When they pick up a pair of surgical scissors, doctors may be supporting child labour in Pakistan, a British doctors claims in the British Medical Journal. London-based surgeon Mahmood Bhutta says that Pakistan produces about 20% of the world’s surgical instruments, mostly in the city of Sialkot. About 50,000 people work there producing stainless steel instruments, of whom about 7,700 are children. A pair of scissors may cost about US$80, but the German companies which market them pay the manufacturer only about $1.25. Dr Bhutta proposes that adult employees receive a fair wage so that their children will not have to work. He opposes a boycott because this could send workers deeper into poverty.
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