EVERY MOMENT COUNTS
With over 5,000 brick factories in the Punjab province, there are 2.1 million slavery cases in Pakistan today. Slavery, a phenomenon thought by many to have disappeared long ago, can still be found in almost every country in the world. After India and China, Pakistan is the country that is home to the most people living under slavery-like conditions. These people who are thought of as slaves work in places not only like the brick factories but also, farms or as servants to relieve themselves of a “debt”. They are given protection from hunger and homelessness in exchange for their freedom. These slaves are being exploited, despite their payments, the debts never shrinks. Years go by but due to excessive interest, falsified bookkeeping and small loans for unanticipated expenditures, and since these slaves promised to work until all the debts had been paid off, they are rarely ever freed. People at these brick factories experience firsthand the entire cycle of life: children are born and some of the workers even died. Year in and year out, these slaves may stand barefoot in the cold sludge and in the heat of the brick factory’s kiln. They never attend school and their world is confined to the factory and the village nearby. Time for these people is a crucial factor in them having control of their own life.