BONDED (SLAVE) CHILD LABOURER LOADING CLAY ON HIS HEAD TO CARRY TO THE DRYING FIELDS.

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BONDED (SLAVE) CHILD LABOURER LOADING CLAY ON HIS HEAD TO CARRY TO THE DRYING FIELDS.
© Robin Romano / GlobalAware
THOUSANDS OF BRICK KILNS LINE LINE THE RIVERBANKS IN BENGAL AND THE SURROUNDING STATES OF INDIA. MOST OF THE WORKERS HERE ARE BONDED (SLAVE) LABORERS. THE FAMILIES THAT WORK HERE ARE EXPLOITED 12-16 HOURS A DAY, 7 DAYS A WEEK. THEIR WORLD CONSISTS ONLY OF THESE MUD HOLES, DRYING FIELDS AND KILNS. AT NIGHT THEY SLEEP IN THE OPEN OR IN MAKESHIFT SHANTYS WHERE SANITARY CONDITIONS ARE NONEXISTENT. THERE ARE NO SCHOOLS HERE, AND FOR MANY OF THE CHILDREN THERE AREN’T EVEN FAMILIES. OVER 1/4 OF THE CHILDREN WORKING HAVE BEEN TRAFFICKED HERE FROM OTHER AREAS WHERE THEIR PARENTS HAVE BEEN FORCED TO EITHER SELL THEM INTO DEBT BONDAGE (SLAVERY) OR, IF THEY ARE LUCKY ENOUGH NOT TO BE BONDED, ARE DEPENDENT ON THE MEAGER WAGES THAT THESE CHILDREN CAN PROVIDE.
THE WORK IS EXTREMELY BRUTAL, HAZARDOUS, ABUSIVE AND SOMETIMES LETHAL. WORKING ALL DAY IN THE HOT SUN WHERE TEMPERATURES REGULARLY CLIMB ABOVE 100F (37C), THEY CARRY WELL OVER A TON OF CLAY A DAY AND CROUCH FOR HOURS AS THEY FABRICATE THOUSANDS OF BRICKS IN OLD FASHION MOLDS. THE PAY, IF THERE IS ANY, AND CONDITIONS FALL WELL BELOW MINIMUM LEVELS REQUIRED BY LAW AND ARE ILLEGAL FOR CHILDREN. NONETHELES THE KIDS COME, DRIVEN BY NECESSITY, OFTEN UNAWARE OF WHAT THEY ARE GETTING INTO AND SOMETIMES TRICKED OR VIRTUALLY KIDNAPPED BY UNSCRUPULOUS AGENTS AND MIDDLEMEN. FOR MANY, THEIR DEBT ACTUALLY INCREASES OVER TIME DUE TO DISHONEST ACCOUNTING.
THE POOR PAY AND HARD WORK ARE JUST THE BEGINNING. BRICK KILN CHILDREN TEND TO BE CHRONICALLY TIRED FROM THE LONG HOURS AND IRREGULAR REST, INCREASING THE PROBABILITY OF ACCIDENTS, INJURIES AND DEFORMITY. DISEASE, MALNUTRITION AND PERMANENT SKELETAL INJURY ARE THE COMMON LOT.
UNABLE TO RECEIVE THE EDUCATION TO WHICH THEY ARE ENTITLED BY LAW, THEY ARE POWERLESS TO ACT, AND TRAPPED IN A CONTINUAL CYCLE OF GRINDING POVERTY.

Bonded Labour, slave labour, CHILD LABO

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