Brick kilns in Southeast Asia are notable for causing environmental pollution, violating children's rights, and working conditions that violate the most basic of human rights. Soot and harmful gases from the factory chimneys fill the air. Without respiratory masks, the polluted air finds its way straight to the lungs. In addition, and in violation of the Declaration of the Rights of the Child, young children are forced to work in the factory under these extremely toxic conditions at an age when they should be in school. The presence of these kilns is not unknown, and yet they're still operating unabated.
This photo series was filmed at one such brick kiln an hour's drive away from Islamabad, Pakistan. Upon reaching the factory, I was told that the workers worked in two shifts, 7 AM-1 PM & 1 PM-7 PM, because my presence was expected only for a couple of hours. However, in the two days I spent there, I personally witnessed that the workers worked a single 12-hour shift in extreme conditions. I was also not allowed to approach the area where the children were working. However, I was allowed to go to that area when they took a break, and I could see lost childhoods in their eyes and surprisingly just for a small moment, I also saw the exuberance of still being children in their faces.
These enterprises not only cause terrible damage to the environment but also have terrible and unlawful working conditions and must be urgently inspected and controlled. This system of economic slavery and plunder of the environment must end. Photographs should be the voice of those who have no voice.