96% workers of brick kilns are bonded labourers: report

RAWALPINDI, Jan 24: About 96.06 per cent persons working in brick kilns are bonded labourers, says a report prepared by the Volunteer Social Welfare Organisation (VSWO), a non-government organisation working for the protection of rights for the female brick kiln workers.

According to the report, prepared and released by VSWO Director Programme Irfan Jalil, 96.06 percent workers were bonded to pay their debts while 87.37 per cent workers were those who have been directly indebted to the kiln owners.

The average debt of a family has been around Rs150,000. The report reveals that the women of the under debt families were most vulnerable under the situation and faces severe abuse of rights at the hands of kiln owners.

Owing to the situation around 28 incidents of misbehave, beating and of rape were reported in the last two years in the brick kiln area of Lohi Bher and Tarlai. The report says that the number of incident could increase many folds but it is due to the socio-economic conditions and cultural taboos that most of the cases remain unregistered.

In a seminar organised by the VSWO Muhammad Siddique Bhatti, the development advisor European Commission, said that due to non-implementation of the law, thousands of labourers along with their families living in a condition of Slavery. Brick kiln industry is notorious for the system of bonded labour, where labourers not only economically exploited but their right to mobility, education, expression and physical integrity are frequently being violated, he said.

Published by Daily News on January 24, 2011


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