Iqbal Masih was born in a small village in rural Pakistan, his father abandoned the family. Iqbal's mother struggled to support her children as a housecleaner, but could not. When he was four years old, Iqbal was sold for $16 into bonded labour at a carpet factory. He worked 12 hours a day and was horribly undernourished and beaten by the foreman many times.
When Iqbal was nine years old, a local labour rights organization helped him escape the factory. He was given a place at a school for freed child labourers in Lahore where he'd be safe. Iqbal began telling other child labourers about the law in Pakistan that made bonded labour illegal-they had never heard about this law. When children started to follow Iqbal's example and escape the factories, the owners threatened Iqbal and his family. But he didn't back down. At age 12, he travelled to Sweden and the U.S. to speak out against child labour. When he returned to Pakistan in April, 1995, Iqbal was shot and killed.
Iqbal's story reflects the lives of over 200 million children around the world who have been forced to give up school, sports, play and sometimes even their families and homes to work under dangerous, harmful, and abusive conditions.
DEFINING CHILD LABOUR:
According to the United Nations and the International Labor Organization, child labor is to be considered if:
“...States Parties recognize the right of the child to be protected from economic exploitation and from performing any work that is likely to be hazardous or to interfere with the child's education, or to be harmful to the child's health or physical, mental, spiritual, moral or social development.”
(UN stipulation in article 32 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child).
Thus, child labour basically means when you devoid children of their basic rights and ask them to work forcefully.
Child labour was not new to the world but it is believed that during the 1780’s and 1840’s there