Expression of Interest for Non Formal Education Teachers Training

Society for the protection of the Rights of the Child  (SPARC) in collaboration with Action Aid Pakistan (AAPK) and European Union, is implementing a project  ”Support, Social protection and Decent work of Brick kiln workers and bonded labourers in Pakistan” in Hyderabad and Multan. SPARC intends to hire a consultant/ consulting firm to develop training manual, education tool kit, provide  training material, travelling to the participants and conduct Orientation & Non Formal Teachers Inception Training at Tando Haider Hyderabad. The Qualified and experienced candidates/ firms with relevant experience can send expression of interest along with their CVs/ Profile to irfan3_qureshi@hotmail.com, zahid_thebo@yahoo.com, latest by 14th of March 2014

 

National Policy Seminar on Amendments, Adoption and Implementation of Bonded Labor System Abolition Act 1992

As part of SPARC’s celebrating the UCD, it held a major Conference on the issue of bonded labor in Karachi on Nov 20.

Members of the Sindh Assembly, government functionaries, civil society organizations, lawyers, stakeholders of bonded labour, children from various schools and media professionals attended the full-day Conference in a large number.

Sindh Law Minister, Secretary Labor Balochistan, Members of Sindh Assembly Irum Azeem Farouqi, Sharmila Farooqui, and Dr Seema Zia, SPARC Board member Anees Jillani, advocate M Ali Shah, Chairman Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum, Civil Society activist Noor Mohammad Bajeer, Adam Malik and Iqbal Detho of SCUS, Zulfiqar Shah of Piler, Shahjahan Baloch of Actionaid, Kashif Bajeer of SPARC, Lawyer Barrister Zamir Ghumro, M Farooq, General Secretary Sindh Bricklin Owners Association, Saboor Ghayoor, head of Centre for Labour Advocacy, Civil society activist Adam Malik spoke at the Conference.

Various issues relating to bonded labor in various sectors, including agriculture, fisheries, bricklin sector and weaving industries, were discussed and many recommendations were made, including the following:

  • The Bonded Labor System (Abolition) Act 1992 needs to be updated and fully implemented.
  • National Policy & Plan of Action should be adopted as Provincial Plan of Action.
  • Provincial Steering Committees should be formed on bonded labor to oversee implementation of law and policy.
  • Registration of bricklin should be made mandatory.
  • Issuance of social security cards should be made mandatory for all bonded laborers.
  • Labor laws should be extended to the agricultural sector, including right to association.
  • A high level provincial commission should be formed in Sindh and Punjab for undertaking a plan for structural changes, particularly land reforms.
  • Bonded labor fund proceeds should be urgently disbursed.
  • Notification of minimum wages should be issued immediately and implemented in totality.
  • Sindh Bonded Labour Department should be restored, which existed prior to the 2013 Elections.

Seminar On 1st May (Manifesto of Political Parties and Labour Rights)

The Brick kiln worker will vote to a candidate who solves the issues labors. Announced Brick kiln Labourers.

Tando Haider: Hyderabad 08 May 2013. The wages of laborer will be double after coming into power and all Labour related laws will be implemented without any discrimination said Makhdoom Shuhabuddin Shah Hussaini, nominated PS -50 candidate, Pakistan Muslim League Functional, at the seminar in Tando Haider on the topic of Political Parties manifesto and Labour Rights. The Manifesto Mr. PML (F) is clear about the rights of laborers and said that we envisage free education up to 12th class, free medical treatment and provide basic facilities. He said that they are not imported and appear after 5 years after winning the election but they are indigenous and belong to the area, they are well aware of the issue and problems of the area than any person else. Their party rejects dual local body system and that Pakistan is united if the province is united, he further said.

Thousands of labourers, peasants, brick kiln workers, brick kiln owners, civil society and political leaders participated in this seminar. Punhal Parhiyar, Weero Kolhan, Dr. Haider, Muhammad Hanif Siddiqui (PML-N), independent Candidate for NA 221 Makhdoom Khuram,  Dr. Rajab Memon of STPP, Inayatullah Thebo SUP, mahjabeen Mirani PML-(Functional), Dr. Arbia Noor and other also spoke at Seminar.

Makhdoom Khuram, an independent candidate for PS-50 said that Tando Haider is in the clutches of many problems but no one seems serious of resolving he issues. He admitted his mistake to have withdrawn his candidature in favor of a person who never visited this area after winning the election. This is the reason that he is contesting election indecently to solve issue of laborers.

Dr, Rajab Memon, an independent Candidate for NA-221 said that workers are the back bone of country, to deny them their due rights is to backward this country. So far no government has taken serious efforts to solve issues of laborer and he will strive hard to provide as maximum relief to workers as possible.

Weero Kolhi, an independent candidate of PS-50 said that she is a freed bonded laborer and she knew the atrocities, problems and ground realities. She has always worked with laborers, provided freedom to many laborers and will always serve for peasant and laborer even if not elected.   She pledged to provide education to children of laborers free of cost, increase in wages, provide basic facilities, and abolition of tool tax.

Earlier Zahid Ahmed Thebo briefed the aims and objectives of the seminar and said that the seminar is not arranged to support any single Political party or candidate but to provide platform to the political parties to present their manifesto on Labour rights so that the laborers especially brick kiln workers may be in better position to decide whom to vote. He emphasized that the rights of laborers must be accepted and political parties must include Labour rights and their implementation in their manifestos. The political parties present in the seminar make commitment to implement Labour related law and bring about necessary amendment in the laws wherever necessary.

Innayatullah Thebo of Sindh Taraqi Passand Party said that the laborer do earn so much to feed their children.  The entire families work at brick kiln at very low wages but he will work for the promotion and protection of the rights of laborers and endeavor to increase wages. He said that the indigenous people are barred from any progress, the natural resources are being confiscated, the nation is being divided into defection section but we must be united for our rights.

Punhoon Bheel, the president of all Sindh Mahinat Kash Batha Mazdoor Trade Union said that the political parties do not include Labour rights in their manifesto it is the reason that there is no political will and no law regarding Labour rights is implemented. He said that the Brick kiln worker and Tando Haider Trade union will vote to that candidate who will solve the issues and problems of laborers. He further stressed that now they are aware and more united and will use vote as a power to solve their issues. He demanded of the government to increase wages up to 700 for 1000 bricks, provide free education to the children of laborers and establish dispensary unit at Brick kilns.

Brick Kiln Owner Punhal Parhiyar Announced Social Security Card to Workers

Seminar to Motivate Brick Kiln Owners to Provide Social Security Card

Hyderabad: 25 March 2013: With welcome remarks, Mr. Zahid Ahmed Thebo briefly introduced the aims and objectives of the Seminar and asked the participants to express their views on the genuine issue of social security Card. He termed social security card as the solution of many problems faced by brick kiln workers. He urged the Brick kiln owner and play their role according to law and provide social security cards to their workers. The Seminar was organized by SPARC with support of Actionaid and European Union at Hotel Indus Hyderabad.

Mr. Azhar Hussain, Director Social Security said that Social security Department is a semi Government institution which thrives on the contribution that it receives. He told in detail the process of acquiring social security card, its benefits and legal obligation on the owners to pay contribution for social security cards. He told that the funds (contribution) are used for health and other benefit. He further informed that the brick kilns are now registered with social security after the Suo Moto notice of Supreme Court of Pakistan. So there is no reason that brick kiln owners avoid to pay contribution for social security cards.

Dr Ashothama from HRCP congratulated to SPARC team and all participants, he said worker are beauty of this country/society, this type of advocacy is much important for our labors. I feel one thing, we can use this type of information in local language, generally all things still not change due to ignorance of state,

Mr Mehboob Abro, social activist and political leader, said that SPARC is playing great role for change in society, its role for all workers is unforgettable and proud able, we have to give Importance on Education and to select right political person, by your vote for the implementation of Labour related laws.

Sarwar Utero: Deputy director  Labor department informed that their department has registered  6 trade unions and that they have moved application of Tando Haider Trade Union application for minimum wages with the strong recommendation to issue notification of Rs. 666 for 1000 bricks. He also shared that soon the Trade union of tando Haider will be given CBA Certificate. He announced told about the benefits of registration with labour Department and Workers Welfare Fund.

Punhal Parhiyar the brick kiln owner of Al Mustafa Bricks Company announced that he will fill Social security card forms of 10 brick kiln workers immediately and will pay their contribution to the SESSI Department regularly. He said that he will have to face many difficulties from other Brick kiln Owners but he is convinced that it is due right of worker and it is in their own benefit to provide social security card to the workers as many of the workers will be given health care without any cost or fee, this way there will get rid of loans and advances.

The Hall filled with the sound of applause and chanting in favour of Punhal Parhiyar. Mr. Zahid Ahmed Thebo welcomed the announcement made by Punhal Parhiyar and said that it is historic decision and success of Brick Kiln workers of Tando Haider. He hoped that other Brick Kiln owners will also follow Mr. Parhiyar and provide social security cards to their workers.

Provincial Policy Seminar on the Issue of Bonded Labor

SPARC Organized a Provincial Policy Seminar on the issue of Bonded Labour in Lahore in which more than 100 people participated including Members of Civil Society, government officials, politicians and Trade union activists participated in the program. Binyameen Country Director ILO, I.A Rehman from HRCP, Saeed Awan from NCIWE, Justice Retired Muneer delivered their speeches on the issues of bonded labour and its related laws. The speakers demanded to constitute National and Provincial Commissions on Bonded Labour should be made to monitor the progress on eradicating bonded labour.

The activists from the civil society discussed the issue of bonded labor in perspective of 18th constitutional amendment, its gaps and gave suggestion for its implementation. They further express concern over no implementation the Bonded Labour System Abolition (Amended) Act 1992 and said that District Vigilance Committees (DVCs) have been established in some districts in the Punjab but these committees are inactive and unaware of their responsibilities.

Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) MPA Sajida Mir promised to move a bill of motion on issues faced by brick kiln workers, including the non-implementation of the minimum wage of Rs665.70 per 1,000 bricks, the non-issuance of social security cards and inactive DVCs in the province. She further said Article 3 and 25-A of the Constitution ensures free and compulsory education for the children till the age of 16 and If the government implements these regulations, bonded labor will end.

Justice (Retd) Munir Ahmad said a computerized database of bonded laborers should be prepared in the province. He said the social audit of production units should be compulsory. He said judicial magistrates should be empowered and trained to implement this law.

ILO Country Director Binyameen termed it necessary to share best practices with each other. He appreciated the provincial government for establishing literacy centers at model Brick kilns. Qaiser Khan from Actionaid, said that 74 per cent of the work force was employed in the informal sector. He said all stakeholders should be consulted before moving any legislation.

Human Rights Commission for Pakistan (HRCP) general secretary I.A Rehman said about 20 years have passed since the government passed the Bonded Labour Abolition Act-1992 but there had been no concrete progress. There is a need to review our strategies to implement the law.

Suggestion and Recommendations of the participants
1. BLSAA 1992 is Lengthy law which should be amended for implementation.
2. Bonded Labor and BLSAA portray the Mind set of landlords
3. There is complete lake of political will to implement BLSAA 1992.
4. Awareness of Judiciary and Bar should be increased.
5. There are multiple Roles of Departments which should be reexamined.
6. Inactivation of DVC.
7. Rehabilitation (BL-Fund)
8. Survey of Bonded Labor from Govt.
9. Social Security Card to the workers.
10. Government Mechanism (Police Anti Bonded Labor Cell)
11. Role of DVC should be defined.
12. Ensure Education Literacy to Brick Kiln Workers and Others Laborers
13. State should feel its Responsibility to implement the law.
14. Unfair Distribution of Funds therefore the funds be allocated province wise.
15. Bill was not Discussed in Parliament
16. Female Labor Inspector should be appointed
17. Fair Survey of labor throughout the country.
18. Sector should be identified where Bonded Labor exists.
19. Sector wise computerized data of all workers
20. Judicial Magistrate should be empowered to take action against BLSAA violators.
21. National Commission on Bonded Labor
22. 320 Million Punjab Government for districts
23. De/Re Activation of DVC at District Level.
24. Boned Labor Fund should be reallocated province wise
25. Integrated approach should be adopted
26. Field experts view should be incorporated during legislation making.

Success of the Policy Seminar
MPA Sajida Mir promised to move a bill of motion on issues faced by Brick Kiln workers, including the non-implementation of the minimum wage of Rs665.70 per 1,000 bricks, the non-issuance of social security cards and inactive DVCs in the province. She further said that Article 3 and 25-A of the Constitution ensures free and compulsory education for the children till the age of 16 and If the government implements these regulations, bonded labor will end.

Grand Rally for the Rights of Laborers on 10th of December 2012

A Grand Rally was organized was organized on 10 of December 2012 by SPARC with the support of ActionAid and European Union to mark international Human Rights Day in connection with International Anti-Slavery Day in which hundreds of freed bonded laborers, workers, peasants, civil society Activists, members of bar association, politicians and intellectuals participated. The participants carrying hand bills of freedom from bondage, implementation of bonded labor system abolition act 1992, minimum wages and other labor right slogans.

Addressing the Rally the Civil society Activists urged the government to establish a separate ministry for the abolition of bonded labor, provide social security cards to all laborers, particularly over 200,000 laborers working in brick kiln sector and create a fund to rehabilitate over 5,700 liberated laborers and peasants in Sindh. They demanded from the government to establish school for 5000 children in 150 Brick Kilns at Tando Haider.

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 laborers from slavery, they said.

Addressing the Rally Kashif Bajeer National Manager SPARC said that Social security card is the constitutional Right of every Laborer but none of 0.2 Million brick kiln workers have been given social security card. He expressed his deep concern over no initiatives by the government for the solution of problems faced by laborers, whereas the Legal Aid Service Unit established in Sindh to address the issues and grievances has been closed.

While addressing the rally Punhal Sariyo demanded of the government of Sindh to amend, adopt and implement bonded labor system abolition act 1992 with letter and spirit to curb injustice done to laborers in the province. He pointed out that today common laborers get 1000 per day whereas the entire family working on the brick kiln gets just 380 for thousand brick per day. He demanded that Sindh minimum wage board should issue notice for brick worker and 1000 be fixed for one thousand bricks.

Addressing the Rally the Regional Head of SPO, Ghulam Mustafa Balouch said that laws are clear that any establishment having more than 5 employees will be registered with social security department whereas there are more than 150 workers at each and every brick kiln, no one is ready to raise voice for their rights. He asked the print and electronic media journalist to play their role and visit the brick sector, see their plight with the eye of camera, show the government the real face of poverty.

Speaking at the rally Mr. Mehboob Abro Ex-Nazim Qasimabad and the representative of Pakistan People’s Party said that the increase in bonded labor in our society is because of poverty, hunger and unemployment. The laborers are unable to pay their debt and are paying their loan back since their forefather. Today bonded laborers are being freed through courts but government has no plan for their rehabilitation or any other help.

Achievements
Hundreds of workers, freed bonded laborers, civil society activists and politicians participated and raised the voice for labor rights, implementation of labor laws and demanded social security card for kiln workers. The Rally got plenty of news coverage and more than 16 newspapers including Dawn, Express Tribune, Business Recorder, Lahore Times, Kawish, Ibrat, Jang and others. All the regional TV channels prepared news stories and on aired in their local bulletin. ARY News and SAMA news covered the rally specially, prepared news stories and aired in their national bulletin.

Through the grand rally the issue of bonded laborers, brick kiln workers, social security card, and implementation of labor related laws were highlighted effectively.

EU Action Aid Project on Brick kiln “A ray of hope”

As SPARC has started project on Brick kiln with the collaboration of Action Aid to make 20 model Brick kilns in Hyderabad and Multan. There are more than 150 kilns in Hyderabad, having more than 30 thousand workers. The work activity is carried out in a very systematic way but it is primitive in its nature. The worth noticeable thing at the brick kiln is that almost all the kilns are deprived of all basic facilities; there is no drinking water, no school, no health and hygiene facilities.

At the kiln all the family members seemed engaged in making bricks. The children along with their brothers and sisters were making clay bricks. The Action Aid Team visited the brick kilns situated at Tando Haider in Hyderabad District and met with the kiln owners and laborers to aware them of the project’s aims and objectives. Continue reading

Helping to homeless people

We are living in a world where we have to get the services of other people to fulfill our daily needs. The society is divided into classes where people do not care for the lower class. They are not considered equal and treated as inferior to the upper classes. This creates a gap between social segments of the society. Such a situation is detrimental for just society. If we want just democratic society then appropriate steps should be taken to provide all possible facilities to each segments of society.

It is a common phenomenon that when someone becomes homeless people start to stare at him with disgrace and extend him no hand for support. SPARC is a right based organization, it helps the homeless and the people freed from bondage. Continue reading

Death Of Brick Kiln Woman Worker

As the agriculture sector is a backbone of economy, so are the workers vital for the development of the country. When we appreciate the importance of the workers, we have the obligation to provide them all necessary possible help and assistance for health, education and protection. If they are insecure they can not carryout any work at their work place. Insecurity compels the worker to revolt.

Insecurity for the kiln workers was seen when a protest demonstration was held against the kiln owner who failed to provide timely assistance to a sick woman worker which died the way home. Continue reading