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    Posted: 10-Jun-2006 at 22:55

PAKISTAN'S SLAVE TRADE 

Afghan refugees sold into prostitution; indentured servitude flourishes; scenes from a slave auction BY ANDREW BUSHELL

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- CHILD ENDANGERMENT: impoverished Afghan refugees put their children to work in Pakistan's brick and carpet factories. The truly desperate may sell a child they cannot feed into slavery. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- JAMRUD, PAKISTAN — The world is watching. America’s intervention in Afghanistan has not only provided Pakistan with a rare opportunity to court the world’s only superpower, it has also exposed Pakistan to the scrutiny of the Western press. This, at precisely the moment when General Pervez Musharraf, who became president only in June 2001, is struggling to cultivate democratic culture in a country still reeling from the reforms of General Zia ul-Haq in the late 1970s. By any measure, Musharraf has a long road ahead. Precious few Americans know anything about the history of Pakistan, much less that ul-Haq’s reforms consolidated conservative Islam’s stranglehold on the national imagination.

Fewer still know that, in the process of imposing Islamic law on the land, he created a culture of servitude for the poor. Among other things, ul-Haq’s cultural reforms supported the creation of madrassas, religious secondary schools that instill Islamic fundamentalist values among the poorer classes — and that ultimately led to the creation of the Taliban. Not only did the madrassas teach that women must serve their husbands, but that children should serve their elders. In many cases, the service of young Pakistani boys to their elders also includes the provision of sexual favors. 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. They do so by becoming indentured laborers, often at brick factories, and by sending their children to carpet factories that crave small fingers. Indentured servitude is not only legal but ubiquitous in Pakistan, and servant culture thrives: the wealthy can have a driver, three maids, a cook, and a night watchman for less than $75 a month. And then there are the slaves. Many Afghan families cross into Pakistan through the lawless tribal areas in the North West Frontier Province (NWFP). It’s a harsh climate, and they have no contacts, no food, and no money, which leaves them wide open to the predations of slavers. Pakistan’s tribal areas — there are seven in the NWFP and several autonomous cities — are the last vestiges of the British Raj’s failure to conquer Afghanistan.

A series of agreements ("treaties" is perhaps too strong a word) includes the tribal areas as part of Pakistan, but confirm their complete autonomy from Pakistani law. The political culture, dominated by councils of fiercely independent tribal elders, hasn’t really changed in over 600 years — only now every house has several machine guns, and most have electricity. Thus, though slavery is technically illegal in Pakistan, the laws are rarely enforced. And since Afghans have no legal status and no papers, there is little to connect them to the protections of the state, even when they serve as slaves in the cities and settled areas. In fact, there is so little work and so much unemployment that many are simply happy to have a job — no matter how dangerous or poorly paid. Though government figures put the unemployment rate at 37 percent, in reality poor census reporting and a lackluster bureaucracy probably conceal a much higher figure; in the NWFP some experts put joblessness at close to 45 percent.

Deep unemployment, combined with poor or no public education, creates a culture of servitude where no one has means and even the relatively well-off will do almost anything for money. Men often wait for families at the border crossings with ready cash and assistance. In exchange for $80 to $100 given to the families under the guise of a contribution to a young girl’s dowry or an advance on a small boy’s wages, Afghan families will send their children off with the wealthy Pakistanis — the sale of children whom families cannot feed is initially concealed under societal semantics and euphemism. Pakistan’s slave trade (continued) BY ANDREW BUSHELL -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- LIKE SO MANY other compounds in Jamrud, the warehouse belonging to Ejaz Arbab (probably not his real name) boasts all the traditional amenities: 30-foot-high walls of baked mud and brick studded with broken glass, machine-gun nests mounted on squat corner towers, murder slits placed above the entrance, and a heavy steel gate complete with surly, machine-gun-toting guards. Little differentiates it from other compounds that line the dusty Khyber Road to Afghanistan. While not all the compounds are owned by criminals or slavers, most are, and Arbab is one of the wealthiest by either standard. Entering the courtyard of Arbab’s compound is like stepping into a desert oasis. Green date palms dot the property, and a fountain of blue azulejos tiles in an intricate arabesque pattern sprays water five feet into the air. It is an unheard of luxury in this desolate, rocky land where the earth cracks in the dry air outside the compound. The building itself is a large white-stucco rectangle, and it has wooden floors. But aside from his home’s quiet ostentation, Arbab presents as a genial old man.

His olive-green lunghi (a turban-style headdress favored by the Taliban), his constantly clacking prayer beads, and his white shovel beard, which blends in with his white salwar kameez, also suggest a religious man. But he is a businessman as well, and businessmen sell things. Arbab happens to sell people. The main structure of Arbab’s compound is dominated by a large rectangular room of about 40 by 30 feet. After walking down the steps into the main hall, buyers are guided to spots on a floor covered with dark-red geometrically patterned Afghan carpets. There is a foot-high dais in the middle of the room and a side door at the far end. Pillows serve as seats at low-slung tables dominated by hookahs (water pipes used to smoke tobacco or hashish), pots of green tea, and plates of dates and pistachios. The guests — everyone is a buyer — gradually fill the room. Everyone knows each other, and most of the buyers appear to be related in some way — small comfort for a white Western journalist in local dress having difficulty with the language. Everyone is asked to leave weapons in the anteroom on the way into the hall, but from the way some sit, it’s clear that there are still plenty of weapons in the room by the time the auction begins.

Finally, all the guests have arrived. And as if at some unspoken cue, the conversation stops. Arbab walks up to the dais, acknowledging his more prominent guests on the way. The side door at the other end of the room opens, and a wizened older woman in black brings a small girl up to the stage. She is slight and shy, and couldn’t have been more than 14 — though few Afghans know their real ages. Her skin looks a little red, like it had been scrubbed too vigorously with a loofa, and her hair still looks damp. She’s wearing only a kameez — the knee-length tunic common in this part of the world, usually complemented by a salwar, or a pair of large baggy pants. Mr. Arbab fingers his prayer beads as he gives a short history of the girl. Not only is she a virgin, he notes, but she is "untouched," meaning that she has not had anal sex with her previous master — a common practice.

The fact that the girl is "untouched," combined with her lighter skin and blue-green eyes, makes her particularly prized. The bidding starts quickly. About 15 minutes into the bidding, one of the buyers asks for an inspection. The elderly woman removes the girl’s tunic, fingers the child’s breasts, and then shines a flashlight into her open mouth to show that she has a good set of teeth. Bidding resumes with a certain intensity; some of the men can be seen rubbing themselves. Of the 15 or so girls sold that evening, only four were "untouched." All were virgins, because, as Arbab said, "I only buy the best." And he makes piles of money doing it. Though his agents will buy the girls for between $80 to $100 at the borders, the price at the auction was considerably higher. The 14-year-old was sold for 165,000 Pakistani rupees, or about $2750. I heard it whispered that the girl was going to Dubai (presumably to become a member of a harem). Others were not so lucky. Another girl, a tall 18-year-old virgin with long black hair and light eyes, was sold to a prostitution ring in Lahore. Though a virgin, she had been "touched," and so sold for $2450.

Although men at the auction ostensibly are paying for the right to marry the girls, few — if any — do. Most of the girls become prostitutes; the lucky become domestic help. The case of boys is more straightforward. Since they are seen as a labor commodity, there is less mark-up involved. Most go straight from the borders to the factories. The smallest boys are sold to sheikhs in the United Arab Emirates to be used as camel jockeys. According to Arbab, the smaller boys are favored because they are light and their high-pitched screams make the camels go faster. Pakistan’s slave trade (continued) BY ANDREW BUSHELL -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ECONOMISTS HAVE argued that cheap labor is good for the economy, and in fact the influx of Afghan workers into Peshawar has turned a once sleepy city into a bustling metropolis with increased property values. Over 70 percent of businesses are owned by Afghans who were wealthy enough to get out before the Taliban took over and to purchase fake Pakistani documents. The prosperous Afghans in Peshawar have no qualms about hiring their fellow countrymen as indentured servants. Jabbar Nassery, a wealthy moneychanger in the Chowk Yadgar financial district, made over $150,000 last year — a stratospheric sum for Pakistan. When asked if he had any thoughts about moving to the West, he asks, why? "I have two brothers in England, one in France, and another in Germany," he says. "They work from early morning until late night.

They worry about expenses. I have a driver, a watchman, a cook, and a maid. How could I have that in the West?" When asked if he thinks that that human labor is used efficiently, Nassery says, "These are poor people, and they need money. We have a duty to help them, and so we employ them — and we help them — giving them food and medication when they are sick. I gave money once so a daughter could get married." Nassery brings up an important point. Even in a culture that guarantees a place in heaven for a man who can educate and marry off a daughter, female children are expensive because the bride’s family must pay the lion’s share of marriage expenses. The traditional three-day wedding feast, dowry, and jewelry combined can beggar well-off families if they have more than two or three girls. Such expenses are usually offered as an excuse when the poor sell their children to men like Arbab. Usma (also probably not her real name), an Afghan prostitute in Peshawar, said she was 12 when her family sold her to a man.

"We were crossing the border [into Pakistan] and had no money to eat. The man gave them $80, so my mother told me to go with Akbar. "After Akbar found other girls at the border, he put all 17 of us in a truck and took us to Jamrud. I stood on the dais and men offered Arbab dowries for me. Initially I was proud to earn such a high dowry price at Jamrud, but then the man refused to marry me and instead sent me out with his friends." These girls also don’t see any of the dowry money given to Mr. Arbab. According to dozens of buyers interviewed, the girls are disposable — and most don’t live to the age of 30. When asked in what way the girls are disposable, the men shrug and smile. When asked about how she felt, Usma started to cry. "While I was with my first man, Khoram, the whole time I was thinking how much I wished that I was a married woman with my own husband, my own children, and my own house." When asked about the prostitution, her answers were unsurprising:

"I did not like it at all. After the first time, I came home and cried and tore my hair — I hated myself and wished that I would die." So while life in Pakistan is cheap, the lives of women are cheaper. Because of this attitude, educated and therefore wealthy Pakistani women put off marriage as long as possible. One woman from Punjab, Zanib, joined the Pakistani Air Force in order to delay marriage as long as possible. According to one of her friends, Afsheen, Zanib is ambitious — a quality not necessarily welcomed in Pakistani women. In order to avoid the possibility of a husband cutting short her career by demanding a housewife, Zanib has resolved not to marry. In Pakistan, this also essentially means that she has embraced celibate chastity as well. THE CULTURE of women’s servitude is reinforced in the NWFP, with its proximity to the more traditional Islamic culture of Afghanistan and the tribal areas where perhaps the most conservative Islamic fundamentalists live.

The ethnic Pashtun who live in Pakistan’s tribal areas identify more with Afghanistan than Pakistan. As far away as Peshawar, even wealthy, well-connected businessmen speak fondly of their homes in the villages. Zafar Yousaf, a fourth-generation Afghan and prominent banker in Peshawar, sums up his relation to Pakistan succinctly: "First we are Pashtun, then we are Afghans. Pakistani? Perhaps. Pakistan has only existed for the last 50 years." When he speaks of returning to his village, his face cracks into a broad grin — the primitive conditions there speak to him in ways difficult for a Westerner to understand. And Yousaf lived in London as an investment banker for 10 years. It was in the tribal areas that the madrassas educated the students who would later become the Taliban. In fact, with the recent lawlessness in Afghanistan since the fall of the fanatical Islamist regime, sympathy for the Taliban runs high.

Initially encouraged by the Pakistani intelligence service, the Taliban soon became a force that Pakistan could not control, placing the tribal areas even further from the grasp of the Islamic republic and the secular reforms sought by Musharraf. And Musharraf has tried to extend his authority. Several attempts by the paramilitary frontier police force to extend Pakistani federal control into the tribal areas over the last six months have met with disaster. Every house in the tribal areas is a fortress. Some even have heavy artillery, and most have field mortars. The people make their own weapons. The factories of the tribal village of Dara Adam Khel are famous for their gunsmiths. So in the end, General Musharraf has a two-part challenge in his quest to bring democracy to Pakistan.

First, he must bring the tribal areas into mainstream Pakistani society and under the rule of law. Once accomplished, no doubt it will be easier to crush the culture of bonded labor and slavery existing in the tribal areas. But this much is also clear: without a firm hand, the peculiar religiosity of the tribal peoples that spawned the Taliban will continue to spill into the rest of Pakistani society, cutting to the core of traditional democratic values and respect for human dignity. As Solon once said, "There can be no democracy where freedom is in peril."

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Gharanai Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12-Jun-2006 at 14:36
Well very nice article and as I had previously mentioned that these sellings are taking place in several countries of central asia and south asia, it's very much true and now I have come to know that it's not only Asia where these sellings take place but also Europe, Africa and America.
 
Beside could you provide the link to the article because I wanted to forward the article to a government official.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TeldeInduz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12-Jun-2006 at 22:10
Originally posted by Gharanai Gharanai wrote:

Well very nice article and as I had previously mentioned that these sellings are taking place in several countries of central asia and south asia, it's very much true and now I have come to know that it's not only Asia where these sellings take place but also Europe, Africa and America.
 
Beside could you provide the link to the article because I wanted to forward the article to a government official.
 
 
Pakistan isnt on the watchlist of trafficking nations, India is.
 
Quoo-ray sha quadou sarre.................
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rajput Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-Jun-2006 at 08:41
Originally posted by Gharanai Gharanai wrote:

Well very nice article and as I had previously mentioned that these sellings are taking place in several countries of central asia and south asia, it's very much true and now I have come to know that it's not only Asia where these sellings take place but also Europe, Africa and America.
 
Beside could you provide the link to the article because I wanted to forward the article to a government official.
 
 
Andrew Bushell is a legitimate source, he has worked for quite a few distinguished names such as The Economist, New York Times etc .  Gharanai I think they're doing the same type of stuff to Afghans bordering Iran, saw a documentary on that 2-3 years ago. 


Edited by Rajput - 13-Jun-2006 at 08:42
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Gharanai Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-Jun-2006 at 14:30
Originally posted by Rajput Rajput wrote:

 
 
Andrew Bushell is a legitimate source, he has worked for quite a few distinguished names such as The Economist, New York Times etc .  Gharanai I think they're doing the same type of stuff to Afghans bordering Iran, saw a documentary on that 2-3 years ago. 
 
Well thanks alot for the link.
You are right this action is also taking place on border of Iran as well, where Iranian and Afghan childs are sold but the biggest underground market of children is place around khost province of Afghanistan on the border with Pakistan where not only Afghan children but from different other countries like Pakistan, Iran, India, Bangladish, Sri Lanka, Central Asian countries and many others are sold to the people from S.Arabia, UAE, Kenya, South Africa and many other countries.
 
I really hate them when they (merchants) try to earn a living through selling poor children, but anyway there is good n bad in every society and lets wish for the best.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rajput Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-Jun-2006 at 22:13
lol how in the world do the bangla, lankans and indians wind up in khost man...got any links for this?  It looks like its part of the culture imbedded in these areas what do you think ?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Gharanai Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Jun-2006 at 09:51
Originally posted by Rajput Rajput wrote:

lol how in the world do the bangla, lankans and indians wind up in khost man...got any links for this?  It looks like its part of the culture imbedded in these areas what do you think ?
 
 
h Well dear I am too amazed to hear it I mean Bangladesh and Sri Lanka are far away from Afghanistan but I guess they are brought in there via Pakistan as Pakistan don't want to take the blame on themselves so they placed a sort of a market on the bordered province.
 
I had read about this in a local newspaper but after you asked I did some search and came up with below info:
 
Quote
“... Pakistan faces a significant internal trafficking problem reportedly involving thousands of women and children trafficked from rural areas and sold to settle debts and disputes or forced into sexual exploitation, domestic servitude, or marriage. Unconfirmed estimates of Pakistani victims of bonded labor in the brick, glass, carpet, and fishing industries are in the millions. Women and children from Bangladesh, India, Burma, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan are also trafficked to Pakistan for sexual exploitation and involuntary servitude. In addition, Bangladeshi, Sri Lankan, Nepalese, and Burmese women are trafficked through Pakistan en route to the Gulf or Greece....  "
Link : Click here
 
Some nice info available here as will: Click here
 


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Gharanai Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Jun-2006 at 09:58
Originally posted by TeldeInduz TeldeInduz wrote:

 
Pakistan isnt on the watchlist of trafficking nations, India is.
 
 
Dear TeldeInduz I don't say that you are wrong and totally agree with you but you should also agree that Pakistan is no less than India, I haven't seen Indian but I have lived in Paksitan for a long while and I have seen many such cases.
So not inlisting Pakistan doesn't mean that they don't do such things, the same goes with Afghanistan I mean the main hub is some where on the border (Pak-Afghan) and both of them are involved in these actions but yet still it's not on that big scale as India is.
 


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sparten Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Jun-2006 at 04:53
Where did you live in pakistan? And when? You did not take citizenship, many of my Afghan friends did.
The Germans also take vacations in Paris; especially during the periods they call "blitzkrieg".
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Gharanai Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Jun-2006 at 15:11
Originally posted by Sparten Sparten wrote:

Where did you live in pakistan? And when? You did not take citizenship, many of my Afghan friends did. 
 
Dear I spent most of my time in Islamabad and around 2-3 months in Peshawar, for some sight seeings I went to Lahore, Karachi, Chakwal (on death of a fellows family member), Quetta, Qalat, Spean Boldak (does that belong to Pakistan any how Wink), Chitral, Maruee, Skirdu, Multan (for tripe from my University) and at last but not the least Rawalpindi (as it was so near to ISB so I did visited alot of places in there too).
 
And about the citizenship, no I haven't claimed for one ever and from the day I got there up to now when ever I want to go I do so by my passport (the legal way as I don't want to get involved in bribing police), I still have a 2 years visa with multiple entry, so I haven't ever felt need for getting citizenship, or to be honest I really do love my own citizenship and am proud of it and don't like a dual citizenship.
 
But I also don't forget the great time I spent there and still spend in there (I visit it alot), I have great number of friends over there along with some wonderful teachers and instructors who have thought me much and which I won't forget ever.


Edited by Gharanai - 16-Jun-2006 at 15:15


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Gharanai Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Jun-2006 at 17:51
Well the latest news in is regarding the child labour in Pakistan here is an article from BBC World.
 
Originally posted by BBC World BBC World wrote:

Right foot forward for child labourers
By Chiade O'Shea in Sialkot

Adnan Nazir wearing his new trainers
Adnan hand-stitched footballs for four years

Putting on bright white trainers to play football in the park, 12-year-old Adnan Nazir could be almost any child caught up in World Cup fever.

But his faintly calloused hands belie his true role in the world of soccer.

Not yet scuffed, his new shoes are a rare luxury for a Pakistani child whose only experience of the sport until recently was hand-sewing footballs.

For four years, Adnan forced tough thread through the thick laminated panels of footballs. As his dexterity and strength progressed with age, he learnt the skill of adding the final, most difficult piece without the join showing.

"I used to make the whole ball," he says with a young boy's pride.

One of our greatest successes has been raising public consciousness of the child labour situation in places like Europe
Nick Grisewood,
International Labour Organisation

But the work took a toll on his health.

"I used to get pains in my hands and shoulders," Adnan says, rubbing his joints.

The intense repetitive strain on young bodies commonly leads to long-term problems with the skeleton and muscles. The children's eyesight also suffers from staring at the garish leather hexagons for hours in poor lighting.

Shortly before the kick-off of France '98, pictures of children like Adnan stitching footballs carrying the logos of football's governing body, Fifa, and major sport brands sparked an international outcry.

It soon emerged that 7,000 children were working in the industry in Pakistan.

Eight years and two World Cups later, the practice has been all but eradicated.

Monitoring

The government, factories and an embarrassed international industry drafted in the International Labour Organisation (ILO) to reform manufacturing in Sialkot, the Punjabi district that provides 75% of the world's footballs.

Women in assembly line cleaning footballs
Balls are now stitched in factories, not in the home

Outsourcing piecework to families used to allow factory heads to turn a blind eye to the age of the workers, but now employees work in stitching centres, monitored by an independent watchdog.

It soon became clear, however, that their efforts would be fruitless if they didn't tackle the underlying motivation for children's work.

"Child labour is a very strong indicator of poverty so you need to remove that root cause," says the ILO's consultant project manager Nick Grisewood.

"Otherwise, you run a very strong risk that they might pop up working in other situation, and quite likely in a worse situation."

The alternatives - tanneries and surgical instrument factories - are at least as dangerous and attract significantly less international scrutiny.

"I don't know what I earn," says 12-year-old Shazad Aamer, on a break from a surgical scissors factory with his friend Shazad Tahra. "The money goes straight to my dad for things like food."

To guard against the loss of income, the ILO set up micro-credit schemes that many families have used to buy livestock or establish small businesses.

Catch-up schools

Poverty played a part in keeping children in work, but was not the whole picture.

Shazad Tahra %28left%29 and Shazad Aamer
Many child labourers end up working for other industries

When Hamad Ahmed, a 13-year-old football stitcher, stopped work, he says his family didn't miss the lost income.

"I used to make only five rupees [eight cents, five pence] a day," he explains.

Why miss out on an education for the cost of a few chapattis?

"We didn't have a school before," Hamad says.

The stitching villages surrounding Sialkot, like many in Pakistan, have a chronic education shortage. So when the ILO established special catch-up schools for the children, the lure of learning drew many away from work

Hamad enthusiastically covered five years of the curriculum in just two years and will go to a mainstream school next term.

Keen to edge away from their image as Dickensian exploiters of children, factory owners are now some of the most wholehearted supporters of the scheme.

Rizwan Dar, an executive director of Saga Sports, the world's largest manufacturer of hand-stitched footballs, says the benefit was not only humanitarian but also made business sense.

As child labour decreased, so did the number of faulty balls they had to discard. "Ultimately it paid us back," Mr Dar explained.

But there's another strong financial motivator. Fifa endorsement - and consequently the exporters' profits - now requires a blemish-free child labour record.

Monitors often go months without finding a child at work.

Making footballers

The final stage of their plan, initiated by Fifa to coincide with the start of the World Cup and World Day Against Child Labour on Monday, is a programme to get ex-stitchers playing football.

Made in Pakistan logo
Endorsement by Fifa is a big incentive for manufacturers

"Now I'm studying, I have time to play," beams Adnan as he ties the laces on his new Fifa-funded trainers.

"It's good to do sport because it helps you grow strong like a man," the delicately-framed Hamad comments earnestly.

The idea of making footballers out of the children who used to make footballs is a neat PR exercise for an embarrassed industry.

It also helps raise awareness of child labour in the industrial West where most consumers would rarely imagine their footballs were hand-made, let alone sewn by children.

As Nick Grisewood notes: "One of our greatest successes has been raising public consciousness of the child labour situation in places like Europe."

With the workers, exporters and importers now on board, the buying power of ethically-aware consumers may indeed be the key to a lasting solution.

 
 


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rajput Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Jun-2006 at 19:26

Looks like the problem is part of a bigger picture...

 

Originally posted by </FONT><a href=http://www.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/africa/06/16/senegal.children.reut/index.html target=_blank><FONT face=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif size=5>Link to Article</FONT></A><FONT face=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif size=5> Link to Article wrote:

U.N.: Koranic schools in Senegal fuel child trafficking

Religious teachers send tiny children into Dakar to beg

story.nigeria.afp.gi.jpg
Niger is integrating more than a half million Koranic school students, like these in Niamey, into its public school system.
DAKAR, Senegal (Reuters) -- In a dirty white T-shirt hanging down to his knees, 4-year-old Harouna Balde begs for coins in bare feet among the traffic on the polluted streets of Dakar.

Holding a rusty begging tin that is the trademark of the "talibes" -- students at Senegal's Koranic schools -- Balde says he must take back money or face a beating from his religious teacher, or marabout.

"I must bring back 500 francs ($0.90) every day to my master or face punishment," says the tiny boy. He travels from his squalid daara, or religious school, in the distant suburb of Thiaroye to beg all day in the city center.

Balde is one of an estimated 100,000 children begging on the streets of Senegal, according to U.N. officials -- most of them sent out by their religious teachers.

The begging is a modern corruption of a Senegalese tradition, which allowed poor rural families to provide their children with a basic education and sometimes send them to towns where they might have greater opportunities.

Now, the booming industry has become so successful that children are smuggled from neighboring Mali, Gambia or Mauritania to beg in Dakar, U.N. child agency UNICEF said. Balde was separated from his parents in Guinea Bissau.

"The problem is mushrooming," said Jean-Claude Legrand, West and Central Africa child protection officer with UNICEF, in an interview ahead of Friday's Day of the African Child.

"The issue of begging children in Senegal is becoming a sub-regional child trafficking problem."

Every year thousands of children are smuggled across West Africa, UNICEF says. Many end up as victims of forced labor, sexual abuse and prostitution.

Poverty worsens problem

With migration traditionally an important part of life, West African society has relied on extended families to raise and educate children. Poor parents would often send their offspring to richer relatives to be raised and educated.

In West African countries, more than half of children are in the care of other families, Legrand said. But the advent of a modern, commercial culture is weakening traditional values that tended to protect such children.

"Growing poverty is forcing people to develop new survival strategies, which sometimes means using the resources of the whole family," Legrand said.

"We are in a period of huge change, with mass migration to urban areas. It becomes more and more a system where children get exploited."

In war-divided Ivory Coast, planters long preferred to employ helpers to harvest cocoa, sending their own children to school. But economic hardship and a 2002-2003 war forced them first to hire foreign children and finally use their own.

Until recently most countries in West Africa did not have laws to penalize rape or child trafficking, although the situation was improving, Legrand said.

But as one government cracked down on abuse, the problem moved to another country. A recent drive against child prostitution in Gambia had driven sex tourism to other parts of the region, such as Togo, Legrand said.

The threat of U.S. sanctions on cocoa had improved the situation in Ivory Coast, but child traffickers had moved their attention to cotton plantations in Mali and Burkina Faso.

"Africa is in a worse situation because it is on the periphery of modernity. It is excluded from the benefits of the world economy, but at the same time it must form part of it," Legrand said.



Edited by Rajput - 16-Jun-2006 at 19:30

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Gharanai Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Jun-2006 at 09:16
That's really a Shocking news but not something new to hear and I am sure you won't believe me that 80% of these news are factious and tries to distroy the image of Islam but still by 80% I do mean that 20% they could be true and I never say that it does not happen.
I mean it's not only Islam but many other religions that these sort of actions take place in.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rajput Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Jun-2006 at 22:03
Originally posted by Gharanai Gharanai wrote:

That's really a Shocking news but not something new to hear and I am sure you won't believe me that 80% of these news are factious and tries to distroy the image of Islam but still by 80% I do mean that 20% they could be true and I never say that it does not happen.
I mean it's not only Islam but many other religions that these sort of actions take place in.
 
Well lets hope for the sake of those innocent children that you're right.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Master_Blaster Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Jun-2006 at 19:36
PAKISTAN:
 
165.8 million total population
 
population living below poverty line: 32% or 53 million people
 
HIV rate amongst adults: 0.1% or approximately 166,000 people
 
 
 
INDIA:
 
 
1.095 billion total population
 
population living below poverty line: 25% or approximately 274 million people
 
HIV rate amongst adults: 0.9% or approximately 9.86 millon people
 
 
CONCLUSION:
 
Given these statistics and the fact that India's predominately Hindu culture is more liberal and open to premarital sex than Pakistan's far more conservative Islamic culture - the sexual slavery, molestation, and sexual exploitation of children and young women is far more common and occurs in far greater numbers in India than in Pakistan.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AlokaParyetra Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Jun-2006 at 21:46
Originally posted by Master_Blaster Master_Blaster wrote:

PAKISTAN:
 
165.8 million total population
 
population living below poverty line: 32% or 53 million people
 
HIV rate amongst adults: 0.1% or approximately 166,000 people
 
 
 
INDIA:
 
 
1.095 billion total population
 
population living below poverty line: 25% or approximately 274 million people
 
HIV rate amongst adults: 0.9% or approximately 9.86 millon people
 
 
CONCLUSION:
 
Given these statistics and the fact that India's predominately Hindu culture is more liberal and open to premarital sex than Pakistan's far more conservative Islamic culture - the sexual slavery, molestation, and sexual exploitation of children and young women is far more common and occurs in far greater numbers in India than in Pakistan.
 
I'm afraid i don't understand. I honestly ask, is this sarcasm?
 
Pakistan has a greater percent under the poverty line, and a greater percent of HIV than India. Yet, you claim "the sexual slavery, molestation, and sexual exploitation of children and young women is far more common and occurs in far greater numbers in India than in Pakistan."
 
I admit i am unable to percieve a connection between HIV rate amongst adults and sexual slavery, molestation, and sexual exploitation. Even if there is a connection, surely the data you provided contradicts your conclusion?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Master_Blaster Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Jun-2006 at 22:30
Did you not read what I posted correctly?
 
India's HIV rate is 9 times higher than Pakistan's percentage wise.
 
India's HIV population is almost 60 times that of Pakistan's!
 
India has 221 million more people living on the streets than Pakistan! All these people are subject to sexual exploitation due to their poverty!
 
That means that the child sex trade is more common in India as is evidenced by the large number of people living in poverty coupled with those that visit India's many, many red light districts.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Anujkhamar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-Jun-2006 at 06:29
Originally posted by Master_Blaster Master_Blaster wrote:

Did you not read what I posted correctly?
 
India's HIV rate is 9 times higher than Pakistan's percentage wise.
 
India's HIV population is almost 60 times that of Pakistan's!
 
India has 221 million more people living on the streets than Pakistan! All these people are subject to sexual exploitation due to their poverty!
 
That means that the child sex trade is more common in India as is evidenced by the large number of people living in poverty coupled with those that visit India's many, many red light districts.


Master Blaster, this isn't a competition.

What they are saying is you have not yet provided a link as to show the connction between HIV and child sex trade.

From what the statistics tell me is that people in India are more open about sex, or use less protection. But I can't see any source stating that it is child sex trade that is the cause of this.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rajput Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-Jun-2006 at 08:32
 
 
 
LINK - ARTICLE BY HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH IN PAKISTAN
 
 

Rescued – the Pakistan children seized by Islamist slave traders

Marie Colvin, Muridke

Hoax saves boys held for months

THE slave traders came for 10-year-old Akash Aziz as he played cops and robbers in his dusty village in eastern Punjab.

Akash, still in the maroon V-neck sweater and tie that he had worn to school that day, was a “robber”. But as he crouched behind a wall, waiting for the schoolfriend designated as the “cop” to find him, a large man with a turban and a beard grabbed him from behind and clamped a cloth over his nose and mouth before he could cry for help.

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He recalls a strange smell and a choking sensation. “Then I fainted,” said Akash, a delicate little child from a loving family that takes pride in his enthusiasm for English lessons at school.

Akash woke up in a dark room with a bare brick floor and no windows. The heat was suffocating. As he languished there over the next month, 19 other panic-stricken boys were thrown into the room with him.

The children, all Christians, had fallen into the hands of Gul Khan, a wealthy Islamic militant and leading member of Jamaat-ud Daawa (JUD), a group linked to the Al-Qaeda terrorist network.

Khan lives near Pakistan’s border with Afghanistan, but when in the Punjab he stays at the JUD’s headquarters in Muridke, near Lahore, where young men can be seen practising martial arts with batons on rolling green lawns patrolled by guards with Kalashnikovs. Osama Bin Laden funded the centre in the late 1990s.

The JUD, which claims to help the poor, says that it has created a “pure Islamic environment” at Muridke that is superior to western “depravity”. Khan’s activities explode that myth. He planned to sell his young captives to the highest bidder, whether into domestic servitude or the sex trade. The boys knew only that they were for sale.

This is the story of the misery that Akash and his friends, aged six to 12, endured in captivity; of their rescue by Christian missionaries who bought their freedom and tried to expose the kidnappers; and of the children’s moving reunions with their loved ones who had believed they were dead.

Last week I had the privilege of taking six of the boys home to their families, including Akash. The astonishment of mothers and fathers who had given up hope and the fervent, tearful embraces made these some of the most intensely emotional scenes I have witnessed.

That joy was a long time coming. On the first day after his abduction, Akash was left in no doubt about the brutality of the regime he would endure.

“I drank from a glass of water and one of the kidnappers pushed me so hard I fell on the glass and it broke in my hands,” he said. His slender fingers still bear the scars. No more glass for him, he was told: he was fit to drink only from a tin cup.

The boys were ordered not to talk, pray or play. Five of them were playing a Pakistani equivalent of scissors, paper, stone one day when the guards burst in and beat them savagely on their backs and heads. On another occasion Akash was repeatedly struck by guards yelling “What is in your house?” “I kept telling them, ‘We have nothing’,” he said anxiously. “I was so afraid they would go back and rob my father and mother.” It is painful to imagine blows raining down on the ribs of so slight a figure.

The guards mostly sat outside playing cards, shaded from the 116F heat by a tree. But the boys were allowed out of their room only to use a filthy hole-in-the-ground lavatory. All they could see were high walls around the two-room building that was their prison. The other room was always locked.

The children were fed once a day on chapatis and dhal, but never enough. Akash slept huddled against the others on the floor and woke each morning a little more resigned to his fate.

“We just sat around the walls thinking,” Akash said. “We were remembering our homes and our mothers and fathers and hoping someone would rescue us. But nobody came.”

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Master_Blaster Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-Jun-2006 at 16:49

Originally posted by Anujkhamar Anujkhamar wrote:


Master Blaster, this isn't a competition.

What they are saying is you have not yet provided a link as to show the connction between HIV and child sex trade.

From what the statistics tell me is that people in India are more open about sex, or use less protection. But I can't see any source stating that it is child sex trade that is the cause of this.

 

Your biased attitude refuses to allow you to see the obvious, which is that these crimes perpetrated against children due to their impoverishment would be far more prevalent in India than in any Islamic country. Just take a look at the sheer numbers – India has nine times the poverty rate, HIV rate (an indicator of the prevalence of sex and prostitution in that country), and 221 million more people (the majority of these are children) living on the streets! If what this article claims about Pakistan is true, then it can be concluded in full confidence that the child sex and slavery trade is much more widespread in India. Or do you think that impoverished, starving, desperate children in India are immune from such exploitation?
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