Labor Rights in Islam: The Plight of Bonded Laborers in Brick Kiln Industry of Tehsil Pattoki

  • Dr. Iram Rubab Department of Gender Studies, University of Management and Technology, Lahore
  • Dr. Shahida Parveen Associate Professor at Sheikh Zayed Islamic Center, University of the Punjab, Lahore
Keywords: bonded and child labor, Islam, justice, labor laws, tehsil Pattoki


Labor laws are an important part of Islamic framework as well as conception of civil rights in Pakistan. Islam gives a dignified position to work and its principles of justice advocate for just working hours, fair wages, a reasonable service contract, freedom to form associations, etc. Despite these religious and constitutional commitments, bonded and child labor is rampant in the brick kiln industry of the country. The present study discusses the plight of these trapped workers in light of survey data collected from 220 respondents belonging to the brick kilns of tehsil Pattoki. The survey findings are categorized on the basis of nature of work and working hours, and different vulnerabilities of its respondents. The desk review of Islamic teachings with reference to labor provides a contrast to the situation at hand. After identification of these gaps, the study offers recommendations, most of which deal with policy-making, pertaining to rehabilitation and reintegration of the workers currently trapped in this morally reprehensible practice.

Author Biography

Dr. Iram Rubab, Department of Gender Studies, University of Management and Technology, Lahore

I am currently working at Department of Gender Studies, UMT as an assistant professor. I got my doctorate in Gender Studies from University of the Punjab; my research thesis was on women's inheritance rights in Punjab, with a focus on the present on-ground situation as well as Islamic and legal perspectives on the matter.


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