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Provincial Consultation ‘’Bonded Labour Situation in Punjab & Way Forward’’ at Lahore

On 29th September 2020, Labour Education Foundation facilitated a provincial level consultation ‘’Bonded Labour Situation in Punjab & way forward’’ at
Lahore.  In this consultation brick kiln workers’ union, trade unions, civil society members, brick kiln owners association and government departments especially the Mr Daud Abdula director labour and human resource participated. In the first session, the brick kiln workers Muhammad Shabir- General Secretary Pakistan Bhatta Mazdoor Union (PBMU) Simreen Munir Office Secretary (PBMU) from Nankana Sahib present a situation analysis of bonded labour in Punjab. They said that brick kiln workers are not getting minimum wage rate EOBI cards and social security cards. They expressed the miserable living condition of brick kiln workers at brick kiln factories. They said if the worker could have the social security cards then they will get rid of Pashgi (advance). The government response is not positive for workers they are doing all in favour of owners. There is no implementation of bonded labour laws. DVC is not working properly which is the forum to address the issue of bonded labour. There is no clean drinking water, washroom facilities, dispensaries in case of emergency especially in case of delivery at brick kilns.  Ms Bushra Khaliq said that women workers are more vulnerable than the men, she emphasised to increase the membership of women in workers’ union so that they can fight for their rights. Ms Zunera Nazar Hussain deputy director NCHR shared the scope of commission and encouraged to brick kiln workers to register human rights violation to NCHR. Muhammad Tahseen Executive Director SAP PK said that workers are facing a lot of problems and this can only be addressed if they organise themselves in unions.  Mahar Abdul Haq General Secretory Brick kiln Employers Association responded to the demands of workers and said that association is ready to sit with the worker to address the issues like providing the clean drinking water, washrooms etc. He further said brick kiln worker union and owner association can work together to make changes in PESSI laws. Mr Niaz Khan- General Secretary Carpet Union, shared that although the brick kiln has got the status of factories their workers are still treated as an informal worker. They also said that brick kiln workers are now very well aware of their rights therefore their voice cannot be suppressed.

In the second session the brick kiln workers, owners and labour department jointly came up with an action plan to ensure the clean drinking water, washrooms, social security cards, EOBI cards CNIC for worker and education for the children of brick kiln families.






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