Brick Kiln Workers

Forced labour in the brick kiln sector in India

Author : Anti-Slavery India | 2015
Published By: Anti-Slavery International

Bonded labour remains widespread throughout India, in a variety of sectors including brick kilns, agriculture, quarries, mining, textile and garment factories, cotton production, the silk industry, and domestic work. While estimates vary immensely, it is certain that millions of people are affected. Bonded labour in India is the product of poverty, discrimination, social exclusion and the failure of the government to implement laws prohibiting the practice. Bonded labourers are chronically poor, and most are also landless or near-landless. The vast majority are initially trapped in debt bondage because they have no other way of subsisting apart from taking a loan from a landlord or employer. Once taken, they lose control over their conditions of employment, and what, if anything, they are paid. The debt is often inflated through exorbitant charges, making it impossible to repay and trapping the worker in a cycle of debt. Bonded labour does not affect the population of India equally. The vast majority of people who are in debt bondage are Dalits, of low caste status, or indigenous people – also referred to as members of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. The risk of bondage is massively exacerbated when the chronically poor are simultaneously subjected to extensive social discrimination arising from their membership of a particular caste, ethnic group or religious minority.

URL : 20170613111934.pdf

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