Unblocking sewers by hand while wading through excrement, a minority occupation in Pakistan

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In Pakistan, sewage workers have to go deep into the sewers every day to manually clean up the dark, stinking sludge that often blocks pipes. It’s a task that many perform with their hands and all who do it have to brave the foul stench and toxic gas. Many sanitation workers in the country come from minority groups and endure social stigmas as the occupation is often considered impure by the Muslim-majority population. Christians account for more than 80 per cent of these jobs, according to the National Human Rights Commission. Experts point out that many families are stuck doing this kind of work as poverty prevents the younger generation from getting an education, leaving them with little alternative than to work in public sanitation.

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