Brick kiln owners: Government’s remedies towards bonded labour

Bonded labour has a sordid history in Punjab’s brick kiln industry. Even though bonded labour was declared illegal 24 years ago, the practice remains impervious to most reform initiatives that have been introduced so far.

This is primarily because previous attempts to reform the industry have failed to address the vicious cycle of poverty that is inherent in the industry. In previous years, bonded labourers have been given respite by freeing them through judicial forums. Such judicial pronouncements, however, have had little effect in curbing the problem.

In this context, unless socio-structural issues causing and sustaining bonded labour in the brick kiln industry are not addressed, any reform initiatives are doomed to fail. The sudden promulgation and enforcement of The Punjab Prohibition of Child Labour at Brick Kilns Ordinance 2016 presents a case in point which is another feeble attempt to liberate bonded labour without doing much to address the socio-structural issues that lie at the root of this problem.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.