<ul><li>INSAN DOST </li></ul><ul><li>ASSOCIATION </li></ul><ul><li>SAHIWAL </li></ul><ul><li>PAKISTAN </li></ul>
IDA HISTORY <ul><ul><li>In 1986 the founder president of IDA, Mr. Anjum Raza Mattu, a field worker in State Life Insurance Company, visited a brick kiln with his co-workers for the life insurance of workers or owner. The brick kiln workers began to weep bitterly before them and requested to release them from the hardships and loans of the kiln owner. They also explained how they spent almost their whole life with the family working on the kiln just to return their loans but there was no decrease in the loans. They were deprived of their fundamental rights of freedom of movement, choice of job, access to basic social services, and subjected to extreme forms of physical, mental and sexual abuse. Learning about their plight the field worker Mr. Anjum and his team decided to work for the protection of the rights of bonded labourers. His aspiration to help the poor and downtrodden in his community later forced his to work for the Bonded labour Liberation Front (BLLF) Pakistan. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>After getting registration in 2002 IDA worked with the District Govt. to introduce adult literacy centers on the brick kiln localities and facilitated the District Govt. for registration of kilns and implementation of bonded labor abolition act in 8 brick kilns near Sahiwal. IDA’s greatest strength has been its network of voluntary members, who have been contributing funds every month from their salaries since the last many years to support IDA and have been working for the organization with complete devotion. </li></ul></ul>
The President of IDA spent two stints of 6 and 3 months in jail on false cases instigated by kiln owners. His time in jail and subsequent release had a great positive impact on the workers’ movement, and forced the district administration to support the laborers rather than the kiln workers as had been the past practice. IDA has now become a model for organizations working for the rights of laborers in the country.
IDA MISSION IDA strives to achieve a bonded-labour free society by building the awareness of bonded labour regarding their rights, organizing and mobilizing them to struggle for their rights, advocating for their rights with those practicing and promoting bonded labour, and working with government agencies and civil society to provide freedom, social protection and citizenship rights to people in bondage. <ul><li>IDA VISION </li></ul><ul><li>IDA envisages a society free of bonded labour where people, particularly the most vulnerable, are able to live in </li></ul><ul><li>dignity and without any discrimination and enjoy basic human rights as envisaged in international human rights </li></ul><ul><li>charter and the Pakistani constitution. </li></ul><ul><li>GOAL </li></ul><ul><li>The ultimate goal of IDA is to eliminate the system of bonded labour in Pakistan and improve the conditions of </li></ul><ul><li>bonded labourers and their families. </li></ul>
IDA OBJECTIVES <ul><li>Elimination of bonded labor through educational, advocacy and lobbing initiatives </li></ul><ul><li>Facilitating the bonded laborers to acquire their National Identity Cards and social security Cards and register as voters to expand the scope of their civil and political rights </li></ul><ul><li>Mobilization of the communities for the protection and promotion of their rights, especially among the brick kiln community </li></ul><ul><li>Providing opportunities of free primary education to the working children, especially among the brick kiln workers </li></ul><ul><li>Providing free legal aid to bonded labor to assist them to get justice </li></ul><ul><li>Empowerment of women representation at various levels, enhance the protection of women’s human rights and reduce violence against women through advocacy initiatives </li></ul>
IDA WORKING STRATEGIES <ul><li>To realize the vision, mission and goals and to achieve the set-objectives of the organization, the following strategies are generally adopted; </li></ul><ul><li>Establish Cluster Units </li></ul><ul><li>Survey kilns, workers, families and education facilities </li></ul><ul><li>Establish Legal Aid Cell </li></ul><ul><li>Develop and disseminate awareness raising and advocacy materials and messages </li></ul><ul><li>Facilitate formation and activation of District Vigilance Committees (DVCs) </li></ul><ul><li>Form unions of kiln workers at cluster level </li></ul><ul><li>Facilitate registration of brick kilns </li></ul><ul><li>Facilitate acquisition of ID, social security and old age benefit cards, and registration of votes </li></ul><ul><li>Facilitate enrolment of children of kiln workers in schools </li></ul><ul><li>Train CBO staff to support bonded labour in their area </li></ul>
IDA PROGRAMS <ul><li>Non-Formal Educational Project for working children </li></ul><ul><li>Primary Health Care Program for Brick Kiln Families </li></ul><ul><li>A Program to prevent violence against working women </li></ul><ul><li>Legal Aid Cell (LAC) to provide legal support among bonded labourers </li></ul><ul><li>Creation of Awareness in the masses concerning bonded labour and human rights. </li></ul><ul><li>The Provision of Power & Identity among bonded labourers through citizenship rights. </li></ul><ul><li>Formation and Activation of District Vigilance Committees (DVCs) to support Bonded Labor. </li></ul><ul><li>Enrolment of working children particular child kiln workers in government & Private Schools and also establish NFE schools to children access to schools at their doorstep. </li></ul><ul><li>Lobbing for proper Implementation on Bonded Labor Abolition Act, Factory Act and minimum wages notification. </li></ul><ul><li>Skill training programs for working women and vulnerable children </li></ul>
. <ul><li>Ending Child Labor through Education (ECEL): </li></ul><ul><li>The project is specifically focusing on providing non-formal education to the children working at kiln. </li></ul><ul><li>This education will help liberating the children from the shackles of the brick kiln owners. It will help </li></ul><ul><li>redress the issue of child labor and bondage of children at brick kilns by providing a healthy and </li></ul><ul><li>constructive learning environment to the children. These deprived children will have the opportunity to </li></ul><ul><li>become aware and learn about their rights and will be able to read and write and check their accounts </li></ul><ul><li>& products. Once out of bondage they will be able to make career choices about their future. The </li></ul><ul><li>education will help them to be placed in different fields of their choice. Those who go back to work in </li></ul><ul><li>brick kilns will be equipped with education that will help them to fight for their rights and get out of </li></ul><ul><li>bondage. More than 195 working children out of 195 families are getting their basic primary education. </li></ul><ul><li>Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Bonded Laborers in Pakpattan District </li></ul><ul><li>The focus of the project is to increase; the ability of kiln workers to receiving minimum wages as per </li></ul><ul><li>labor laws, the access to workers to get CNICs, Social Security Cards and Old Age benefit Cards, to </li></ul><ul><li>unionize the bonded labor and to enroll the children of bonded laborers to school to get education </li></ul><ul><li>facilities. The achievements of this project would have strong demonstration effect on Punjab </li></ul><ul><li>Government and in the district. </li></ul>
Rehabilitation of freed and bonded laborers in the brick kiln industry through education, legal identity and Economic development: IDA has also implemented a project in the selected brick kiln of Districts Sahiwal, Okara and Pakpattan funded by ILO. The focus of the project was educational support to the children of bonded labor, vocational training of female freed / bonded laborers, assistant to obtain CNICs for their legal identity, awareness campaign on health and hygiene and capacity building of DVC on bonded labor Abolition act 1992.
<ul><li>Empowerment of Farmer/Labour Councillors and Bonded Labour in Sahiwal District: </li></ul><ul><li>Recognising their achievements CIDA-DSP Punjab Initiative Fund (PIF) provided IDA a grant to implement a one-year project on “Empowerment of Farmer/Labour Councillors and Bonded Labour in Sahiwal District” from 1st May 2007 to 30th April, 2008. IDA hired some 25 additional staff members to expand project activities. An IDA team of 40 voluntary and paid social mobilizers conducted a survey of bonded kiln workers. </li></ul><ul><li>A survey of bonded labour in Sahiwal District by IDA in 2007 revealed that about 25,000 kiln workers (including 70% Christians) were working at 254 kilns in the district, most of which were unregistered. They included 11,000 workers less than 16 year old. Most men and almost all the women were illiterate, only 60 per cent of adult workers possessed National Identity Cards (NICS), and only 10 per cent were registered as voters. Most workers and their families were heavily indebted to kiln owners, had long working hours, lived in appalling conditions, and often suffered all kinds of abuse by owners. Women were often subjected to sexual harassment by owners 24 hours of the day. In one case a woman was asked to work the day after delivering a baby; when her husband pleaded for her need to rest, he was severely beaten up, and his daughter lost her mental balance. </li></ul><ul><li>A few of the key achievements of the CDSP-PIF project in Sahiwal district are summarized below: </li></ul><ul><li>Registration of over 200 of the 254 brick kilns (80%), the highest number and percentage of brick kilns registered in any district of the country . </li></ul><ul><li>For the first time 90 workers in registered kilns got social security cards, two workers received Rs. 50,000 as marriage grants, and some 70 kiln workers, including women, received funds from the Baitul Maal. </li></ul>
<ul><li>18900 bonded labourers (including about 10000 kiln workers) got NICs, which is a prerequisite to get a social security card, and some 17000 workers were registered as voters. The National Database Registration Authority (NADRA) did not prepare NICs without proof of age. Now NADRA teams go to brick kilns and register bonded labourers for NICs without asking for any proof of age. </li></ul><ul><li>6000 children of bonded labourers were enrolled in government and private schools, and 288 in 5 IDA-run multi-grade single-teacher schools where there were no schools near brick kilns . </li></ul><ul><li>42 unions of brick kiln workers, all headed by women , were formed. This strategy was adopted as owners often tortured male union office bearers but was reluctant to beat women. When women accepted union membership, men were also willing to join the union. </li></ul>
<ul><li>Workers are receiving legal support for the protection of their rights against their economic, sexual, physical and mental harassment through an IDA legal aid cell run by a lawyer, an IDA member. </li></ul><ul><li>There is a 90% reduction in cases of sexual harassment of women of bonded labour families. </li></ul><ul><li>Due to training of workers and labour/peasant local government representatives every bonded labourer in the district knows that peshgi (advance) is illegal, and knows the exact market rates of brick making. </li></ul><ul><li>Selling of kidneys by bonded labourers to pay off loans is common across Pakistan, but non-existent in Sahiwal, despite kiln owners intimidating workers to sell kidneys to repay loans. </li></ul><ul><li>Three kiln owners withdrew the recovery of advance payments from their workers. This was a crucial first step in the struggle for the rights of bonded workers. These three kiln owners were included in the DVC. </li></ul><ul><li>The vote registration drive was so successful that the District Nazim requested IDA to speed up their efforts in voter registration. After securing NICs and getting registered as voters, workers are planning to field their candidates at union council level on labour seats, bringing them into mainstream politics and enabling them to safeguard their rights. This is the new phase of their struggle. During the general elections IDA organised some 18000 bonded labours to demand for their rights. Because of this large vote bank all the significant politicians of the district themselves contacted IDA and pledged to support the rights of bonded labourers, who were always ignored in the past. This change is well illustrated by the example given in the box 1. </li></ul><ul><li>Box 1: Democracy in Action : </li></ul><ul><li>A kiln worker of Sahiwal District was working on a kiln in the adjacent district of Okara. The owner claimed that the worker owed him Rs. 38000. The worker left the job and came to his relatives in Sahiwal. On 7th March 2008 the kiln owner accompanied by some men came to Sahiwal and abducted the 15-year old sister. Later the worker and his other sister came to IDA for help. IDA was celebrating Women’s Day on March 8th, presided over by the recently elected members of the national and provincial assemblies. On the request of IDA the members called the police station and ordered the girl to be recovered the same day. The police lodged a case and arrested the offenders and brought the girl back the same day. </li></ul>
Mr. Rafiq Jaffer’s Comments: As the Chief Monitor/Technical Advisor for CIDA governance projects in Pakistan, in October 2007 I visited the CIDA-funded project being implemented by IDA in Sahiwal. I was extremely impressed by the dedication and commitment of the IDA team and the tremendous positive impact of their work on the bonded laborers and the district administration. IDA has been able to achieve in months what would have taken years otherwise. I am also involved as a consultant in Trocaire’s bonded labor program in Pakistan since 2005, and found that IDA’s impact was greater than that of all the eight Trocaire’s partners put together. I wrote an article on IDA based on my visit, which was widely circulated, and Trocaire has offered its partners to go on an exposure visit to Sahiwal.– Rafiq Jaffer, Chief Monitor/Technical Advisor for CIDA governance projects in Pakistan.
Over 20 million children aged 5-16 years old work in Pakistan including 1.1 million working children in brick kiln industry, actually bonded labour is the cause of child labour. In this connection, IDA child labour campaign "Children should learn not earn" is based on a three fold approach - schooling, campaign and organizing. Setting up schools for child workers in Pakistan has pulled out thousands of children from work. Even if the direct beneficiaries are the children, the indirect beneficiaries have been thousands of workers who have benefited in terms of wages and other benefits, thereby taking care of the economic reason that pushes children into workforce. “ STRUGGLE AGAINST SLAVERY THROUGH EDUCATION ”