A Pakistani boy has had his hand cut off after asking to receive a salary.
A 13-year-old boy — identified as Irfan — was employed at a woman’s house in Pakistan’s Punjab region, according to NDTV. Irfan’s mother said he was working for a salary of approximately $47. When he asked his employer to pay him, the employer, a woman, became infuriated.
“Last week Shafqat Bibi got furious with Irfan when he demanded salary,” said Irfan’s mother, according to NDTV. “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.”
Irfan was taken to a local hospital, where he is reportedly in critical condition.
Local police initially refused to take action when Irfan’s family reported the incident. His mother then alerted the district and sessions court, which ordered police investigate the case. NDTV reports that a case has been registered against the woman who cut off Irfan’s hand, her brother, and two other involved individuals. The woman’s brother has since been arrested.
Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif — the brother of Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif — has asked to see a police report of the incident, according to The Independent. He has said that all those involved should be arrested.
Dawn reports that following the Global Index Survey 2013, Pakistan was found to have the third highest prevalence of child labor in the world. The country has been making efforts to remedy this situation. Dawn reports that the number of child laborers in the country dropped from 200 million in 2000 to 168 million in 2014.
In 2015, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of International Labor Affairs reported that Pakistan had made a “moderate advancement” in its efforts to eliminate child labor. Progress made includes the passing of the Prohibition of Employment of Children Act and the Bonded Labor Systems (Abolition) Act, among other initiatives.
The bureau also stated there is still much work to be done. Its 2015 report stated that Pakistani children face “the worst forms of child labor.” The Pakistani government had not established a minimum working age and had not set a minimum age for hazardous work that complied with international standards. The report also stated that local governments did not have the resources to enforce laws.
In addition, the report found that almost 2.5 million Pakistani children between the ages 10 and 14 were performing some type of work. The report stated that of those children, some were subjected to “forced domestic work and bonded labor in brick kilns.”