Bonded labor and Brick Kiln workers are one of the most marginalized categories of Pakistan, said Syeda Ghulam Fatima Secretary general Bonded Labor Liberation Front (BLLF).

Fake FIRS have been registered against brick kiln workers vulnerable to forced labor by powerful brick kiln owners with the connivance of police in Kasure.  The brick Kiln Workers are being tortured at Police stations and tortures cells. The purpose of fake FIRs is just to force workers to withdraw the case of minimum wage and to trap workers into forced labor. That is why in most recent FIR No.466/16 at police station Patoki saddar, seven days have passed after arrest and police has not produced laborers before any court of law.


These views were expressed by Syeda Ghulam Fatima Secretary general Bonded Labor Liberation Front (BLLF), Latif Ansary and Aslam Miraj from Labor Qaumi Movement, Mahmood But from Pakistan Bhata Mazdor Union and civil society organizations at Lahore Press club Lahore.

Syed Ghulam Fatima said that all labor organization and 2.3 Million Brick Kiln workers would go on countrywide protest, if the innocent workers in illegal confinement of police were not released, expressed while speaking during press conference.

She highlighted the major problems confronted by brick-kiln laborers. She condemned the physical abuse of laborers particularly with female workers.

She showed concern that government of Punjab has failed to implement its slogans” Parho Punjab, Barho Punjab. The government of Punjab could not fulfill its promises.  Measures for Elimination of Child Labor and Bonded labor are only window dressing she expressed.  Coalition of Law minister and Labor minister has made labors’ life miserable and they have sabotaged the laws to address the issue of bonded labor.

Maher Safdar executive member BLLF said, Khurram Shahzad and other brick kiln owners have created hindrance everywhere. Labors are being exploited on the name of peshgi or advance payments. In this way vulnerable people fall into bonded labor. Government of Punjab has provided legal support to bonded labor by legalizing peshgi in Punjab Prohibition of Child Labor at Brick Kilns Act of 2016 while Bonded Labor System Abolition Act 1992 declares peshgi a penal offence.
 

He lamented laborers are low paid. Influential kiln owners were still resisting the decision, as the government had issued a notification regarding the payment of at least Rs 1036 per 1000 bricks to workers while the owners only pay 650 to the workers in Lahore, Sheikhupura and Kasur. The situation is worst in other parts of the country.