HRCP secures release of bonded workers


LAHORE: Sixty-three bonded labourers have been recovered from a brick kiln in Basti Pir Ismail near Multan, following a writ petition filed by the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP).

In May, HRCP received a complaint from Saghar Hussain, a resident of Basti Pir Ismail, saying that a brick kiln owner in the area had sold his kiln – along with 63 kiln workers – for Rs 1,800,000. The new owner was found to have illegally detained the workers. HRCP’s Multan office filed a writ petition before the Lahore High Court’s Multan Bench for the recovery of the detained workers. Justice Asjad Javed Gural directed the SHO PS Makhdoom Rasheed to recover and produce all 63 workers before the court on 14 June 2019. This was done today and the bonded labourers released on the direction of Justice Sadiq Khurram.

Despite the passage of the Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act of 1992, the abhorrent practice of bonded labour continues, especially in southern Punjab and Sindh. HRCP strongly urges the provincial governments to ensure that the district vigilance committees set up to implement the 1992 Act are operational and able to execute their mandate effectively and consistently.