Iqbal Masih Essay

818 Words4 Pages
Iqbal Masih Iqbal Masih brought light upon an extremely disturbing violation of human rights, bonded child labour. He experienced the horrors of child labour first hand. He became a public activist at the very young age of 10. He was murdered at the mere age of 12 because of what he believed in. Iqbal was born in Muridke, a rural village in Pakistan. Following his birth his father abandoned him. To support the family, his mother worked as a maid. This meagre wage was not enough to feed her multiple children. The family was sinking into debt. In 1986, Iqbal's brother needed to get married. In order to pay for the wedding, the family loaned money from a local employer. The amount borrowed was the equivalent of $12. In return, Iqbal, 4 years old at the time, had to work for the employer that provided the family with the money. In other words, Iqbal was sold off to the employer. This system of loans is very unfair and the employer has all the control. Iqbal was required to work 16 hours a day in a carpet weaving factory. The food he ate was added to the original loan. If he made mistakes, the loan was also increased. The loan also grew exponentially due to interest. After 6 years of working in the factory, the loan had grown to over $260. The reason as to why such young children like Iqbal are used for carpet weaving is that their small fingers allow for the smallest, tightest and perfect knots. The working conditions that Iqbal was in were unimaginable. The 4 year old had to sit on a wooden bench and tie millions of knots in a specific pattern. The room he worked in was extremely small and hot. This was so the quality of the wool is not hindered. Iqbal was also not allowed to talk to the other bonded children. If Iqbal and the other children did not make the perfect carpet, talked back or were sick, they would be punished. Punishments included beatings, being
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