Regulate the domestic service

One case after the other is appearing in the media, in which young girls working as domestic servants tortured by the employer family. The latest case came out in Islamabad in which a ten years old girl Tayyaba were brutally tortured in the house of judge of lower judiciary. Very few such cases came to media limelight otherwise this practice is widely spread. The rich and middle class families employ young girls brought from the different areas of Punjab to work in the houses.

One can see these young girls in the posh restaurants, public parks, malls and markets carrying babies or shopping bags. These young girls can be seen sitting separate from the rest of the family enjoying meals but these girls can only stare at the food. This is done in the society which pride itself as the true followers of Holy prophet (PBUH). Holy Prophet (PBUH) very clearly directed the Muslims to treat even their slaves fairly and with respect.

We have become society of hypocrites. If a learned judge can employ a girl at the age of 10 as domestic worker then what can be expected from less educated and aware people. The judge know very well that Pakistani laws does not allow a minor to hire as worker. But still the judge not only hire this poor young girl but his family also brutally tortured her.

The matter of fact is that most of these girl child labourers work in the houses of the educated families. If a illiterate person or family hire child labour then one can claim that he or she does not know the law. What excuse  an educated and well aware family can give to hire a child labour.

Nearly one million children work as domestic workers without having any protection and rights. The whole domestic service sector is unregulated. There are no laws and regulations for domestic workers. They are not even covered by labour laws. They are not registered as workers with social security and EOBI pension.

The government should immediately ban child labour in domestic service. If someone has a child as domestic help than he or she should provide education and other basic facilities including the time for leisure. The children must not employed as full time domestic workers in any case. It should be made a heinous crime to buy a child for domestic service.

The government should act immediately and conduct surveys with the help of NGOs and different organisations working for children to register such child domestic workers and send them to schools. The government should take this issue seriously as a human one. The media should run public interest campaign to stop child labour in homes.

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