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Lorenzo Bracchitta


Liceo Scientifico 3A s.a


Iqbal and Malala are two young heroes who fought against child exploitation


“No child should ever hold a work tool. The only work tools a child should hold in his hand are pens and pencils. When I grow up I want to be a lawyer and fight so that children don't work at all." But Iqbal will never become great. His very young life was cut short on April 16, 1995, when he was just twelve years old, by a barrage of bullets fired from a short distance.Iqbal Masih, a small child slave, had become a symbol and hope of redemption for all children forced to work as slaves in Pakistan and in the rest of the world.


He was born in 1983 in Muridke. His family was very poor and at the age of four he was sold for six hundred rupees to a carpet manufacturer, who reduced him in slavery. For years he was forced to work fourteen hours a day, every day, weaving carpet knots with his bare hands. One day, in the spring of 1992, he managed to secretly leave the factory together with other children and participate in a demonstration of the Front for Liberation from Slaved Labor. Spontaneously, in front of the public, Iqbal finds the courage to denounce the condition of suffering in which the little slaves find themselves in the factory where he works. His speech attracts the attention of the local press. So Iqbal is free again and starts studying, as he has always dreamed of. In a short time he becomes the symbol and spokesperson of the drama of children exploited in factories by bosses. On April 16, 1995, Easter Sunday, Iqbal was mowed down by a barrage of bullets while he was going to mass by bicycle with two cousins.


For me Iqbal was one of the bravest children in history, despite the exploitation and hard work, he managed to escape from his master and denounced the slavery of children. Unfortunately, this courage was unjustly punished with death, but Iqbal was an example for many young people and led to the almost total elimination of child exploitation


«A child, a teacher, a book and a pen can change the world». This is the phrase with which Malala's thoughts are effectively summarized. This is the crux of his battle: changing the world through education, awareness, clear perception and courageous denunciation of injustices. It was October 9, 2012 when, as she was getting on the school bus to go home, she was repeatedly hit in the head by bullets fired by an attacker. Admitted to Peshawar hospital, she survived the surgical removal of the bullets.


Malala was born in Pakistan on 1997.At 13, she attracted the world's attention through her blog, which she wrote for the BBC, the family supported her, although it was clear that the contents of the column would be "annoying" for many. After surviving the Taliban attack on the occasion of her 16th birthday, she gave a speech at the United Nations Youth Assembly in New York. She talks about the fundamental role of education and instruction, his intervention becomes viral and highly appreciated. On 10 October 2014 she was awarded the «Nobel Peace Prize» together with the Indian activist Kailash Satyarthi «for their fight against the oppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education». On 25 September 2015 he became, together with other personalities from the artistic, political, scientific and cultural world such as Stephen Hawking, Bill Gates, Kate Winslet, Meryl Streep, Jennifer Lopez and many others - testimonial of the 17 "Global goals" of the United Nations , or the «Sustainable Development Goals» to be achieved by 2030.


In my opinion, Malala, like Iqbal, is a voice against injustices, she too has incredible strength and courage to say everything she thinks without fear of attacks and death, after having survived she continued to carry her voice throughout the world until she received also the Nobel Peace Prize.


Canadian children's rights activist Craig Kielburger is known for carrying out the noble mission of freeing enslaved and trapped children around the world. At the age of 12, Craig was no different from children his age, but his life changed the day he came across the story of 12 year old Iqbal Masik, who was brutally murdered in Pakistan for fighting against the idea of enslave children. Craig Kielburger felt the need to bring Iqbal's story to the world. He teamed up with 7 classmates from his school in Thornhill, Ontario, and together they founded an organization called "Twelve-Years-Old" which later became Free The Children. He began to bring child labor to the public's attention and worked to realize Iqbal's dream. At the age of 14, he began visiting various sweatshops and tea shops with the police to look for imprisoned and exploited children and free them. He has dedicated his life to making a difference by improving the lives of poor children in underdeveloped and developing countries. His charity has already built more than 650 new schools in over 45 developing countries. He has been honored and awarded on several occasions for his significant contribution to society, including the Nelson Mandela Human Rights Award, Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012 and many others. Over the years, Free The Children has evolved into an international charity and education partner, successfully engaging over 1.7 million young people in its innovative education and development programs in more than 45 countries around the world .


Craig is a great man and a source of inspiration for me, he is also very brave, because, reading the sad story of Iqbal he decided to continue his dream and free all the slave children. Iqbal would be proud of him