Laborers Move Bricks At A Brick Kiln

Thousands of brick kilns line the riverbanks in Bengal and the surrounding states of India. Most of the workers here are bonded (slave) laborers, and do not attend school. The families that work here are exploited 12-16 hours a day, 7 days a week. At night they sleep in the open or in makeshift shanties where sanitary conditions are non-existent. Over one quarter of the children working here have been trafficked from other areas where their parents have been forced to either sell them into debt bondage (slavery) or are dependent on the meager wages that these children can provide. Working all day in the hot sun where temperatures regularly climb above 100F (37C), child workers carry well over a ton of clay a day and crouch for hours as they fabricate thousands of bricks in old fashioned molds. Child workers tend to be chronically tired from the long hours and irregular rest, increasing the probability of accidents, injuries and deformity. Disease, malnutrition and permanent skeletal injury are common.