ISLAMABAD  – Citizens have expressed their concern over the rising menace of child labour in twin cities, saying the ever-increasing poverty in the country is the main reason behind child labour. Citizens said it is quite surprising that child labour exists at the same rate in the federal capital as in the other parts of the country. They said that the lack of opportunities, high rate of population growth, and uneven distribution of resources and outdated social customs are the main factors behind this social menace.Children from the ages of 9 to 18 are almost equally vulnerable to child labour. Children work in the federal capital’s industrial area where they work under extreme pressure and are paid less as compared to other workers.When contacted the International Labour Organization (ILO) officials they told the agency, “We are convinced that hazardous work of children in specified sectors can be eradicated, given a concerted effort by government, employers, workers and civil society”. Pakistan has already taken note-worthy steps that need now to be expanded. There is need to highlight that children do not enter in hazardous forms of child labour. The country will be gaining a new understanding of the extent and nature of hazardous child labour as it is planning to conduct a major new statistical survey in the current year. One of the major activities under the ILO Projects are supporting the Federal Bureau of Statistics in undertaking this survey, they said. There is hard need to give education to employers and workers about occupational risks. It is possible to protect young workers and ensure that the employers are not violating child labour laws, a concern of many international markets. The officials assured the continued support of the ILO to the child labour elimination programme in the country and fullest efforts for setting and enforcing standards; providing training, outreach and education; establishing partnerships; and encouraging continual improvement in workplace for safety and health to the child labour.