Mothers and daughters haul handmade bricks at a southeast India kiln while fathers and sons stoke the fires. Kiln owners acquire workers by loaning poor families money for expenses far beyond their means: medical care or a funeral. Roughly two-thirds of the world's captive laborers --15 to 20 million people --are debt slaves in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal.


Mothers and daughters haul handmade bricks at a southeast India kiln while fathers and sons stoke the fires. Kiln owners acquire workers by loaning poor families money for expenses far beyond their means: medical care or a funeral. Roughly two-thirds of the world's captive laborers --15 to 20 million people --are debt slaves in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal.

Credit: Jodi Cobb 2003 National Geographic Society

Close Window