Child domestic slavery


This is the reference of the case of Shan Ali, 11, a child domestic servant allegedly killed by his employers. The FIR (07/2012) has been lodged at Golra Police Station, Islamabad, under Section 302/34 of the PPC and accused employers have been arrested.

As observed/monitored in other such cases, the parents of Shan Ali will get monetary compensation of the murder of their son outside of the court if they are influential. There are various reasons in this regard but the most serious one we have noted is parents’ no interest to pursue the case. Shan’s parents will not pursue the case as they had no interest in the best interests of Shan, therefore, he was sent to work in slavery and he lost his life.

In this case both parties have compromised with each other, where is the government? Why the government didn’t take any initiative in this case? Don’t they think that they should take initiative for that child or should investigate on this?

In the field of child labour, child domestic labour is completely ignored, neglected and overlooked segment with reference to law and administrative measures. At the same time, there is no public awareness about this contemporary form of slavery which deprives children from education, health and the best future.

These salve children work inside homes without or with nominal wage, handle deadly tools and machinery, carry heavy loads and work more than 12 hours a day, without leave and stay far away from their parents.

In Pakistan, since January 2010, more than two dozen death/murder/torture cases have been reported in the newspapers. There are hundreds of such cases of tortures, abuse and exploitations but not reported and known to anyone. It is being observed that every fourth house in Islamabad employs a child as domestic servitude.

All over the world and also by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) child domestic labour is declared worst form of child labour and known as contemporary form of slavery but sadly in Pakistan the plight and slavery of child domestic labourers have not been recognised and realised, therefore, child domestic labour has not been banned in the schedule of banned occupations in the Employment of Children Act (ECA) 1991.

It is responsibility of the state and its departments to protect children from exploitation, abuse, slavery and worst form of child labour under Article 11 of the Constitution of Pakistan.