Mahira Khan is raising her voice for all victims of child labour — calling the practice illegal, wrong and unethical.
In a video shared by fellow actor Nadia Jamil on Twitter, Khan made an appeal to people to stop encouraging child labour and to raise their voices against the abuse of child labourers. Her plea comes after the brutal torture of a teenage girl named Rizwana who worked as a maid in Islamabad. Somia Asim, the wife of a civil judge, has been arrested but the fight against child labour and the abuse of children employed in households continues.
“For god’s sake, for these children’s sake and for the sake of the country, understand this and stop it,” she said. However, her plea was not to the parents of these children. “My message is not for the parents who are forced to send their children to work out of necessity. No parent would want their children to be working at an age when they should be playing and going to school,” said the actor.
“The strange thing is that the Rizwana incident, the houses [these kinds of incidents] happen in, those houses are usually of the very educated and powerful. Why? Maybe because they know they will get bail easily, there’s no accountability for them,” she lamented.
“So this appeal of mine is to people like me and you, to people like us, people who are in positions of power, who have platforms who have voices, who are lucky enough that we don’t have to send our children to beg and plead, nor do we have to send our children to places and houses that are unknown to us, where God forbid, our children are abused or tortured.
“My appeal is for all of us to speak out, for lawmakers to provide enough so that these children don’t have to go and work and, of course most importantly, when there are cases like Rizwana’s, there must be accountability.”