Iqbal Masih, Pakistan, received The World’s Children’s Honorary Award 2000 for his struggle for the rights of debt slave children (children sold as slaves to settle their parents’ debts). Iqbal became a debt slave at an early age for the owner of a carpet factory, who then sold him on.
Iqbal was around five or six years old, when he started working in the carpet factory. He worked from early morning until evening and was often treated badly. When his mother Anayat needed money for an operation, she took a loan from the owner of carpet factory. The loan, or ‘Peshgi’, was in Iqbal’s name. That means that Iqbal owes Ghullah the 5000 Rupees (100 US dollars) that his mother’s operation cost. Now Iqbal was a debt slave and the factory owner was in charge of his life.
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