ASIA/PAKISTAN - Lawyer Sandhu: "Justice and prayers for little Badal"

Tuesday, 16 July 2019 human rights   child labor   slavery   childhood   civil society   religious minorities   minors  

Faisalabad (Agenzia Fides) - "I will offer free legal assistance to little Badal’s family, the Christian child killed in recent days in the area of Faisalabad. I visited and brought my condolences to the family, ensuring the personal and professional commitment that Justice is done". Until now it is an unpunished murder. We encourage every form of solidarity and prayer for this Christian family who is devastated by the pain": this was declared to Agenzia Fides by Khalil Tahir Sandhu, Catholic lawyer from Faisalabad, former provincial minister for Human Rights in Punjab, currently Chairman of the Standing Committee on Human Rights and Minority Affairs in the Parliament of Punjab. The lawyer is looking into the case of Badal Masih, the 12-year-old Christian boy employed as a waste collector in a landfill in Rasheed Abad, a neighborhood on the outskirts of Faisalabad. As lawyer Sandhu confirms to Fides, the boy was raped and killed in recent days by Muhammad Imran and Muhammad Ikram, due to a small debt. "I presented the case to the attention of the Minister of Justice and the Prime Minister of Punjab. It is intolerable violence. It is urgent to do justice and punish the guilty", notes Sandhu.
Badal, who was paid roughly 100 rupees a day, had asked the employer for a loan of 180 rupees for some necessary expenses for the family. Due to the fact that he was unable to repay him immediately, Muhammad Imran and his brother Muhammad Ikram started to beat him, sexually abused him and then killed him.
"Slave work" and child labor, modern forms of legalized slavery, are plagues affecting Pakistani society. In Pakistan, 88% of workers, employed in different sectors, are between 7 and 14 years old. In the country, slavery was abolished in 1992 and the law requires local government officials to investigate labor relations in the form of slavery and to free victims, especially minors, but this rarely happens. (PA) (Agenzia Fides, 16/7/2019)