Domestic workers’ abuse – 13 Feb 2023

A despicable act of violence took the life of an innocent 11-year-old domestic worker

Time and again, a despicable act of violence rears its ugly head, this time taking the life of an innocent 11-year-old domestic worker. The Karachi police have managed to arrest the woman who allegedly committed this heinous crime after the father of the deceased minor filed a FIR under Section 302, 324, and 337-A of the Pakistan Penal Code.

Hailing from Tharparkar, the father had sent all three of his children to work in Karachi in order to make ends meet. He later found out, after the death of the youngest, that all three were being subjected to inhumane torture and violence. They were beaten so cruelly, with heated tongs and pliers, that another brother has “lost his senses.” Such can only be the job of a barbarian, not of a human being with a conscience. Moral depravity has reached new limits and a mere Rs15,000 — salary for each boy being given to the family — means that you get to do whatever you want with another helpless human being. While the incident has incited outrage and protest from the victim’s family and local village residents, justice can only be dispensed by state institutions and those in power. Politicians have come out in support, however only relevant legal action will soothe the bereaved family.

Even though a legislative framework supports the plight of domestic workers in Sindh, continued instances of sheer barbarity call for serious reforms at the ground level. Whatever happened to the initiative of registering the particulars of domestic? A door-to-door drive must be initiated to register all domestic workers, including the houses they work in. The labor department must periodically check on the condition of these workers and make sure that they are not being exploited or tortured.

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