Child labour

A study of deficits in the fundamental principles and rights at work in the brick kiln supply chain

This study analyses supply chain processes in Pakistan’s brick kiln sector in order to identify deficits related to fundamental principles and rights at work (FPRW), with a focus on child labour and bonded labour. It was commissioned by the ILO Country Office for Pakistan as part of its implemented project on “Promotion of Decent Work Opportunities for the Economic Empowerment of Vulnerable Segments of Society”, funded by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

The study begins by presenting an overview of the ILO’s Core Conventions, Recommendations and Protocols related to child labour and forced labour, including observations by the Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations (CEACR) and the importance of these issues for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It examines policies, plans, programmes, laws and administrative arrangements that seek to address child labour, bonded labour and human trafficking, particularly in Pakistan’s brick kiln sector. The study also identifies challenges to the implementation of laws and policies, as well as challenges related to labour inspection mechanisms and administrative measures. Major bottlenecks to legislative enforcement include the limited outreach of labour inspection, a lack of inspectors, and capacity and resource constraints. To better understand working relationships between key stakeholders, the study examines the brick kiln supply chain, including workplace hierarchies, to gauge power relations between workers and different tiers of management.