Stories about child labour

Not just a child, a servant

“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 ...

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Why I prefer to be cruel sometimes…

So another International Children’s Day has passed and while it has been celebrated in some countries and some segments of ours, the state of children in Pakistan remains pathetic. Child labour – that persistent, malignant tumour unleashed upon our country during times of apparent prosperity — simply refuses to go away. The media was flooded with much of the same institutional blame-game and vague identification of problems areas that we see regurgitated every year. Politicians are blaming natural disasters for the rampant child labour in their jurisdictions while the Ministry of Labour and Manpower is still deliberating the use of ...

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One small step towards reducing poverty

Today after attending a meeting at the Maritime museum I was headed home when on Shaheed-e-Millat Road signal a kid came up to my window asking to clean my car windscreen. I refused,  so he went on to other cars. A few minutes later on Korangi road signal another kid came, and I refused again. Finally I reached Shahbaz commercial signal and called a kid who was cleaning windscreens. He cleaned my car windscreen as well as the side and back mirror in a minute and a half. I gave him Rs10 and a smile broke out on his face. “Shukrya” ...

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