Zahir, Pakistan

Zahir was a jury member from 2000 to 2001, representing debt slave children and children in hazardous work.

Zahir was a debt slave but he became free and was able to attend one of BLLF’s »Our Own Schools'.

"I began to make carpets when I was five years old. My brothers and sisters were already making carpets. The owner wanted me to also do the same thing. My father said no, my son is going to get an education. But the owner was determined and gave him money, I don’t know how much. That was why I began to make carpets at home, for that was where the owner placed the carpet loom. They often hit me with a whip and gave me electric shocks. A few threads were lost when I made a knot. Lost threads mean that the owner loses money. They first plugged in something in the electric outlet, I don’t know what. Afterwards they pressed the bare end of the wire against the inside of my arm. It was then I got burn marks.They used ropes or chains also and first tied up my legs and then my arms to the rug stool. I dreamed about getting an education so that I could see to it that such things no longer happened."

Text ©: Magnus Bergmar
Photo ©: Ewa Stackelberg


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