Photo: Jacob Carlsen
Sindh, Pakistan, April 2008.
The first thing I notice is the complete silence in this village. There are no childrens voices in the air and the village seems deserted. It isn’t. They are just all working – including the children. They are weaving. Jassi is 12 years old and a child laborer caught in debt bondage. She belongs to the Meghwar group of Untouchables and is part of the Hindu minority in Pakistan. Her father has borrowed money from the carpet factory owner and now she works to pay off the debt. She earns a little over US$ 14 working 40 days to make one carpet. If she is sick she gets no pay. Over time, she might loose her eyesight as many child carpet laborers do. She doesn’t go to school because she has to work seven days a week between 7 and 18 hours every day depending on how fast she works.