Asia

Pakistani child maid 'tortured in judge's house'

  • 9 January 2017
  • From the section Asia
Blurred image of 10-year-old maid allegedly tortured by employer Image copyright Pakistan Police
Image caption The child was taken into police custody after reports of abuse surfaced

A girl aged 10 who worked as a maid for a Pakistani judge shows signs of having been tortured, a medical board says.

The girl suffered injuries including burns to her hands and feet, the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences has said.

Police told the BBC the girl had worked for Islamabad judge Raja Khurram Ali Khan for the past two years. He has not yet commented.

The case has caused a furore in Pakistan.

Human rights groups say Pakistan's labour laws ignore the abuse of children who, from a young age, are working on the streets or in the homes of middle-class families.

There are believed to be about 12 million child workers in Pakistan, many enduring unsafe or harsh conditions.

Reports of the alleged abuse first surfaced on social media last month, along with pictures of the girl's injuries.

Pakistan's mainstream media took up the story, after which the girl - whom the BBC is not naming - is said to have gone missing.

Police are reported to have found her in a suburb of Islamabad on Sunday and taken her into protective custody.

A report on the girl's injuries is to be submitted to the Supreme Court on Wednesday.

Parents' response

Dr Tariq Iqbal, who heads the medical board, told reporters on Monday that she had "some burns, some traumas, some lacerations, some blisters [on her body]".

"We have documented all wounds and injuries in as much detail as possible, and have also given our opinion on the probable cause," he said.

Last week, the girl's parents reportedly filed a statement in court saying that the allegations in the media were "baseless", and that they had "reached a settlement" with the judge and his family.

Mr Iqbal said the girl had been changing her statements regarding how she acquired the injuries but added: "She is only a child and our job is to get to the bottom of this affair."

The girl is originally from a village in the Faisalabad region of Punjab province, police say.

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