Over 130 brick kiln workers have been issued social security cards by the concerned department, thanks to a campaign launched by the civil society to get the poor labourers their rights.

This was disclosed by the speakers at a consultation meeting organized by the Society for Protection of Rights of Children (SPARC) with the support of Actionaid and European Union here on Saturday. They called for the implementation of employees Social Security Ordinance 1965 at the brick kiln industry besides demanding implementation of judgment of Supreme Court in its true spirit.

The meeting was addressed by Zahid Thebo, Provincial Manager of SPARC, Nazar Hussain, President Multan Bhatta Malkan Association, Hyacinth Peter Farhan, Bhatti and others. The speakers pointed out that over 8000 brick kilns existed in Punjab while almost one million bonded labourers worked in the province.

They further pointed out that out of 45 million labourers just 2.1 million possessed social security cards, constituting less than 4 per cent of the total labour force.

 They maintained that the total social security expenditure in Pakistan stood at merely 1.1 per cent of GDP whereas in India it was 2.6 per cent.

They told the participants that after July 2013 judgment of Supreme Court SPARC took the social security officials to the brick kilns and got registered more than 130 brick kilns under the social security ordinance 1965 and.

The social security officials told the participants that their department offered a number of services and facilities to the workers like healthcare, maternity benefits, death grants, dowry funds, medical care and education for dependents, disability pension and gratuity and survival pension.