[2015] Cameron DiMeglio: Iqbal

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[2015] Cameron DiMeglio: Iqbal

Child Labor!

Cameron DiMeglio

Iqbalby Francesco D'Adamo

Children have been forced to make carpets for a long time and many people are affected by it. Carpet making started in the 16-17th centuries along with children being employed in making the carpets. Children were used to make carpets because masters believed they had small fingers that are great for weaving the carpets. The only reason the children have to work is because someone in their family is in debt and needs money. So, the child will work at the workshop until the debt is paid. Carpets are made of camel hair, wool, or cotton. There are hard patterns and shapes that are made on the carpets. If the children made a mistake on the carpet, they would be punished. Usually they would be hung upside down from their knees, which is a horrendous thing, and sometimes the boys were whipped. Organizations try to end child labor of making carpets, but it's not that easy. They don’t want children to be punished for refusing to work more than they already do.They make laws yet the masters don’t even listen to them. It is very tough to end something that has been going on for a long time. The carpets go for a lot of money too, but the children are paid very little compared to how much they work. Children can work 24/7 with no breaks. Most of the children are in poverty which explains why they are in debt. Organizations are trying to get rid of poverty in areas in order to make the children be free from working all the time. The children work so hard and get paid so little that they have to work there for the rest of their lives. It is nearly impossible for them to pay up the family debt. Many of these organizations are in the process of defeating child labor.Organizations are speaking and acting out against child labor. One organization, in particular, is working even harder than other organizations. That organization is called, United Nations, and it has great ideas to end child labor and children forced to make carpets. The U.N (united nation) set goals to fight child labor, including, ending poverty, ensuring schooling for everyone, protecting the environment, and many more. These goals may not completely solve child labor all over the world, but it may help them get rid of it in one area which is still making great progress. Also, this is a great start to fight off child labor. If these goals are met then children won’t need to be used for labor. The families will have money so they will not go in debt if poverty is ended. Also, children will be educated and able to get a good job to support their family. This same organization has another great idea to end child labor. The U.N has made pledges supporting the rights of children. Like, stop harming and exploiting children, care for every child, and a lot more. If people aren’t exploiting children, then they aren’t forcing them to work, which is slowly ending the child labor in areas. Children need to be cared for, not abused and forced to work. They deserve a good life that is free from child labor. Many organizations do different things to try and end child labor.Organizations continuously come up with new ways to try to terminate child labor forever. An organization called the International Labor Organization (ILO) helps to fight child labor and says, “If small companies don’t have to pay middlemen then they will be able to afford adult employes and older teenage apprentices.” So basically they are saying, If companies don’t have to pay for children, then they will be able to employ adults rather than children. Other organizations campaign trying to get rid of the child labor masters in order to free the children. Growing economies and companies are now freeing children from work. These companies have heard about the new laws and pledges, and finally have stopped exploiting the children to working. The U.N has an idea that helps countries with child labor so much. They came up with a rule that every country in the U.N must give them a report every month showing the child's rights. The U.N wants children to be safe, and way is great to keep them safe. Child labor is a horrible thing that has gone on for a very long time, but is now ending thanks to the wonderful organizations that care about the safety of children, and child labor.

Iqbal was one of many children that was exploited and forced to work. Organizations stepped up and came up with ideas and laws to get rid of child labor. These laws didn’t work everywhere, but they did work in some areas. Places are free from child labor thanks to all the companies and organizations that helped end the horrible child labor. From my research, I have learned that I am extremely fortunate to have what I have, and that children deserve to be treated a lot better than what some people treat them.. I am complaining about going to school six hours a day, meanwhile there are young children working seven days a week with no breaks getting whipped and punished for refusing their work. This information has helped me better understand my book by showing me how bad life is for the children of child labor. From the research process I have found out that there is a lot of people that care about children’s rights and their freedom. Now I know that not everyone can afford the toy they have been dying to get, or that not everyone can buy things without going into debt and having their children work for the rest of their lives down in a dark workshop. The organizations in the world that fight child labor save a lot of children's lives from harsh working.

The novel Iqbal, by Francesco D’Adamo, takes place in Lahore, Pakistan in a master’s workshop where the children are forced to make carpets for the rest of their lives. The protagonist, Iqbal, escaped from the workshop and many months later was gunned down by the carpet mafia in 1995, on Easter Sunday while he was riding his bike. The mafia was mad because they were not making as much profit since Iqbal and the Bonded Labor Liberation Front were freeing all the children from child labor. Without the children working, there wasn’t as many carpets being made, so the mafia took it out on Iqbal and gunned him down in the village of Muritke. The problem Iqbal faced about child labor is real world problem. Many children today are still being mistreated and forced to work. Organizations try different things and ideas trying to end child labor and carpet making.




Francesco D'Adamo


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