Here is Iqbal Masih (1983 - 1995), a child from Pakistan who helped to free over 3000 children from slavery.
He was sold into bondage by his family at the age of 4. He was forced to work in a carpet weaving factory for years with many other slavery children. If any children ran away, homesick, or physically sick, they were punished. Punishment included severe beatings, being chained to their loom, extended periods of isolation in a dark closet, and being hung upside down.
After working six years as a carpet weaver, one day he heard about a meeting of the Bonded Labor Liberation Front (BLLF) which was working to help children like Iqbal. After work, Iqbal snuck away to attend the meeting. At the meeting, Iqbal learned that a child labour law existed in pakistan and child labour is violation of law.
Later he began to travel and participate in conferences, giving public opinion on the denied rights of children workers in Pakistan. He spoke about his own experiences as a bonded child labourer. The information he gathered helped close down the factory and free hundreds of children.
On April 16, 1995 at the age of 12 he was shot dead by an anonymous person.
No one really knows who did it, but there are assumptions that the 'Carpet Mafia', was responsible, because many carpet industries were losing a lot of business due to Iqbal's speeches.
Today, Iqbal is a symbol for the fight against harmful child labour and slavery all over the world.
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