Not just a child, a servant

Published: December 2, 2011
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“You are not just a child, you are a servant. You are not only a girl, you are a servant.”

This statement made by Dr Ambreen Ahmed highlights the sense of insecurity, and powerlessness faced by many girls in Pakistan who are made to work while they are still very young.

“I had never used an iron before and I burnt my hand the first time I was made to iron clothes,” says a girl no older than 12-years-old.

This utter disregard for the safety or rights of young children who are domestic labourers is prevalent in Pakistani society. Many are made to sleep in terraces or the hard floors of kitchens with no more than a piece of cloth for bedding.

“Just look at our helplessness,” says a young girl. “My heart aches at how young I am.”

In this documentary, Samar Minallah Khan highlights the dark aspects of child domestic labour in Pakistan. She documents the unheard voices of children who work in homes. The aim of the documentary is to bring forth the exploitation and lobby for legislation against child domestic labour in Pakistan.

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Samar Minallah

Samar Minallah

A graduate of the University of Cambridge with an MPhil in Anthropology, Samar's interests lie in civil and human rights which she translates to film.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.