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Bruised Maid Dies at 12, and Pakistan Seethes

Published: February 5, 2010
© Reprinted from New York Times

The death already seemed like a bitter injustice. A maid died after unexplained injuries she got in the house of her rich employer. But one detail in particular has outraged Pakistanis: she was 12.

Her employer — a lawyer and a former head of the Lahore Bar Association — says she fell down stairs, and died Jan. 22 of complications from a skin disease. Her family claims she was tortured. The employer remains in police custody while they investigate the family’s charges.

Whatever the case, the death of Shazia Masih, a wisp of a girl from a bone-poor family, has served as a vivid reminder of the powerlessness of the poor in Pakistan.

For the full article, click here.

Child labor and poverty are inevitably bound together but unless these issues are addressed, the cycle of poverty cannot be broken. Understandably, families see their children as a tool to escape the desperation of hunger and hopelessness, turning their children out to work for the survival of the family. Not only in Pakistan but around the world, children are sold as open market commodities into the heartless and unsafe worlds of commercial sex, domestic or physical labor.

Once a child enters the labor force, they are bound by the chains of poverty leaving them no opportunity for education and thus fueling the cycle of poverty. This cycle is the root cause of so many children's rights abuses such as lack of healthcare, violence, trafficking and slavery, and so as a global community, we must strive to end global poverty to give children like Shazia a fighting chance at a better life.


corinnasp's picture

As much as we can have an

As much as we can have an idea that situations like this occur every second, it is still melting to hear such a story anytime. Hopefully, we all can become not just know that these things go on, but be consciously aware that our actions-even the most simple daily activities- are connected to others having to go through situations like this or that they have to put their children through these situations. Thank you for posting this and reminding us everyday that life is still far from simply living for many.


ArtByMia's picture

Child labor


This pulls at my heart string and brings a tear to my eyes. these poor children are being used, abused and sacraficed in the name of poverty. Thak you for sharing this story with us. we all benefit from knowing what is happening all around the world and hopefully by bringing awareness their will be change.

Love and light,

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