Every 4th house in capital has a child domestic servant
It is unfortunate that every fourth house in Islamabad employees a child as domestic servant, who works for kids and elders at the cost of his/her own childhood, health and education.
These children are brought from poor parts of the country such as Rahimyar Khan and Multan to serve as domestic servants.
Reacting to murder of Shan Ali, 11, domestic worker, who was tortured to death by his employees, Society for the Protection of the Rights of the Child (SPARC) Friday urged all provincial governments and Islamabad Capital Territory Administration to take immediate steps to notify Child Domestic Labour (CDL) in the schedule of banned occupations under the Employment of Children Act (ECA) 1991.
SPARC termed Shan’s murder another addition to the count of the child domestic workers who were tortured to death by their employers in the country. FIR of the case has been registered and Islamabad police has arrested the accused employers.
SPARC has strongly condemned the incident and has demanded both the federal and provincial governments to take solid measures to check growing violence against child domestic workers.
The torture to death of Shan is the 16th such case of murder of child domestic worker reported in the media since January 2010 starting from the death of Shazia Masih. Other cases were reported in which children received lifelong injuries as a result of torture meted out by their employers. “This shows that how hazardous child domestic labour is,” said the SPARC statement.
SPARC regretted that despite outrage after Shazia Masih’s case in Lahore, other innocent lives continue to be affected by the heinous practice of Child Domestic Labour. “This is largely the result of impunity with which employers exploit and abuse children working in their homes.” In most cases, the perpetrators are never brought to justice and victims or their families are pressurized into settling out of court. SPARC hopes that the effective implementation of the constitutional provision (Article 25-A) about free and compulsory education for children of five to 16 years could also be a good preventive step.
After the 18th amendment, ECA 1991 has to be adopted by the provinces and the federal capital before June 30, 2011. Only Punjab has adopted the Employment of Children Amendment Act while other provinces and Islamabad capital territory have to adopt it.- INFN