I found this in *mcdermid's fine collection of people pictures, and at the first pass, this one really caught my eye. There are many fine images there, so what was it that jumped at me?
The clear, straightforward gaze is spellbinding. I have only known a handful of people who can so simply, easily and relaxedly look into your eyes, with no intention other than to look at you honestly. And to capture that in a photograph is a special moment. The relative size and shape of the eyes (in what seems to be a girl of around 10) enhances this effect, and makes the image completely mesmerising for me.
You have also captured the 'urchin-ness' of her life - the dirty face, hands and sleeves, maybe from playing, maybe from working. Personally, there is a little too much of the out of focus foreground. It doesn't tell me more of her or her setting, it just eats up space. You've already cropped off some of the hair on the left, to good effect, and keeping the image tight would be of overall benefit, I believe.
There is also an uncomfortableness in the image for a western mindset, of the light fluffy hair on the forehead. But the image captures her with such dignity that I am forced to rethink my views, rather than the other way around. So well done here for leaving the reality as you captured it.
Nice line with her looking back with her face slightly offset from straight - it gives the image a rhythm, that once you break away from that gaze, you get drawn around the image, and then back in.
Good tone work - personally, I like the nice contrast spread from the deep blacks to the whites, although for perfection, the blown white just below her arms would still hold a little detail. But for spontaneous work, perfection of that sort would destroy part of the very spontaneity that you are capturing!