“Today as always man falls into two groups: free men and slaves. Whoever does not have two third of his day for himself, is a slave’ whatever he may be: a statesman, a businessman, an official or a scholar.”
We live in a free and independent era of 21st century where we think slavery as a practice of past but in reality slavery does exist today just under the shadow of a different name and the best of all the names used for slavery is “forced labour” as it fulfils all the requisites of slavery.
In a forced labour a person is also beaten and detained unlawfully like slavery. In same manner as slavery workers are forced to perform a job that do not desire to do in forced labour and unfortunately many of the tasks for which labourers are taken forcefully have an illegal status or are being used for an illegal purpose.
In a forced labour a person gets a meal a day and a miserable place to live instead of his wages. His stays deprived of his right of liberty of movement because all his movement is work based and strictly controlled by his owner. These kinds of practices are very common in the brick kilns of Punjab and some areas of interior Sindh where feudalism is still prevailing.
A person who is taken for forced labour if refuses to perform a particular tasks or tries to escape often gets locked in chains like animals and beaten brutally till he gets succumbed with injuries and worst happened once when a family working in a brick kiln was burnt to death when they were caught escaping from the work place.
According to a report presented by international labour organization 20.9 million people of the world are currently being used for forced labour out of which 11.7 million being used in Asia only. Out of the 20.9 million people 5.5 millions are children under the age of 10 and out of these 5.5 children 4.5 children become the victim of sexual abuse.
Facts state that the practice of child labour is a root of many other heinous crimes like child labour, child kidnapping and human trafficking. Children and adults are being kidnapped and sold for the purpose forced labour on daily bases.
Children who are left by parents and relatives in the homes of privileged people to perform house chores for a small amount of money also counts as forced labour as a child of such young age would never want to waste his childhood in doing such household tasks moreover history has witnessed a number of cases where a children working in the homes are tortured, harassed and raped brutally by the people they work for.
In January this year a judge and his wife appeared in the court for the crime of having a juvenile maid and for beating her brutally. The 10 years old girl had bruises all over her body and her eyes and hands were bruised and swollen because of the physical torture. This heinous crime was committed by the person who decides punishment of the criminal who has cognizance of all laws and legal matters. If he could do so then what be expected from the people who not aware of the laws.
However what to be more shocked was that the judge and his wife was forgiven by the father of that girl, behaviors like this further encourages a people towards these crimes. Practices like this should never be forgiven and should be punished in a way that it becomes lesson for others.
Every country has its own labour laws which gives information regarding the tasks for which labours can be used, what facilities should be provided to them, number of hours of their working and wages. Any activity being performed in the name of labour which is against the labour laws of the country is a crime and government should take measures to spread awareness about it.