Pakistan: Debt bondage or education?

by IRIN News

Bonded labor in Afghanistan’s brick kilns is one of the most common forms of hazardous labor in the country. More than half of the brick kiln workers surveyed in a recent report by the International Labor Organization (ILO) were children. According to the ILO, the kilns rely on debt bondage: Workers and their families are tied to a kiln by the need to pay off loans taken out for basic necessities, medical expenses, weddings and funerals.

Widespread poverty and ignorance, negative attitudes to the education of girls, and the lack of proper documents for children of Afghan migrants are some of the obstacles to school enrolment in a poor suburb of Peshawar in Pakistan, say local officials.