Not just a child, a servant

"You are not just a child, you are a servant. You are not only a girl, you are a servant."

Samar Minallah December 02, 2011
"You are not just a child, you are a servant. You are not only a girl, you are a servant."

This statement made by Dr Ambreen Ahmed highlights the sense of insecurity, and powerlessness faced by many girls in Pakistan who are made to work while they are still very young.
"I had never used an iron before and I burnt my hand the first time I was made to iron clothes," says a girl no older than 12-years-old.

This utter disregard for the safety or rights of young children who are domestic labourers is prevalent in Pakistani society. Many are made to sleep in terraces or the hard floors of kitchens with no more than a piece of cloth for bedding.
"Just look at our helplessness," says a young girl. "My heart aches at how young I am."

In this documentary, Samar Minallah Khan highlights the dark aspects of child domestic labour in Pakistan. She documents the unheard voices of children who work in homes. The aim of the documentary is to bring forth the exploitation and lobby for legislation against child domestic labour in Pakistan.

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Samar Minallah A graduate of the University of Cambridge with an MPhil in Anthropology, Samar's interests lie in civil and human rights which she translates to film.
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.


Zainab Makki Wajood | 12 years ago | Reply Dear Adrian, i could agree with you more about the illiteracy and the part in plays in forcing poor ppl to send their kids to such extremes...but i cant help but wonder about the employers or exploiters of such poverty. We are educated.... we have seen the world and are able to tell the difference between a child and an adult....then why dont we put an end to this or take an initiative even on an individual level to make a difference in our society. I am sure we can put a child in school today and leave a positive mark of the child's life forever rather than scarring it for life. Do we really want to make a difference? is a question all those who employ these children should ask themselves. Samar has brought it to our attention and knowledge now how we use it is our choice!
Shams Yousafzai | 12 years ago | Reply Madam You have raised a very important issue of domestic child labour. The documentary produced by you is stunning and very impressive and it makes one to rise and work for the rescue of the hundreds of thousands innocent children involved in this domestic child labour. I think there should be a law which propose capital punishment for those involved in this business which is a crime in fact. I assure every support to you in this Holy War please
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