A seven year old child worker, Zohra Shah, was killed in Bahria Town Rawalpindi. Her crime? She freed her master’s “expensive parrots”. The masters (Hassan Siddiqui and his wife) were infuriated and decided that what she did was something unforgivable so they started beating her – to death.
When she fell unconscious her murderer took her to the hospital and fled. Zohra scummed to her injuries and the hospital staff called the police and an investigation was underway. After the post-mortem report, they found that not only was Zohra a victim to torture but she had also been raped.
This CHILD was 7 years old.
A 7 year old child is someone that’s just learning about the world and how it works. They’re barely able to comprehend what’s happening and can’t even speak very complex sentences yet.
A 7 year old child cannot be employed as a worker. People who employ them can’t be called employers, they can only be called “masters” because they haven’t got an employee, they bought a slave.
Zohra’s parents were told that she would have a better life with Hassan and his family. They’d treat her as their own daughter, they’d educate her and make sure she’s safe.
This is something almost everyone says who is employing underage children as workers. But this isn’t okay.
You can’t make a child earn a living. Saying that “you’re saving the child” isn’t true. Child labour is banned for a reason. These children are meant to be just that – children. Making them work for you, look after your children, clean your house, hold your heavy shopping bags, sit in the corner while you eat at restaurants isn’t saving them.
Even if you’re one of those households that does treat them well and educate them too, you’re still making them earn it. You’re still employing a child. Furthermore, you’re being part of the culture that makes it okay for people like Hassan to have access to children like Zohra.
Until everyone stops employing children. Little boys and girls like Zohra will continue to be killed and raped. Their lives cannot be worth less than a bunch of parrots. Poor children aren’t just replaceable robots. They’re actual human beings. When everyone decides to stand against this and stops employing (buying) these children, there won’t be any parents supplying them.
We need to put an end to this. We need to save children like Zohra. We cannot turn a blind eye anymore. Stop employing children and call out the people around you who do. They deserve to have a childhood too.