Human Rights Day observed: Ministry to end bonded labour urged -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Human Rights Day observed: Ministry to end bonded labour urged

HYDERABAD: Leaders of NGOs and human rights activists have urged the government to establish a separate ministry for the abolition of bonded labour and create a fund to rehabilitate over 5,700 liberated labourers and peasants in Sindh.

The Society for Protection of Rights of Child’s national manager Kashif Bajeer, Strengthening Participatory Organisation’s regional head Ghulam Mustafa Baloch and Sindh Porhiyat Council president Punhal Sario who led a rally organised on Monday to mark the Human Rights Day, said the government should provide social security cards to all labourers, particularly over 200,000 labourers working in brick kiln sector.

They said that over 5,000 children in 150 kilns were deprived of their basic right to education and the government had not yet taken any step to find out a solution to the problem.

They urged the government to set up schools in brick kilns and provide basic facilities to the camps where bonded labourers liberated from farms and kilns were settled.

An entire family working in a brick kiln was paid only Rs280 for making 1,000 bricks a day, they said, adding the Sindh minimum wage board should fix at least Rs1,000 wages for preparing 1,000 bricks.

They urged print and electronic media to visit brick kilns and show real face of poverty to the government. Sparc had set up 10 model brick kilns in Tando Haider equipped with lavatories and the government should follow its model in other brick kilns to save labourers from slavery, they said.

Meanwhile, activists of Human Rights Commission of Pakistan’s special task force for Sindh and representatives of civil society organisations also took out a rally to mark the Human Rights Day.

Dr Ashothama and Mashooque Bhurgari of HRCP, Dr Arfana Mallah and Badar Soomro of civil society organisations who led the rally said that 1,465 people, including 953 men, 397 women and 115 children were killed in various incidents over the past 10 months from January to October in Sindh.

They said that 87 women committed suicide and 63 were sexually assaulted during the period and 146 were murdered in the name of honour while 164 women were slain in various other incidents.

They said that 37 children committed suicide, 65 fell prey to sexual abuses, 10 were killed for honour and 68 were murdered in other incidents. About 181 men committed suicide, 99 were killed in honour’s name, 673 were slain in various other incidents and three men fell victim to sexual abuse over the 10-month period, they said.