Pakistan is taking steps to end child labor in the brick kilns in its largest province of Punjab.
The Punjab government recently passed the Prohibition of Child Labour at Brick Kilns Ordinance.
Christian Today reports that, according to Punjab’s Labour Department, there are more than 6,000 brick kilns in the province, employing nearly 24,000 children under the age of 14.
The laborers at the kilns work in dangerous conditions.
Nasir Saeed, director of CLAAS-UK, an organization that supports persecuted Christians in Pakistan, welcomed the ban on child labour, saying: "They are treated inhumanly and are not provided with any facilities, including health, despite working in detrimental conditions. The whole family has to work as a unit to earn enough money to pay off their existing generations-old debt, and for their own living."
However, not everyone supports the measure.
Many of the brick kiln employers fiercely oppose the new ordinance because it takes away their livelihood. Hundreds of them have staged protests and strikes.
The Punjab government remains firm in its resolve, however. It has enforced penalties of £50,000 and six months’ imprisonment for those who defy the new ordinance.
Publication date: January 28, 2016