Entire families migrate every year from other states in India to find work in Punjab’s brick kilns. The survey data suggest that there are more than 18 million people or 1.4 percent of the total population, who are living in conditions of modern slavery in India. Industries implicated in survey data include domestic work, the construction and sex industries, agriculture, fishing, manufacturing, manual labour, and forced begging. Most of India’s slavery problem is internal, and those from the most disadvantaged social strata—lowest caste Dalits, members of tribal communities, religious minorities, and women and girls from excluded groups—are most vulnerable.
Kasuma and his family are trapped in bondage labour in a brick kiln.
One of my sons is 14 years old, another is 9 and third one is 7. Children have to work at any cost, what would they eat if they don’t work? The water is so bad neither can we wash utensils nor the clothes. It’s stagnant, dirty water, good for nothing.
We wake up at 1 at night, start working and later we cook and eat. We rest for two hours and then start the work again. We prepare the clay for moulding and moulding bricks into the cases.
Narrative and image provided by Anti-Slavery International