Faisalabad: Christians and Muslims jointly chant “speak up for elimination of child and bonded labour at brick kilns”

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Bonded labour

Christians and Muslims join hands against the bonded labour which is still prevailing in Pakistan.

According to details, NGO’s owned by Christians and Muslims had staged a protest rally against the bonded labour with which thousands of Pakistanis are still grappling with. This protest rally which was staged in Faisalabad was also attended by various Human rights activists.

In this regard, the Peace and Human Development (PHD) Foundation in cooperation with Peace for Nation International (PNI), the Adara Samaji Behbood (ASB), and Michael Shah Foundation (MSF) staged this protest rally, on December 2, 2015, outside press club in Faisalabad.

This protest rally was entitled “Speak up for Elimination of Child and Bonded Labour at Brick Kilns” under “Slavery No More Campaign” so as to mark the “International day for the Abolition of Slavery.”

People from several faiths chipped in this rally to raise their voices unanimously against modern day slavery. The participants of this rally were chanting slogans to express their disagreement to slavery, bonded & child labour. At this occasion the government was also urged to take steps to ensure this pandemic is curbed.

Suneel Malik – Director of the Peace and Human Development (PHD) Foundation, said, “The Slavery No More Campaign aims to combat and abolish modern-day slavery and human trafficking from brick kiln sector. The government is not serious enough to implement orders of the apex court about bonded labour, EOBI & ESSI benefits.

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The brick kiln owners continue to violate the Supreme Court order of July 2013 that binds them to make a contribution from their earnings to government departments for the provision of social security and EOBI benefits to brick kiln workers.

Therefore, the government must replace labour department by establishing autonomous and financially independent labour commission in order to improve the state of workers’ rights in Pakistan.”

Irfan Gill, a peace activist said, “The government must ensure implementation of notification fixing wages PKR 962 against 1000 bricks for brick kiln workers, and must take effective measures to register and monitor the brick kilns, and enforce existing labour laws particularly; Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act, 1992, and The Employment of Children Act (ECA), 1991 to eliminate child and bonded labour, and stop exploitation of workers’ rights.”

Aslam Barkat, a rights activist said, “The government must ensure adequate wages and working conditions as prescribed in our constitution and labour law, if it is really serious about benefiting from the GSP Plus status.”

Abrar Younas a labourer’s rights activist said, “Most brick kiln owners have not registered their workers with the Employees Old-age Benefits Institution (EOBI), and Employees Social Security Institutions (ESSI), therefore they are deprived of receiving pension, unemployment benefits, and other kinds of financial support from the Workers Welfare Fund, i.e. free medical treatment, death grants, marriage grants, education grants etc.”