AWM Report

brick2 (52K)Peshawar, Pakistan: Afghan refugees in Peshawar still live in terrible conditions. Many of them are afraid to go back to their villages inside Afghanistan because of brutal warlords and a ruined economy which has yet to be rebuilt. Jobs are not available and prices of goods are sky high. Thus many choose the hell of life as a refugee in Pakistan rather than the burning hell of Afghanistan.

brick (61K)Many families are forced to send their children to work at jobs that are very oppressive for children. The income of the household, not being enough to feed the entire family, means that many children, who should be in school playing with other children their age, instead must go to the local brick factories and work long hours.

brick3 (60K)The photos on this page were taken near one of the brick factories in an area called Azakhel which is about 30 kilometers from Peshawar, Pakistan.

brick1 (67K)Nasrullah is only eight years old but he works nine hours a day to make bricks. On a good day, he can make up to three hundred bricks for which he is paid Rs.30 (51 cents U.S.). If an older person makes the same number of bricks, he is paid Rs.40 (68 cents U.S.). The children’s payment for the same amount of work is less than that of others. There is no one to advocate for these children in regard to their unfair treatment.

brick4 (89K)Nasrullah’s sister, Kamila who is eleven years old, also works with him in the brick factory along with some other girls of her age. They are all Afghan refugees. They all earn up to Rs.30 per day. Many families take a huge risk in sending their daughters to work in such places, as there have been many cases where these innocent girls are abused by men. Such abuse can have catostrophic effects upon the life of young girls in Afghan society.

brick5 (72K)Kamila says, “I wished to go to school and become a teacher, but the situation of our family is very bad and I have to work and earn money to pay for the medicines of my mother who is suffering from a mental disorder.” Kamila was born in the refugee camp and has never seen Afghanistan. She says, “our family has no land or house in Afghanistan. We also do not have much money to pay for transportation for our family to our village.”

brick6 (79K)This is the brick factory where the children work. There are dozens of such factories in the suburbs of Peshawar with hundreds of Afghan boys and girls working in them. Only a few of them attend school and do part time work at the factories. Most work full time in the hot weather of Pakistan which can reach over 40 degrees Centegrade (104F).

brick7 (52K)The brick factories are built near refugee camps. Their polluting black smoke which blankets the entire area nearby is not only a threat to the health of children working there, but also causes many diseases among all refugees living in the area. This is especially true throughout the night when they burn coal.