Mr. Speaker, Iqbal Masih, a Pakistani child labourer, was sold as a slave at the age of four and spent six years of his life chained to a loom.
In 1995, Iqbal was freed from horrible conditions of forced labour. He took action and spoke out against child labour. Iqbal Masih's efforts to stop child labour made him famous on the international stage but, sadly, he was killed in 1995 for standing up for children's rights.
In 2010, there were still 215 million children—that is one in seven—who were working. More than half of all those children are exposed to the worst kinds of child labour. They work in dangerous environments, as slaves or in illegal activities. Child labour robs them of their childhood, potential, dignity and basic rights.
Every year, on June 12, we mark World Day Against Child Labour.
I want to dedicate my speaking time to the memory of Iqbal Masih, to all young Canadians and to organizations that are involved in the daily fight against child labour.