19 July 2021

The face of child labor

"Iqbal Masih was born in 1983 in Muridke, a commercial city outside of Lahore in Punjab, Pakistan to a Christian family of low socioeconomic status. At the age of four, he was sent to work by his family to help them pay off their debts. Iqbal's family borrowed 600 rupees (less than US$12.00) from a local employer who owned a carpet weaving business. In return, Iqbal was required to work as a carpet weaver until the debt was paid off. Every day, he would rise before dawn and make his way along dark country roads to the factory, where he and most of the other children were tightly bound with chains to the carpet looms to prevent escape...

At the age of 10, Iqbal escaped his slavery... and attempted to report his employer Ashad to the police, but the police brought him back to the factory seeking a finder's fee for returning escaped bonded labourers. Iqbal escaped a second time and attended the Bonded Labour Liberation Front (BLLF) school for former child slaves and quickly completed a four-year education in only two years. Iqbal helped over 3,000 Pakistani children that were in bonded labour escape to freedom and made speeches about child labour all over the world.
"Iqbal Masih, a brave and eloquent boy who attended several international conferences to denounce the hardships of child weavers in Pakistan, was shot dead with a shotgun while he and some friends were cycling in their village of Muridke, near Lahore."
Iqbal was fatally shot by the "carpet Mafia", while visiting relatives in Muridke on 16 April 1995. He was 12 years old at the time..."

1 comment:

  1. Crap! That took a turn. Felt like the end of Of Mice and Men.


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