This comes one day late. Yesterday, April 16th, was the International Day Against Child Slavery. From the Solidaridad campaign:
On April 16th 1995, Easter Sunday, Iqbal Masih was assassinated. In memory of Iqbal, symbol of the 400 million child slaves, we support April 16th as International Day Against Child Slavery.
Iqbal was a 12-year-old Pakistani boy, a Catholic in a Muslim majority country. He worked as a slave child from the age of 4 for local textile mafias. Along with other children who were trade unionists, he achieved his freedom and began an associated struggle to release millions of child slaves worldwide. This gave him international recognition, and thus he spoke before parliaments and universities in North America and Europe, denouncing the responsibility that the inhabitants of the North have for the misery of children in the South.
When he received an award in Boston he said he would not use the money to build a dinning-hall but to build a school. His intention was to become a lawyer and continue the struggle for the rights of children. Such an affront to the mafia could not be forgiven, and on his return, he was assassinated on Easter Sunday 1995. His death revealed to the world the plight of more than 400 million children living under diverse forms of slavery.
Nineteen years later, the torch lit by the little fighter is being taken up worldwide and events and initiatives to abolish child slavery and to have April 16th declared as International Day Against Child Slavery spring up everywhere.
The Pakistani textile mafia murdered him at age 12 because he had denounced them abroad “Do not buy carpets made by child slaves!” he said in Boston when he received an award for this fight.
He laid down his life for exposing the causes of this crime.
For further information, read: Dossier on Child Slavery
Tags: child slavery