitation, labour and abuse. Facilities need to be created to grant safety and shelter to street children and to integrate them into society. The government should take these steps urgently and help all those who need protection against the harsh social realities.

SUMAYYA ARIF,

Karachi, May 17.