Friday, January 27, 2012

Blog #2 Pakistan: Violence, Death Stalk Child Domestic Help

This article is about and 11 year old boy who died in Pakistan while working in a wealthy home.  San Ali worked as a child domestic worker in posh locality in the national capital, Islamabad. On January, 5 he was strangle by Atiya Al Hussian, which was his employer.  Although she and her husband told the police that the child committed suicide, his autopsy suggested that he was strangled. Moreover, the mother then told the police that the child was neglecting her seven month old son while she was resting, in a fit of anger she strangled 11 year old San Ali. There seem to be problems throughout the country like this; in 2003, UNICEF reported that eight million children under the age of 14 were engaged as laborers, in brick kilns, carpet weaving units, agriculture, small industries, and in homes. Many households employ children, some as young as six, which is not prohibited by law in Pakistan. Many children are beaten by their employer for example, a six year old girl body was found in a deserted place, she was beaten to death by employers for urinating on the floor. To date not one has been found guilty. The prosecutors usually buy off the poor parents in out-of courts settlements.

I was amazed by the statement in the article that states in Pakistan culture it was once considered an act of charity to employ poor children. This shows me that our society as a whole need to do better when it comes to providing food, safely and shelter for families well-being. I don’t think its health physically or mentally for children to engage in child labor and hazardous conditions. Although it may be a means to bring more income in the home to poor families, children need to be protected. The article also stated that many times the child is the only worker in the homes which shows that children in this country is left to fend for themselves. Furthermore, the article stated that over the years, Pakistani media have been consistently reporting on the abuse and violence that child domestic labour often suffer at the hands of their employers. As disturbing as it seem there not enough voices speaking up about issues like these. The county has ratified the United Nations Convention on the rights of child but there is no legal validity for it in the country.

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