(National): Promotion of decent work opportunities in brick kiln sector of Pakistan

Lahore

Lahore:Julien Harneis, United Nations Resident Coordinator (UNRC), Islamic Republic of Pakistan visited the first brick kiln adopted zigzag technology in Pakistan.

This technology is environment friendly, and reduce emissions from brick kilns and cut pollution. Tayab Ikram, owner of the brick kiln, explained the transformation of brick kilns from conventional to modern technology in detail. Since August 2020, Punjab government has offered interest-free loans to convert brick kilns on Zigzag Technology, he shared.

Abdul Haq, General Secretary, Brick Kiln Owners’ Association of Pakistan (BKOAP) welcomed the UNRC and briefed him on collaboration between the International Labour Organization (ILO) and Association on promoting Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work (FPRW).

While interacting with the UNRC, Ali Shair, Representative of the said brick kiln workers, explains how the Zigzag Technology improves working conditions, in general, and health related issues of the workers, in particular.

Harneis, while applauding Punjab government’s offer of interest-free loans, appreciated the initiative taken by brick kiln owner on transformation of brick kilns to modern technology, as back as in 2016. He visited different sections of the brick kiln to comprehend the major changes made under Zigzag and its impact on productivity as well as workers. The collaboration between the ILO and BKOAP on promotion of Decent Work in brick sector is commendable, he added.

Earlier, the National Project Coordinator, ILO, explained that in collaboration with government, employers and workers, the ILO is implementing a project titled “Promotion of Decent Work Opportunities for the Economic Empowerment of Vulnerable Segments of Society”.

The Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation funds this project. Under one of the major components, it supports implementation of FPRW in the brick kiln sector and aims, partially, from a business development perspective. The project interventions focus on performance improvement and establishing self-monitoring mechanism; provision of ‘functional literacy’ and rights education to prevent exploitative labour practices and access the existing Social Security services. In addition, it encourages environmentally friendly and cost-effective brick kilns through energy efficient technology.