Bonded Labour Liberation Front Pakistan
Clinton Global Initiative
Back ground and brief history.Establishment: Bonded labour Liberation Front Pakistan was established in 1990. Introduction of Bonded Labour Liberation Front (BLLF)
Against the backdrop of pervade atrocities on bonded labourers mostly migrant in brick kiln industry, in all over Pakistan by the feudal lords owner and their middlemen, a true picture of laws of jungle, Bhatta Mazdoor Mahaz presently Bonded labour Liberation front Pakistan was established in 1967. In year 1990 Bhatta Mazdoor Mahaz became a Liberation Front and extended its scope of work after the historical decision of Supreme Court of Pakistan. An open call was given to fight against this brutal system.
BLLF Pakistan is pioneer organization in Pakistan for its initiatives for eradication of bonded labour system and child labour. The organization believes in tripartite approach where all primary stakeholders including employers, employee, civil society organization and government involved proactively maintaining labour standards. Fredrich Ebert Stiftung (FES), Trocaire International, Action Aid /European Union, Pakistan Institute of Labour Education & Research (PILER),Human Right Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) are main supporters of BLLF .The organization is active member of National Coalition Against Bonded Labour. Besides BLLF is also member of South Asian Alliance on Poverty Alleviation (SAAPE).Legal Status
It is non-profit organization, Registration No DDSWLD/90 ,registered under voluntary social welfare agencies Registration and control ordinance 1961(XLVI of 1961) in 1990Mission Statement:
The Bonded Labour Liberation Front Pakistan efforts to ensure that workers in Pakistan are treated fairly and are able to share in the benefits of the national economy. BLLF’s mission is to organize and educate workers to improve working conditions, raise living standards, protect workers’ ability to exercise their rights, and address the workplace exploitation of children and other vulnerable populations.Vision:
All human are equal before the law and should be treated equally in all respects with out any discrimination on the bases of cast, creed, religion, economic status. All sort of economic exploitation leads towards poverty and social disharmony which effects peace, economy and democracy at national level and international level as well.Objectives:
- Total eradication of Bonded Labor System , Child Labor and Trafficking in Person in Pakistan
- To ensure Decent work and social protection for working class in Pakistan
- To contribute to poverty reduction and social inclusion of underprivileged strata of society
- To ensure that all children belongs to brick kiln workers are getting free and compulsory education .
- Peace and Interfaith harmony
- Skill development of youth and Women Empowerment.
Right from its beginning, (BLLF) has been struggling very hard to combat this menace. The scale of this issue may be well imagined as owners have not only muscles powers but they enjoyed political clout in the corridors of power. To combat all these, (BLLF) had to adopt a multi dimension strategy which it continues to follow unrelentingly. However, in this course of time, new modalities were adopted to cause dent on this issue. These are outlined as under:
- To identify bonded labour in various sectors of economy, their release and rehabilitation. BLLF adopted two method i.e. direct intervention and through courts.
- Advocacy & lobbing to address the related issues i.e. Legislation new laws and implementation of the existing laws according to bonded labour abolition system act 1992 and rules 1995. Free and compulsory primary education to all children.
- Statutory revision and implementation of Minimum Wage Award in letter and spirit.
- To bring all Bonded Laborer in the fold of social security, EOBI,
- Provision of marriage and death grant from the workers welfare funds to avoid the (peshgi) debts.
- To carry out awareness campaign against this cruel system in the areas having large number of bonded labour and child labour.
- To organize Regional & National seminars on bonded labour and child labour to highlight the plight of this poor lot and to design measures to mitigate their miserable condition.
- Made liaison with the international organization for the eradication of the bonded labour in Pakistan and currently BLLF enjoying the good relation with couple of well reputed and concerned organization.
The BLLF is governed by the General Body which is an elected forum of 15 members among the members of the organization. The General Body consists on male female brick kiln workers with appropriate number of minorities, christens. The general body is the decision making body which elects executive members/ office bearers, approves annual budget, annual report, elect executive members and do made the policies and take the key decision of the organization.Executive Committee: General Body elects executive committees, consisting on seven office bearers, to implement the project goals and objectives and undertake activities. Trade Unions and Federation:
For mentoring & nurturing leadership among brick kiln workers BLLF has established and patronize 18 registered trade unions out of 14 CBA Trade Unions and one federation of brick kiln workers in Punjab and one in District Kasur. Besides the organization has also organised 70 community groups comprising on total number of 8500 workers including females and 550 well trained anti-slavery guards (Rakhwalay). All trade unions comprise women executives according to law and more than 33 %.
- Brick Kiln Workers Federation Punjab
- Bonded Labour Liberation Federation Kasur.
- 5 trade unions all CBA registered in Lahore
- 9 trade unions all CBA registered in Kasur
- 4 trade unions all CBA registered in Pakpattan
BLLF sponsored a Special bonded labor cell at the office of District Labor Officer, Lahore with the collaboration of District Government Lahore and Labor Department. A special toll free telephone line dedicated to the Cell, Numbered 0800.15151, with relevant equipment's computer, printer, scanner were provided so that the complaints are regularly registered and addressed.Provincial Committee for abolition of Bonded Labor
After extensive struggle Bonded Labor Liberation Front Pakistan influenced provincial government to establish a special committee at provincial level for eradication of Bonded Labor in Punjab. BLLF is member of Provincial Committee for abolition of Bonded Labor Punjab , chaired by Minister Labour and human resource Punjab along with six different important Secretaries , ILO, HRCP , BKOA , Akhwat, APWC, APTWF, Chamber of Commerce are members. This committee has mandate to monitor the DVCs , implementation of labor Laws, issuance of social security cards, national and international obligations for the eradication of bonded labor.Medical Aid Cell: Comprises of very competent qualified doctors who are working with BLLF Pakistan and providing health facilitation to the brick kiln works in Lahore Cluster. Media Cell:
Media cell is playing very important role to raise the voice of voiceless worker with their effective participation and raising issues in print and electronic media.Skills Development:
BLLF is providing alternate skills to 600 female youth of brick kiln workers to provide them alternate sources for employment. So that they can avoid advances in rainy season. In this regard BLLF has signed MoU with well- known institutions like All Pakistan Women Association (APWA) and Fuji Foundation, Technical Collages.Known Experience of BLLF •
- Research on the Brick kilns workers and data collection in District Kasur and Lahore
- Workers mobilization and motivation,.
- Teacher Training.
- Ombudsman training. Parent committees Training
- We are campaigner to end violence against Women, end Poverty, bonded labour
- Organization and Unionization of the Brick kiln workers.
- Apna school education program
- Release & rehabilitation and Capacity building of freed bonded labour.
- Management of shelter for released bonded laborer,
- Independents, carpet, shoe makers, home based workers unionization
- Conduct workshops at work place.
- Seminars, Rallies and demonstrations,
- Consultations with key stakeholders
- Training of staff for safety on work.
- Skill enhancement of management.
- Running 6 school at brick kilns having 300 students
- Result Based Management.
BLLF prefer to create hegemony and harmony among various stakeholders for a fabulous environment to eradicate bonded labor system. There are major stakeholders who could be the most effective tools to eradicate the bonded labor are:
- Brick kiln workers
- Trade unions /labor Federations.
- Political parties, Parliamentarians
- Civil society organization
- Brick kiln owner association
- Government institutions,
- Judiciary, Bar councils and law enforcement agencies’
- Educational institutions.
- Electronic and print media.
- Brick Kiln labour
- NGOs and INGOs