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Zohra Shah Murder and Heinous Crime of Child Labor in Pakistan

A horrific incident occurred in Bahria Town, Rawalpindi. Zohra Shah, a 7 year old housemaid was brutally beaten to death by her employer. According to the reports, the victim released the birds of the family for which they beat her very badly. She was left alone at the hospital and could not survive the wounds. Family ran a business of selling and purchasing expensive birds.

Employers who murdered their housemaid confessed to the crime while in police custody after the hospital informed the authorities. According to the police report, the victim’s body showed signs of torture on the left arm, thighs, and abdomen. Her ribs were also injured.

People Demand Justice For Zohra Shah On Social Media

Despite the arrest of the culprits’ people were not satisfied with the response from law. They took to social media to raise their voice in support of Zohra Shah. They called out employers for committing multiple crimes. First, they hired child labour then they abused her which led to her death.

It is not for the first time that the public has used social media to voice its concerns. A classic example of using online platforms to bring the attention of authorities to a heinous crime was the Zainab murder case that eventually witnessed the hanging out of criminals.

Unfortunately, due to the broken and biased system of law and governance in Pakistan, many high-profile crimes go unpunished. They get social media attention but eventually, people forget the crime and victim with the passing time and the memory fades away just like the top trend on social media.

About Welfare For Domestic Workers In Pakistan

This is not a case to be forgotten. Just like different child abuse cases, it highlights the brutality of the society in Pakistan which is still not giving underprivileged kids their due rights. Pakistan has Child Protection Laws present but officials are not capable enough to implement them. Similarly, with domestic workers, the Employment of Children Act 1991 clearly states that children (less than 14 years) cannot work at any establishment (shop, restaurant, factory, house, farm, or workshop). 

The problem remains with the implementation and follow-ups of these laws that result in such horrific incidents. Pakistan requires serious attention on the welfare of domestic workers and making sure children are not used as labor in domestic as well as industrial sectors.

People Raising Voice Against Child Labor

Child labor messes up the kids’ mind, body, and soul. Sadly most Pakistani families do not consider that cost. They only consider their financial cost in hiring an adult, so they go for a cheaper option. It is sad to think that in Zohra Shah’s case employer held the value of his birds higher than the life of that child who served them.

More Outrage Directed Towards Authorities

As happened with social media activism in such cases, Zohra Shah murder has also made people criticize authorities who have failed to take concrete steps despite the fact that practices of child abuse are not ending and every day the horrific incidents keep making headlines.

The popular Human Rights Minister’s relaxing pose re-emerged as a symbol of the cold attitude of officials on such matters.

Why Not Help Children Rather Than Using Them As Labors?

A countless number of international communities in developed countries are doing their own household chores from mowing the lawn to building a brand new room from scratch. Only in Pakistani elite societies, people are privileged enough to have child servants doing their dirty laundry and taking care of their kids. One user shares how many families in Pakistan use child labour as a cheap alternate of house help.

These people can help the children by trying to educate them. They can hire an adult for domestic work who needs work more than a child. Just like this user mentioned that a child only needs to learn. This is a basic human right which is violated by numerous people in this country.

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