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Thursday, October 22, 1998 Published at 11:04 GMT 12:04 UK

World: South Asia

ILO, Pakistan carpet industry accord to end child labour

The International Labour Organisation has signed an agreement with several big carpet manufacturers in Pakistan, to phase out gradually the use of child labour.

The deal aims to withdraw some eight thousand children in thirty villages from the carpet industry and provide educational opportunities for them instead.

It follows a similar agreement signed last year with the sports goods industry.

But the BBC Islamabad correspondent says families in Pakistan have been using children to make carpets for generations and any agreement will be difficult to monitor.

He says the carpet industry is a major foreign exchange earner in Pakistan and manufacturers are aware they have to be sensitive to the ethical requirements of foreign buyers.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service

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