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Conditions worsen for Pakistani miners

Miners in Pakistan are risking their lives for a meager pay to support their families, and conditions are getting worse, IRIN reports.

"Miners in Pakistan are working in the most horrendous working conditions," Farooq Tariq, spokesperson for the Labour Party of Pakistan, told the publication. "They have virtually no safety equipment and safety measures are never taken care of by the bosses of the mines which are mainly in private hands."

The news outlet reports that most men working as miners come from the poorest provinces in the nation, including the Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa province, and work to provide food security, clothing and adequate shelter for their families. According to the source, a miner typically makes $46 a week.

In March of 2011, more than 43 miners lost their lives after a series of explosions at one of the sites.

Workers are urging the government to pass new laws that would improve the conditions that these men work in, though suggestions seem to be falling on deaf ears.

"We work here, because we have no choice," Rahim Dad Khan, a coal miner from the Shangla District, told the news source. "The air inside the mine is suffocating. We work up to 12 hours a day. Boys as young as 14 toil away too, and no one listens to us if we report a portion of a mine tunnel is crumbling, or that we cannot breathe well."
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