A 13-year-old boy had his hand chopped off by his employer for allegedly demanding he be paid his wages in Sheikhupura, a small city in the province of Punjab, Pakistan.
The boy, identified as Irfan, worked at a woman’s home on a salary of about 3,000 Pakistani rupees ($29). He was reportedly mutilated by the woman when he threatened to stop working and demanded he be paid. His employer, Shafqat Bibi, flew into a rage and severed his right hand using a food-cutting machine.
Soon after the incident, Irfan was rushed to a hospital where he was reported to be in critical condition.
The boy’s mother, Jannat Bibi said, “Last week Shafqat Bibi got furious with Irfan when he demanded salary. She cut his right hand with a fodder cutting machine to teach him a lesson that he demands salary but doesn't complete his job of feeding the cattle.”
As local media reported, police refused to register a case against the woman at first. However, the boy’s mother turned to higher authorities to seek justice, and now police are investigating the incident after Shahbaz Sharif, Punjab’s chief minister, reportedly asked the police to see their report.
A case was eventually filed against the landlady 10 days after the initial incident. Her brother and two other suspects were also named in the case. Shafqat Bibi was released on bail; her brother also was arrested.
According to U.S. Department of Labor Bureau, three-quarters of 10- to 14-year-olds at work in Pakistan are employed in agriculture. Children in Pakistan are engaged in the worst forms of child labor, including in forced domestic work and bonded labor in brick kilns.
The report further states that three provincial governments have not established a minimum working age and the federal minimum age for hazardous work falls short of international standards. Provincial governments do not have the resources necessary to enforce laws prohibiting child labor, including its worst forms.