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Story Publication logo May 12, 2009

Hope for Pakistan's Child Workers


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In the wake of the Mumbai terror attacks and the Obama administration's announcement of troop...

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Sher Shah is a hard-working neighborhood — a confusing knot of cramped lanes offering up a riot of rattling power looms, puttering motors and booming furnaces. This rough suburb, with its garment factories, machine shops and scrap metal smelters far from the imposing cement skyscrapers of the city center, forms the industrial gut of Karachi.

It is where Nadeem Awan, a 16-year-old laborer, begins his day. He pulls up to an open storefront, parks his bike under a sky crowded with tangles of pirated electrical wires and faded political flags, and changes into his work clothes of a black T-shirt and jeans.

Nadeem has worked at this small machine shop, which produces tractor parts, for three years. Here he bends over a whirring lathe machine 10 hours a day, turning metal slugs into hundreds of bolts for domestic use as well as well as for export to Europe and the Gulf States.

The recent recipient of a raise, he now earns 60 rupees (75 U.S. cents) per day. This year he's been joined at the shop by his brother, Naveed, who is 13.

Continue reading and view images at GlobalPost.


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Labor Rights

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