Brick Kilns: A Glimpse of Modern Slavery

These photos were taken in February by our group at a brick kiln near Martinpur. The man you see squatting down making bricks is nearly blind. He repeats the same motions all day, making bricks by hand one at a time. There is no automation in this process: they are made by hand and stacked by hand, eventually being moved to another pile by donkey cart.

Life at a brick kiln is tedious, dusty, and physically demanding, and like other jobs on this level, doesn’t pay very well. Workers can “borrow” money for one of a number of reasons – medical treatment, food, rent – and then agree to work to pay the loan off. Loans larger than fifteen days of work for payment were outlawed in Pakistan in 2013, but this is rarely enforced.

The terms of the payment in exchange for bricks made are so unfair that it can take more than the lifetime of the borrower to repay the debt. Often, children are ensnared in the agreement and begin their young lives working in the brick kiln. There are tens of thousands of people trapped in this system today.

Over 80% of the Christians at Forman Christian College receive some sort of need-based financial aid. We are grateful for your support of this program. Without scholarships, these students would not be enrolled at FCC. Every student we educate means Christians and their families are one step closer to freedom from the threat of debt slavery.

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Posted: 4/30/2019