Global campaign to ban child bricklayers in India’s cities
In India, rapid urbanization has given rise to a troubling trend: child labor. The Guardian reports that children as young as four can be found working under harsh conditions in brick kilns to feed the insatiable demand for new construction.
In some cases, entire families or individuals work 16 to 18 hour days in the kilns. Compensation is so minimal that human rights and labor experts describe most of the workers as slaves.
The BBC reports here that during a visit to impoverished areas in Hyderabad, numerous children were observed working in the kilns — and without safety equipment.
On January 13, a coalition led by Union Solidarity International, which seeks to empower trade unionists worldwide, launched a new campaign — Blood Bricks — aimed at drawing attention to this misery. Among the goals: pressure India into enforcing domestic and international labor laws, identify companies that engage in child- and forced-labor and help workers organize.