A short story and 158 million slave children.
158 million children – workers, slaves and the tragic murder of little Iqbal, who dared… to talk.
About 158 million worldwide, the number of children aged 5-14, working. This figure does not include children working in their homes.
One of the six children on the planet works and usually performs dangerous tasks, or under miserable conditions. Work in mines, work with chemicals and insecticides in agriculture or work with hazardous machinery.
Usually children’s work is camouflaged behind the walls of laboratories, factories or even houses, in which children work, as domestic helpers… Other times they are “disappeared” due to height between plantations swallowing and breathing the chemicals of spraying with agricultural medicines. Some are invisible in the basements of slavery where they sew, assemble and so on.
Millions of girls work as domestic helpers and are defencelessly exposed to the risk of sexual exploitation and abuse.
Every year, 22,000 children die from work-related accidents.
Thousands of other children are forced daily to suffer mental and emotional damage as they are forced into long, inhuman labour.
A little story
The unjust life and unjust loss of little Iqbal, who dared to raise his little “huge” fist.
Iqbal Masih was born in a small village in rural Pakistan, but soon after ,his father left the family. His mother fought hard, but as a woman in Pakistan, it was impossible to make it.
The child, when he was four years old, was sold for $16 to perform forced labor in a carpet factory.
He worked 12 hours a day, stayed fast to death and the foreman often beat him up.
At the age of 9, a local labor rights organization helped him escape from the factory. He was given a place at a school for freed working children in Lahore, where he would be safe. Iqbal began to tell the other child workers that under Pakistani law forced labour was illegal. The other kids had never heard of this law. When the others began to follow Iqbal’s example and escape the factories, their owners began to threaten Iqbal and his family. But he didn’t back down. At the age of 12, he travelled to Sweden and the US to speak out against child labour. When he returned to Pakistan in April 1995, Iqbal was shot and killed….!!!
Iqbal’s story isn’t the only one. More than 200 million children around the world have been forced to leave school, play and sometimes even their families to work in dangerous and abusive conditions.
Not to mention the most repulsive phenomenon on earth… That of child prostitution… In another article!
Child labour is considered exploitation by the United Nations and the International Labour Organisation. UN Article 32 talks about child labour: “States Parties recognise the right of the child to be protected from economic exploitation and from the performance of any work likely to be dangerous or to interfere with the child’s education, or to harm the child’s health or physical, mental, mental, moral or social development. “