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Social dimensions in the Indian brick sector: Challenges and way forward


SG 1: Reducing climate and environmental risks & Action Area B: Stimulating action for clean air


New Delhi, India

Date & Time

24 March 2023

Organisers: International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), All India Brick and Tiles Manufactures Federation (AIBTMF) and Brooke India


About the event

This workshop will bring together relevant stakeholders – policy makers, government authorities, social researchers, development professionals, and brick entrepreneurs and associations – from across India to share their perspectives and understanding of the existing social challenges in the brick sector.

The workshop will focus on four key domains: (1) ending child labour, (2) ensuring transparent employment conditions, (3) improving basic workplace facilities, and (4) ensuring a safe workplace for women workers. Participants will discuss existing policies, procedures, and practices related to these domains and contextual governance mechanisms to address social challenges.

We are organising this workshop under the framework of the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO)-funded Himalayan Resilience Enabling Action Programme (HI-REAP).



The consultation workshop aims to achieve a coherent understanding of social challenges in the Indian brick sector and determine the way forward to address them.

Specific objectives include:

  • Identify and build a shared understanding of the existing social challenges in the brick sector and identify the way forward (e.g. development and implementation of a social code of conduct).
  • Engage with relevant stakeholders to plan interventions that address social challenges in the brick sector.


Expected outcomes

The workshop is expected to lead to the development of a comprehensive mechanism, such as a social code of conduct, to address identified social challenges in the Indian brick sector.



Brick production is considered an informal sector that relies heavily on manual labour. In India, there are approximately 200,000 brick kilns that employ more than 23 million workers on a seasonal basis.

We are working to increase awareness among brick workers and entrepreneurs about the social and gender aspects of brick production, which are as important as adopting clean and efficient technologies. This will enable collaborative research interventions that address gender and social issues in brick factories.

In Nepal, ICIMOD collaborated with the Federation of Nepal Brick Industries (FNBI) to develop the Social Code of Conduct for Nepal’s brick sector in accordance with government legislation. This example can be used to build on and organise social affairs and organise social affairs in the Indian brick sector.


Tentative agenda

Time Programme
09:00–09:30 Registration
09:30–12:30 Opening session
09:30–09:35 Welcome remarks – Bidya Banmali Pradhan, Sr Atmospheric Environment Specialist, Action Area on Stimulating Actions for Clean Air, ICIMOD
09:35–09:40 Introductory remarks – Representative, Brooke India (TBC)
09:40–09:45 Opening remarks – Ashok Tewari, President, All India and Brick and Tiles Manufacturers Federation (AIBTMF)
09:45–09:50 Remarks by the chief guest – Government organisation, India (TBC)
09:50–10:00 Social issues in the brick sector – Brooke India (TBC)
10:00–10:20 Social challenges and addressing mechanisms (Social Code of Conduct): Experiences from Nepal – Kamala Gurung, Gender and Natural Resource Specialist, ICIMOD
10:20–10:40 Tea break and group photo
10:40–10:50 Status of social issues in the brick sector – Ashok Tewari, AIBTMF
10:50–12:00 Group work I: Understanding of the social challenges in the example domains
Domain 1: Child labour

Bidya Banmali Pradhan, ICIMOD

Domain 2: Employment conditions

Facilitator: Simran Silpakar, Gender Research Associate, ICIMOD

Domain 3: Workplace facilities

Mohammad Rabi Qazizada, Programme Officer, ICIMOD

Domain 4: Safe workplace for women

Facilitator: Kamala Gurung, ICIMOD

12:00–12:30 Presentation of the group work on the identified domains Group representatives:

Domain 1: Child labour

Domain 2: Employment conditions

Domain 3: Workplace facilities

Domain 4: Safe workplace for women

12:30–13:30 Lunch break
13:30–14:30 Session II: Existing binding and nonbinding mechanisms (policy and practice) to regulate and address social challenges
  Theme A: Governance, policy, and stakeholders

Facilitators: J.S. Kamyotra, Regional Facilitator, Malé Declaration, and Simran Silpakar, ICIMOD

What are the existing policy regulations and legal mechanisms to address the labour issue?

What is the governance mechanism regarding policies and their enforcement (national/state level)?

Who are the actors at the national and subnational levels (state and nonstate actors)?

Theme B: Regulating documents and practices

Facilitators: Kamala Gurung and Mohammad Rabi Qazizada, ICIMOD

What are the common practices that we should build on to address the challenges?

14:30–15:00 Open discussion: Building a common understanding of the challenges and way forward
15:00–15:30 Vote of thanks and closing