Child labour

by Luca Catalano Gonzaga

Throughout much of the world, bricks are made by hand. In Asia, Latin America and Africa, children dig clay for bricks using shovels, picks and awls. After mixing the clay and water to the proper consistency, workers form bricks using small wooden molds. When the bricks are dry, barefoot workers load them on their backs or on top of their heads. Child workers carry large loads of bricks in hazardous conditions, often 12 hours a day. Each brick weighs up to 4kg, and a child may carry up to 1.000-2.000 bricks per day. The daily pay varies depending on the number of bricks handled and can be as low as 10 USD for every thousand. The International Labour Organization (ILO) has estimated that over 40% of Nepal’s children aged 5-14 were working in 2007 – 2.6 million in total. Nepal has an overall young population – the median age of its 29 million inhabitants is 20 years old –and child labour is present in most areas of the national economy.


A selection of photos from the archive of Luca Catalano Gonzaga is available as collector’s prints. The goal of print selling is to contribute to the realization of the photographic projects of Witness Image that narrate the great transformations of our time.

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