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Mansoor: Some interesting stuff about slavery in Pakistan

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in response to reader comment: Even an acid can't wash your face

Submitted by Plato (India), May 5, 2008 at 08:51

Mansoor, you wrote to Proud Indian:

Mansoor, just Google ‘human trafficking pakistan' and see what comes up. The blessings of the internet are available to all. You should have taken the precaution of googling the same subject about Pakistan. I have posted just one of the articles I found there. Read it in its entirety. Just remember what I told you several times about living in a glass house and pelting stones at others.

Read what I have underlined. Tauba, tauba. Read about what goes on in Pakistan, the land of the pure.

Human Trafficking & Modern-day Slavery

Islamic Republic of Pakistan [ Country-by-Country Reports ]

The Islamic Republic of Pakistan [map] is located in S Asia and is bordered by India (E), the Arabian Sea (S), Iran (SW), and Afghanistan (W & N). In the northeast, the territory of Kashmir, borders on China. Islamabad is the capital, and Karachi the largest city. Pakistan is composed of four provinces and two federal territories, one of which is known as the Tribal Areas along the central Afghanistan border. The Tribal Areas are essentially autonomous, and are governed largely by tribal traditions and councils. Nearly a third of the country's 140 million people live in poverty. The girl child faces greater risks to survival, is more subject to violence and abuse, and has less access to education, proper nutrition and health services. The low status of children and women is a manifestation of low literacy levels, wide gaps between legislation and enforcement, and limited participation in civil society.

Pakistan is a source, destination, and transit country for men, women, and children trafficked for the purposes of sexual exploitation and involuntary servitude. Pakistani women and men migrate voluntarily to the Gulf, Iran, Turkey, and Greece for work as domestic servants or construction workers. Once abroad, however, some find themselves in situations of involuntary servitude when faced with overwhelming recruitment and transportation fees, restrictions on their movement, and physical or sexual abuse. There were no new confirmed reports of the trafficking of Pakistani boys to the Middle East to serve as camel jockeys, but some NGOs contend that Pakistani children are trafficked to the Gulf for sexual exploitation. Pakistan faces a significant internal trafficking problem reportedly involving thousands of women and children trafficked to settle debts and disputes or forced into sexual exploitation or domestic servitude. Unconfirmed estimates of Pakistani victims of bonded labor are in the millions. Women and children from Bangladesh, India, Burma, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgz Republic, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan are also trafficked to Pakistan for sexual exploitation and involuntary servitude. In addition, Bangladeshi, Sri Lankan, Nepali, and Burmese women are trafficked through Pakistan. - U.S. State Dept Trafficking in Persons Report, June, 2007 [full country report]

CAUTION: The following links have been culled from the web to illuminate the situation in Pakistan. Some of these links may lead to websites that present allegations that are unsubstantiated or even false. No attempt has been made to validate their authenticity or to verify their content.

(Mansoor, I have italicized and underlined the cautionary note)

*** FEATURED ARTICLES ***

Slavery in the 21st century

Bonded labour otherwise known as debt slavery is rampant in Pakistan. The system works as follows. Desperately poor families go to a feudal employer usually a brick kiln owner or a carpet manufacturer and ask them for a loan, perhaps to pay for medical treatment for a sick child.

In return for the loan, the entire family is turned into the private property of the employer. They are forced to work long hours for pitiful wage and half of these wages are kept by the factory owner as payment towards the loan. The loan may take a generation or more to pay off. But until it is paid, the family are held in slavery.

Iqbal had been sold by his mother to a carpet manufacturer at the age of four. For years he spent twelve hours a day, seven days a week working in carpet factories for a pittance. He eventually rebelled against his conditions and became a major figure in the BLLF. At the age of 12 he was traveling Pakistan addressing mass meetings and leading demos of thousands of children against industrial slavery. To this day, his murder has never been satisfactorily explained.

Contemporary Forms of Slavery in Pakistan

SUMMARY - Millions of workers in Pakistan are held in contemporary forms of slavery. Throughout the country employers forcibly extract labor from adults and children, restrict their freedom of movement, and deny them the right to negotiate the terms of their employment. Employers coerce such workers into servitude through physical abuse, forced confinement, and debt-bondage. The state offers these workers no effective protection from this exploitation. Although slavery is unconstitutional in Pakistan and violates various national and international laws, state practices support its existence. The state rarely prosecutes or punishes employers who hold workers in servitude. Moreover, workers who contest their exploitation are invariably confronted with police harassment, often leading to imprisonment under false charges.

*** ARCHIVES ***

U.S. Dept of Labor Bureau of International Labor Affairs

INCIDENCE AND NATURE OF CHILD LABOR - Pakistan is a source, transit, and destination country for child trafficking victims. Girls are trafficked into Pakistan, primarily from Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Iran, Burma, Nepal, and Central Asia, for the purposes of sexual exploitation and bonded labor. Girls are also trafficked internally for commercial sexual exploitation and other types of exploitative labor. Boys studying at local madrassas (Islamic theological schools) are recruited, often forcibly, as child soldiers to fight with Islamic militants in Afghanistan and Kashmir. …

Bur of Democracy, Human Rights & Labor - Country Reports on Human Rights Practices - 2005

TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS – Although no accurate statistics on trafficking existed, the country was a source, transit, and destination country for trafficked persons. Women and girls were trafficked from Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Iran, Burma, Nepal, and Central Asia for forced commercial sexual exploitation and bonded labor in the country based on erroneous promises of legitimate jobs…... Women and children from rural areas were trafficked to urban centers for commercial sexual exploitation and labor. In some cases families sold these victims into servitude, while in other cases they were kidnapped. Women were trafficked from East Asian countries and Bangladesh to the Middle East via the country. Traffickers bribed police and immigration officials to facilitate passage. During the year authorities prosecuted governmental officers and arrested FIA inspectors. A complete tally of such actions was not available.

Horrific fate awaits children spurned by society

"Saddar is the hub of street children from all areas of Karachi," says Aqsa Zainab of Azad Foundation, adding that child abusers are mostly found near shrines where ‘langar' is distributed or near railway stations where they arrive from other cities.

Pak one of the key sources of women trafficking in world: UN report

A UN report has described Pakistan as the "one of the key sources of women trafficking" in the world. It said that India had also lately emerged as a key destination and transit point for global trafficking of women and girls.

Indo-Pak girls forced into prostitution

In a startling case of organised women trafficking that has come to light, Pakistani and Indian girls aged between 11 and 13 are being smuggled to the Middle East countries for being forced into prostitution there. The girls, who are shown as aged between 20 and 22 on their passports, are brought to these countries on the pretext of getting them attracting jobs. - htcp

US Report Lauds Pak Steps Against Human Trafficking

The US State Department has praised Pakistan's efforts in combating human trafficking and that the Pakistan government is moving in the right direction to tackle the menace.
The interim report has particularly acknowledged improvement in conviction rate of human traffickers and performance of inter-ministerial committee.

Girls In Iran Being Sold In Pakistan On Daily Basis

At least 54 Iranian girls and young women, between the ages of 16 and 25, are sold on the streets of Karachi in Pakistan on a daily basis, according to report outlining the latest statistics. The report also revealed that there are at present at least 300,000 runaway girls in Iran, adding that the estimated number of women under the absolute poverty line was more than eight million.

Child camel jockeys find hope

Children from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sudan are still being smuggled to the United Arab Emirates to work as camel jockeys, despite a law passed two years ago banning their use. …. Instead, says Ansar Burney, the boys often arrive with broken hands or broken legs. And many, he says, have been sodomized.

Pakistan's slave trade

Servitude exists in many forms in Pakistan. Over the past two decades, hundreds of thousands of Afghan families — eager to flee 20 years of war and three years of drought — have sought safe haven in Pakistan, only to spend the rest of their lives working to pay off the debts they accumulated to get there. ……

Pakistan Womens Issues

Women are being sold like animals in Pakistani markets. The trade is being encouraged by corrupt officials and politicians in the Sindh province of the country. Anti human practices are taking place in markets of Thar and other parts of Sindh under protection of influential politicians. The buyers of these unfortunate women fix their prices after examining and scanning their bodies. They humiliate and sexually harass these women in public.

Slavery in the 21st century

Bonded labour otherwise known as debt slavery is rampant in Pakistan. The system works as follows. Desperately poor families go to a feudal employer usually a brick kiln owner or a carpet manufacturer and ask them for a loan, perhaps to pay for medical treatment for a sick child.

Modern Day Slavery Fact Sheet

The most common form of slavery is debt bondage, in which a human being becomes collateral against a loan. With a massive population boom in regions of staggering poverty, some families have nothing to pledge for a loan but their own labor. With inflated interest rates, debts are often inherited, ensnaring generations. 15 to 20 million slaves are in debt bondage in Bangladesh, India, Nepal, and Pakistan.

Facts & Figures

PAKISTAN - • Young children whose parents take money in advance for their work on carpet looms are victims of the "peshgi" or debt-bondage system in Pakistan. They are paid half the wages of older workers and are not allowed to leave the premises until the debt is fully paid. Older workers sexually abuse these children. (A Rapid Assessment of Bonded Labour in the Carpet Industry of Pakistan, International Labour Office, March 2004).

Saudi Religious Leader Calls for Slavery's Legalization

Muslims, in contrast, still think the old way. Slavery still exists in a host of majority-Muslim countries (especially Sudan and Mauritania, also Saudi Arabia and Pakistan) and it is a taboo subject. To enable pious Muslims to avoid interest, an Islamic financial industry worth an estimated $150 billion has developed.

The challenge ahead is clear: Muslims must emulate their fellow monotheists by modernizing their religion with regard to slavery, interest and much else. No more fighting jihad to impose Muslim rule. No more endorsement of suicide terrorism. No more second-class citizenship for non-Muslims.

In Pakistan, 'slavery' persists

"Once the hari [peasant] is caught in debt then he and his family becomes virtual prisoners of the feudal lord," says Nasreen Pathan with Pakistan-based Human Rights Commission. "Peasants are illiterate and cannot keep account, and the interest on the loan increases on the whims and wishes of feudal lords and their men."……

Stop Child Slave Auctions in Pakistan

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

"Sale of Children Thrives in Pakistan," Andrew Bushell, Washington Times

As the war in Afghanistan continues, many children fleeing into Pakistan face a life worse than one under the Taliban: slavery. Desperate and starving, these Afghan child refugees are sold to or abuducted by middlemen.

They are then sold again in bustling slave auctions to the highest bidder. The boys are used as domestic or manual laborers; some are shipped to the Persian Gulf, where they are used as camel jockeys. The price for the girls is euphemized as a dowry. But they never marry; instead, the girls are used for sex - in a brothel, as a concubine, or in a harem.

Factbook on Global Sexual Exploitation - Pakistan

Auctions of girls are arranged for three kinds of buyers: rich visiting Arabs (sheiks, businessmen, visitors, state-financed medical and university students), the rich local gentry, and rural farmers. (CATW - Asia Pacific "Trafficking in Women and Prostitution in the Asia Pacific".

The Enslavement of Dalit and Indigenous Communities in India, Nepal and Pakistan through Debt Bondage [PDF]

SUMMARY: This paper describes the gross and continuing violation of the rights of millions of people in India, Pakistan and Nepal1, who are trapped in debt bondage and forced to work to repay loans. Their designation as persons belonging outside the Hindu caste system is a major determining factor of their enslavement. Evidence from all three countries shows that the vast majority (80%-98%) of bonded labourers are from communities designated as "untouchable", to whom certain occupations are assigned, or from indigenous communities. In the same way that caste status is inherited, so debts are passed on to the succeeding generations.

Modern Slavery - Human bondage in Africa, Asia, and the Dominican Republic

SHACKLED LABORERS IN PAKISTAN - Many of the bonded laborers are shackled in leg-irons in Pakistan. Though much of the debt these cane-harvesters have incurred is real, the practice of exchanging human labor for landowners' loans is illegal.

In a 1992 law passed by the Pakistani government, landlords are barred from offering loans in exchange for work or to hold workers hostage to their debts. The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan has freed approximately 7,500 bonded laborers since 1995……

Bonded Child Labour in Pakistan

Sakina* is 12 years old and works with her family as a bonded labourer for a landlord in Umerkot district in Sindh Province, Pakistan. Her family needed money and accepted wages in advance from a landlord. Over time they became trapped, and now work just to pay a debt that grows each year…..

The New Slavery: An Interview with Kevin Bales

Bales: Debt bondage is the most common form of slavery in the world today, particularly in Pakistan and India. It's also illegal, but tends to be a little more adaptable to modern economics. Here's how it works: A person borrows some money and pledges his or her labor as collateral against that loan. The length and nature of the service are not defined, and the profits from the slave's labor don't reduce the original debt: that money automatically belongs to the person who made the loan in the first place.

India who've been bonded for four generations on one debt: Great-grandfather borrowed thirty dollars, and Great-grandson is still working to pay it off. In a sense, this resembles chattel slavery, because it's passed down through generations, except the rationale for the slavery is the debt…….

Modern Day Slavery Around The World

Slavery takes different forms in different lands. In Pakistan and India there is debt bondage. Poor people are tricked with promises of good jobs, but they are isolated and must deal with their employer in every way. ……

Bonded Labour in Pakistan

However, in 1999 we are obliged to conclude that, despite temporary progress following the Supreme Court's judgment, debt bondage remains both widespread and virtually unchallenged by the Government of Pakistan. Indeed, it is both remarkable and tragic how little government officials have been willing to do to enforce the country's laws and to bring an end to debt bondage, and how willingly they appear to tolerate its persistence.

Contemporary Forms of Slavery in Pakistan

SUMMARY - Millions of workers in Pakistan are held in contemporary forms of slavery. Throughout the country employers forcibly extract labor from adults and children, restrict their freedom of movement, and deny them the right to negotiate the terms of their employment. Employers coerce such workers into servitude through physical abuse, forced confinement, and debt-bondage. The state offers these workers no effective protection from this exploitation. Although slavery is unconstitutional in Pakistan and violates various national and international laws, state practices support its existence. The state rarely prosecutes or punishes employers who hold workers in servitude. Moreover, workers who contest their exploitation are invariably confronted with police harassment, often leading to imprisonment under false charges.

All material used herein reproduced under the fair use exception of 17 USC ยง 107 for noncommercial, nonprofit, and educational use

Human Trafficking in [Pakistan] [other countries] Street Children in [Pakistan] [other countries] Child Prostitution in [Pakistan] [other countries]

My dear Mansoor, did you find the article above enlightening. I repeat do not throw stones if your house is made of glass.

Regards

Plato

Submitting....

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